Established over 50 years ago, Quantum Profile Systems Ltd (QPSL) is a leading manufacturer of specialist building products based in Oldham. They operate under the Quantum Flooring, Dacatie, Qwood & QLean supply brand names. All of the brands combine a strong manufacturing heritage with the latest lean production principles in order to create value for their customers.
QPSL’s IT environment had grown organically with limited design and documentation, making implementing changes more difficult. In addition, troubleshooting day to day issues was often complex and time consuming.
QPSL had issues with ageing servers requiring an upgrade as they weren’t providing the speed and resilience needed for the day-to-day running of the organisation.
A complex licensing agreement was proving difficult to manage, costly and inflexible. QPSL required solutions that were more cost-effective and suited to their present and future business requirements.
The initial phase of the project involved the rationalisation of network switches and cabling. The resilience and scalability of the network was improved to avoid single points of failure, from the core switches to gateway internet connectivity. The opportunity was also taken to remove less secure applications such as Dropbox and create secure remote access to company resources over a secure VPN for remote workers. Time was invested working with QPSL to deliver a phased approach to projects, which addressed the reliability of the core networking and perimeter firewall services followed by the server infrastructure and associated applications.
To address the licensing issues, Microsoft and VMWare licensing was updated and deployed, saving QPSL money and creating a more flexible working environment. Upgrades to newer versions of software is now more easily available and staged.
Using the latest virtualisation software, eight physical servers were consolidated to a single server running four virtual servers, resulting in power and licencing savings. This element of the project also delivered more options for backup and disaster recovery scenarios on and off-site. Smart agents were deployed to monitor remaining legacy servers so that any potential issues could be dealt with in a pro-active manner.
As QPSL has no dedicated IT department, comprehensive pro-active support was provided for the new infrastructure, including monitoring and management of the servers, firewall, backups and a service desk allows the customer to concentrate on their core business. The planning, consultation and documentation process with both QPSL and their third-party providers throughout the project ensured minimal disruption to the 24/7 manufacturing operation.
“With a comms room that resembled spaghetti junction, 8 servers running different operating systems and daily IT issues, we really needed help! Keytech has taken the time to really understand our IT environment and our business needs. Initially our focus was to go back to basics and establish a secure, consistent and robust platform to work from including the replacement of servers and upgrade of systems and licenses. From there, Keytech has helped us develop our Quality Management System in SharePoint, which is an integral part of our business. I think I have spoken to just about every member of the team at Keytech and they all approach problems with a can‐do attitude and take the time to explain things in simple language that I, as a non‐technical person, can understand.”