Hybrid working, high performance business

EIMS – Seamless hybrid working for a global business

Bedroq EIMS Case Study

EIMS – Seamless hybrid working for a global marketing business

EIMS partner with Bedroq to commission an IT strategy overhaul and complete a global rollout while all staff are working remotely

A market-leading agency with an established international presence

EIMS is a sales and marketing agency dedicated to helping technology companies grow their revenues globally, across Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas. EIMS delivers maximum value to its clients by investing in systems, people, and building a strong company culture that is focused on client outcomes.

The Coronavirus pandemic accelerated the need for an IT strategy review. Johann Edward, Director of EIMS said ‘At first everyone was happy working from home, but attitudes and working practices evolved during multiple lockdowns, and both the business and staff became more demanding of all aspects of IT, across software, service, and equipment. As we developed new ways of working, we needed our IT to adapt, and that meant upgrading or replacing most of our IT.’

EIMS’ clients were largely unaffected by the pandemic, and they expected EIMS to continue providing a high‐quality service, while simultaneously implementing a new IT strategy to better support their changing requirements.

IT was a hindrance and a blocker

Bedroq’s engagement with EIMS began with an IT strategy review, to identify the problems with the existing infrastructure and develop a point‐ by‐ point plan to improve it. There was no future strategy roadmap in place because the incumbent supplier required EIMS to sign up for a further three‐ year contract before they would consider tackling the problems.

The previous MSP hosted business applications and data in a single data centre with a complicated and unreliable network architecture. During peak times, such as when users first logged on, the system slowed to a snails’ pace.

‘We had people turning on their computers in the morning and then going off to eat their breakfast or take a shower, hoping that the system would allow them to start work by the time they got back to their desk.’ Mike Porter – Head of Onboarding

The slow IT systems affected EIMS’ ability to retain top talent, and risked employees finding their own methods of accessing data they needed, which created potential for a future security breach.

Using IT to give the business a competitive edge

Having identified problems with existing technology, and understood future requirements, Bedroq created an IT strategy and a proof‐ of‐ concept environment to show how the plan would work in practice. EIMS’ leadership team wanted the new environment to be cloud based but had some legacy apps that would need to be rewritten first. Bedroq worked around this by implementing a temporary Windows Virtual Desktop to host legacy applications, while moving most business operations into the Azure cloud.

All employees were moved onto Microsoft 365, giving them the ability to collaborate on documents and access the data they needed wherever they are working.

The whole environment is secured with Azure AD and Intune Endpoint protection, managed with Microsoft Endpoint Manager. This allows for secure hybrid working as staff are able to login to the work environment and work from anywhere. Admins can set rules for what kind of information can be shared and restrict the
movement of confidential documents. All staff, whether working from home or in one of the EIMS offices around the world, experience the same fast, secure login and ability to collaborate with one another.

Preparation is key

Rolling out a new IT environment globally across four time zones while everyone was working remotely brought its own challenges. With most users working from home most of the time, preparation was key to the success of the project. Head of Onboarding, Mike Porter said ‘We essentially had over 500 individuals moving onto a whole new system. We had to provide support for them which would ordinarily have been on‐ site.’

Preliminary user acceptance testing was conducted early in the project with small groups from each site. These users were given small tasks to check they were able to use the new system and access everything they needed. Once the user acceptance testing was successful, implementation then commenced for the rest of the EIMS team.

Prior to ‘go‐ live’ Bedroq conducted drop‐ in sessions twice a day in each time zone, teaching staff how to use new features, such as MFA. In addition to the drop‐ in sessions, a website was populated with help videos and articles to guide people through the new technology. These training methods ironed out many of the issues normally encountered when users migrate to a new system, leaving Bedroq’s service desk free to pick up bigger issues that occurred.

A simultaneous rollout around the globe

Migrating to the new system site‐ by‐ site may sound like an easier method, but this can cause problems for the locations left on the old system who would no longer be getting the most up‐ to‐ date information. Therefore, it was decided the best option for EIMS was to migrate their New Zealand, Spain, UK, and USA sites to the new system simultaneously. The different in time zones meant that shortly after the migration completed in the USA, the staff in New Zealand were waking up and ready to start work on their new upgraded infrastructure. The preparation work that had taken place prior to rollout meant that everything ran smoothly.

What’s next for EIMS

Following the completion of phase one of the project, EIMS experienced an immediate improvement in their IT service delivery and now has a clear IT strategy to support the business. Users are no longer having to wait to login and the process of sharing documents has become much more straightforward and secure. Part of the requirement for this project was enabling EIMS staff to be able to work from anywhere and giving them the secure access they needed to do their jobs. This was achieved by allowing staff to work remotely using their own personal devices. The next phase of Bedroq’s partnership with EIMS will involve upgrading all hardware across the business, providing each member of staff with a laptop that can be used from home or connected to external monitors in the office.