Case Study: Amersham Town Council

Amersham Town Council works with Complete I.T. to implement Microsoft 365

Amersham Town Council carried out a competitive tender process in 2013 to appoint a new IT services provider. Complete I.T. were appointed as they appeared to offer the best equipment and service levels at the most competitive price.

The Problem

The Town Council were struggling with their existing IT infrastructure. It was failing repeatedly, leading to outages across the network, and there was a concern that the aged server would soon fail terminally, leaving the Council administrative function stranded. IT was critical to the smooth running of the Town Council, and with the business spread across two separate sites and involved in the administration of functions such as cemeteries, allotments and other community services, they needed a reliable and flexible solution. The Town Council officers also needed the ability to work remotely on Council business, accessing e-mails and files from their personal computers.

Amersham Town Council

The Solution – Why Microsoft 365?

The team from Complete I.T. carried out an audit to assess the Town Council’s requirements and decided on the best solution for them. Microsoft 365 was selected as the most appropriate package for the organisation as it not only provided the flexibility they were looking for but, being cloud based, also provided additional business continuity assurance as files and e-mails could be accessed remotely and via any machine connected to the internet. This meant that if the organisation suffered a power cut, or the office was closed for any reason, the administration of the Town Council could continue.

Also, Microsoft were in the process of replacing Small Business Server with Office 365 and the Town Council were keen to future proof their IT.

The Town Council were increasingly moving towards working hours outside the normal 9-5, which meant that they had to have access to files and e-mails away from the office, and from personal laptops and computers. The solution therefore had to be robust and offer high levels of security.

The Council was also looking to expand its current operations by opening a Tourist Information Office in the town as well as delivering additional services to residents and communities. The flexibility of Microsoft 365 was perfect for this – allowing the Council to scale up the number of users that it had at any time as well as the cloud based product facilitating remote working for employees, via Microsoft Outlook.

Technical Installation

Complete I.T. replaced the 6 year old Microsoft Small Business 2003 server with Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials on new HP Proliant Server hardware. Windows Server 2012 R2 was the latest and most current version of Microsoft operating system. The Windows 2012 R2 Essentials product is designed to work with Office 365, this provided Enterprise class e-mail services in the cloud for the Council.

The solution also offered the following advantages:
• Latest Windows Server Operating System providing additional functionality
• No single point of failure
• Lower specification of hardware required due to server requirements
• Cloud based e-mail accessible from any Internet enabled computer

Securing Microsoft 365 Data Privacy and Compliance

Experience of working with Complete I.T.

Amersham Town Council were really pleased with how smoothly the transition went. Having expected to lose over half a day for the new systems to be implemented, they were pleasantly surprised that systems were only offline for around half an hour, meaning that minimal working time was lost.

Janet Wheeler, the Town Clerk, said,

“We were initially concerned that the transition to Microsoft 365 would be difficult. We have lots of specialist software to deal with our allotments, cemeteries and accounts, and we anticipated that these might cause problems when Complete I.T. came in to carry out the transition. However, we needn’t have been worried. The speed and ease of the implementation was absolutely brilliant, far better than expected. The guys from Complete I.T. were so easy to work with, and any teething problems with the system have been sorted out quickly and efficiently’.

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