StoneHouse help Adams & Co replace windows server 2003 platform with Office 365 and latest Windows server
When a long-used and trusted piece of software comes to the end of its life, the impact on an organisation’s day-to-day operations can be disruptive if the problem is not tackled in the right way.
Established for over 30 years, Adams & Co is an accountancy practice with offices in Clitheroe, Liverpool and Ormskirk in the North West of England. They have built up a loyal client list of more than 400 SMEs, to which they offer general accountancy and tax services as well as full audits. With less than ten staff, they are heavily dependent on their IT investment to ensure they can provide their clients with the high level of service and support they have come to expect.
Adams & Co had been using Microsoft Windows Server 2003 as the core of their IT platform for many years. However, in 2014 Microsoft announced that they would be ending support for the product in 2015. This necessitated a change as Ian Walton, a partner at Adams & Co, explained.“We were not prepared to run the risk of our systems and data being compromised due to the ending of updates and support for Windows Server 2003. This meant that we had to look at alternatives and implement a new solution in good time to ensure there was no disruption to our business.”
Ian had worked with StoneHouse when he had previously been involved with another business. “I was impressed with the way they engaged with people who were not IT savvy and the quality of their work,” he said. As a result he immediately approached StoneHouse to ask them to look at alternatives to replace the obsolete Windows Server 2003 platform with a modern, future-proofed and cost-effective solution that would ensure Adams & Co were not faced with the same problem a few years down the line.
After reviewing Adams & Co immediate and future requirements StoneHouse’s consultants recommended migrating to Office 365 to provide the necessary collaboration tools and implementing a Windows server 2012 to run the specialised accountancy and tax software that is vital in delivering Adams & Co services.
StoneHouse then carried out the migration of existing email accounts as well as other files to Office 365 as well as configuring and installing the new Windows 2012 server. “This was done in a way that minimised downtime for us,” explained Ian. Office 365 offers organisations anywhere access to collaboration tools that employees need to be productive. It delivers enterprise grade security,features and reliability offering the best combination of cloud-based collaboration tools available for an organisation.
The Future Challenges
“With Office 365 it is much easier to dial in from any of our locations as well as customer sites and access emails and important documents,” concluded Ian. “It is also future-proofed, so we don’t need to bother about obsolescence, patches and upgrades. Also, because it is on a subscription basis it is flexible enough to easily and quickly cope with staff changes.“This changeover was a necessary but expensive project for a small business like ours. StoneHouse have been excellent in delivering on time and within budget. They have the right calibre of staff to solve any problems that are encountered and they are always very friendly and helpful. “We now have the comfort in knowing that our IT investment is both up-todate and secure and with StoneHouse available to solve any problems that we might encounter in the future I believe we will be well looked after.”