Sheppard Rockey and Williams Case Study

Client Overview

SRW are a firm of Chartered Accountants based in Exminster, Exeter, Devon offering professional accountancy and taxation services to a wide range of clients.

Just four miles outside of Exeter city centre, SRW offer a comprehensive range of services, including basic accounting and tax compliance work, tax planning and consultancy as well as business advice for starts-ups and growing enterprises.

Steve Williams started what became the major part of the practice in 1985 and was probably the first accountancy practice in the Exeter locality to be fully computerised at that time.

Sheppard Rockey & Williams formed in 2006 from the merger of two sole practices. SRW now serve clients across Devon, the UK and overseas.

SRW had been through a number of software & hardware evolutions as the business grew. As software became more professional and with those previous experiences meant that AME had to provide a service to a challenging and demanding client.

The Requirement

With a growing work force that had now reached 20 employees, working from a server that was 6 years old and a phone system that was 10 years old, a complete ICT refresh was required to enable the company to continue to grow and utilise the latest technology and software.

AME were asked to advise on the best strategy to improve the ICT, providing a more functional, reliable, secure and future proof system.

AME’s Solution

Through our consultation with SRW, reviewing the existing setup and future requirements our proposed virtual server environment was installed at the core of the solution.

VMware virtualisation software enabled us to install four Servers on a new custom specification HP server and management console. On one virtual server, we installed Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. This provided a centralised data store for files and email, enabling the teams to share information more effectively and utilise Microsoft Outlook for booking meetings, sharing calendars and much more. We migrated two existing application servers running SQL 2008, IRIS and Sage accounts software to virtual servers allowing for the old hardware to be decommissioned. A new fourth virtual server enable us to install 3CX, one of the world’s leading software based VOIP PBX.

One of the most important aspects of any server infrastructure is backup and disaster recovery. Using Veeam Backup Essentials and two NAS boxes (Network Attached Storage), a full offsite backup and replication solution was setup, not only to restore individual files and emails, but the entire virtual servers.

Several products were installed for cyber security and to protect the network and users. Sophos Central Endpoint, Sophos Central Server and Sophos Pure Message detect and block viruses, spyware, spam, phishing schemes, hacker attacks, and stops email threats before they reach the network. In conjunction, Sophos Central Intercept X was added to the security suite to protect against ransomware attacks, providing an integrated security solution.

To replace the old and costly analogue phone system, we installed a new fibre internet line through Zen Internet, which enable us to implement a VOIP solution using 3CX. The 3CX phone system for Windows is a software-based IP PBX and was installed into the virtual environment. This feature rich product provided many new features such as voicemail to email, auto attendant, call queuing, android/IPhone integration and much more. The VOIP solution not only provided these new features but has significantly reduced the annual communication costs, by reducing the physical lines previously required and lowering call costs.

Our Microsoft, Sophos and 3CX certified engineers installed and configured the entire project with very little disruption to the business and through our proactive support package, the network is monitored and maintained, ensuring the system is always functioning to its highest level.

Client Review

Having worked with Steve and Simon and their team at AME for many years, I had a 100% trust in them to provide a solution that was going to take our IT forward and give us a system that would be reliable and scalable to handle all of our applications. I have been extremely impressed with the new virtual server environment and the new phone system has reduced our phone bill by over 80%.

I am so pleased they recommended Sophos security products, especially Intercept X. With the increase in ransomware and sophisticated emails that can easily fool an employee, I now have the peace of mind that I have protection cable of stopping these kind of cyber-attacks.

I would not hesitate to recommend AME Solutions – Steve Williams, Director or Sheppard Rockey & Williams.

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