Increases IT capacity and future-proofs for growth

Area of operation: Engineering

Founded: 1960′s

Number of sites: 15

Technology implemented:

  • comUnity Data
    –  managed WAN
    –  centralised internet and firewall
  • comUnity View
    –  system wide reporting tools

Key benefits:

  • Reduced downtime and quick fault resolution
  • Improved collaboration between branches and ease of access to applications
  • IT team now focused on business driven projects
  • Flexibility for future changes

Douglas Partners is a leading Australian engineering consultancy specialising in the fields of geotechnics, environment and groundwater. Clients use Douglas Partners services to manage the geotechnical and environmental risks associated with their projects; in Australia and South East Asia.

The existing network could no longer meet the capacity needs of the expanding business and was impacting staff productivity, so when the standing communications contract was coming to an end Douglas Partners seized the opportunity to improve performance.

“The network was creating problems for our 300 staff across the 15 branches by restricting their ability to work efficiently, their access to applications on the network, and collaboration,” said Neil Mercer, IT Manager, Douglas Partners.

“We were centralising many of the functions that were previously branch specific and we are on a growth trajectory. We knew we needed a suitable level of bandwidth as economically as possible to support this growth,” said Mercer.

Douglas Partners began investigating managed service providers that could deliver sufficient bandwidth and capacity for each branch, scalability, and a robust firewall.

An excellent track record of supporting customers was another important selection criterion as was a long-term strategic partnership beyond the term of the contract.

Proposals from seven suppliers were short-listed; with two meeting the budget criteria. The company’s board selected Enablis as preferred partner because they offered an affordable and tailored solution for each branch through its comUnity® Data platform.

“One of the reasons that Enablis was such a strong candidate is that they offered a solution that aggregated a range of carriers. They dedicated the time to reviewing each of our 15 branch offices and as a result we have a network tailored specifically to our business,” said Mercer.

Increased IT capacity has positive impact business-wide

One of the biggest pluses for the lean IT team has been a significant reduction in the time spent dealing with issues and complaints from staff, with a reduction in downtime and quick fault resolution.

Overall the business has benefited with greatly improved collaboration between branches and a network that can handle productivity increasing technologies such as video and web conferencing.

“Enablis’ managed service has increased the capacity of our lean IT team and this extra time is now focused on business driven projects. We’ve been able to implement a number of internal, centralised projects which have proven to have a positive impact on the business.

We can also easily access staff’s computers remotely for trouble-shooting, something which was previously impossible,” said Mercer.

Office moves have become quick and hassle-free under Enablis’ management. A recent move in Townsville took 30 minutes which is a remarkable achievement given that previous moves had taken three to four days to resolve all issues and problems.

“With Enablis handling the communications aspect the office move was amazingly quick and painless. This is indicative of the efficiency and performance gains we’ve achieved throughout our business,” said Mercer.

Future proofing for growth

At the core of the Enablis solution is the comUnity platform. comUnity Data provides a scalable, secure and flexible platform that provides the optimum data network across all the Douglas Partners sites.

“Douglas Partners is focused on further expanding its successful business and Enablis is committed to providing a best-in-class communications solution at a reduced cost. Our tailored and responsive managed service is perfectly suited to helping businesses on a growth trajectory because we can easily flex and change the solution to suit changing needs,” said Jon Evans, Managing Director, Enablis.

Douglas Partners is now looking to further centralise and consolidate relevant aspects of the business and increase productivity. On the table is; email system consolidation, instant messaging and new voice services via SIP.