T&J Installations, which has long been a client of Microtrading IT support, is one of the leading providers of technical and supply chain services to the UK drinks industry. The company specialises in the dispense of beer, cider, spirits, wine and soft drinks, as well as cellar cooling, refrigeration equipment and gas dispense systems.
The cloud computing journey of T&J began when it experienced issues with its organisational software. This had initially been run on T&J’s in-house, physical servers, however, through a series of circumstances became cloud-hosted by Microtrading. It was here that T&J was able to gain first-hand experience of the benefits of cloud computing.
T&J’s existing server had been in situ for about six years and the time had come to replace it. Following the success enjoyed with the cloud hosting of its organisational software, T&J made the decision to shift the majority of their IT infrastructure into the cloud.
The switch to an infrastructure as a service (IAAS) model has allowed T&J to utilise a wide range of benefits, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. With Microsoft Azure (Microsoft’s cloud computing platform), Microtrading migrated domain controllers, application servers and finance software onto Azure virtual machines, and moved T&J’s files and folders to SharePoint Online. This is all complemented by the transition to Microsoft Office 365 for all staff.
Andrew Penlington, Director of Microtrading, said: “We are delighted that T&J are now enjoying the wonders of cloud computing. With hosted services now so advanced, businesses needing to replace their server should consider a cloud solution; as, for all businesses, buying a new server would have been a large cost upfront for T&J, and once it’s bought, it’s bought.
“A physical server has a fixed specification, but with a cloud server you have a scalable solution that is accessible from anywhere. It’s not just an upgrade, it’s an upgrade that’s easy and inexpensive. They also no longer need to worry about maintaining their server room either, which is one less thing to think about.”
By using a cloud hosted server solution, T&J was able to better connect its regional depots with its Tamworth HQ. Previously, the desktops within these depots were not connected to the domain but now, because the IT infrastructure is hosted in Azure, it can be accessed from anywhere.
Ian D Jones, Finance Director of T&J Installations, said: “The benefits of our migration to the cloud have been an excellent improvement to our operations, not least for the centralisation of our admin functions which has allowed us to bring the depots closer together.
“It’s also made mobile working, which is intrinsic to our business, much easier from an IT point of view, with our installers able to interact with our IT infrastructure on the go.
“Financially, the fact that we now operate on a consumption-based model, whereby our servers are switched off when not required, is great – we’re only paying for what we use.
“As always, Microtrading has provided an excellent service. Due to the complexity and fast-moving nature of our operation, we require a very responsive IT support service and, thankfully, Microtrading provide just that.”