Maximising efficiencies to transform Thermatic into a truly modern workplace
“We weren’t prepared for any remote working situation, but SaaSAge helped us get the essentials in place ahead of lockdown. We faced major challenges with our server setup and our telephone system.”
When it comes to high-quality, cost-effective mechanical or electrical air conditioning solutions, Thermatic know what they’re doing. As specialists in technical facilities management, their multi-skilled engineering services are second to none at efficient and cost effective HVACR & Drainage services.
But when it comes to IT systems, Thermatic needed a trusted partner to help achieve the same high quality, efficiencies and cost savings they offer their clients.
“We’d been working with the SaaSAge team for over a year when Andrew got in touch in early 2020 to warn us of how we might all be working differently in the coming months.”
Richard Worswick, Group Finance Director
After helping Thermatic move their email systems to Microsoft 365 and seeing good results, the group knew they could trust our insight and advice. So when SaaSAge managing director Andrew Doyle shared an email in January 2020 warning of changes to the way we all work due to the impending impact of Covid-19, directors at the company knew something needed to be done.
“We weren’t prepared for any remote working situation, but SaaSAge helped us get the essentials in place ahead of lockdown. We faced major challenges with our server setup and our telephone system,” says Richard.
As well as wanting to prepare their current, office-based systems for a move to remote working, Thermatic were also faced with server hardware that was old and outdated, running out of space and proving difficult to manage.
The team were working from laptops which could connect to remote desktops away from the office, but the server was causing bottlenecks. Speed was too slow. The number of permitted connections was too low (limiting the number of people). And resources were lacking to resolve the growing issues.
“SaaSAge identified which areas could be improved, or moved to the cloud, and which needed to be replaced to really maximise efficiencies.”
As with any engineering problem that Thermatic might face, our first step was diagnosis, followed by a cost-effective triage process. We looked at the current set-up, identifying exactly what was running, how systems were being used and where improvements could be made.
We prioritised systems with a three-step approach: immediate on-site improvements, a move to the cloud, or full replacement recommendations.
“That approach showed they really cared about helping with our specific problems, and weren’t just recommending a one-size-fits-all approach. We kept older setups where we could, repurposed others and changed where we had to,” says Richard.
We implemented a Modern Workplace approach, moving applications to more flexible tools, installing Windows 10 with Microsoft 365 and adding an extra layer of security across the business, with all systems managed from the cloud using Microsoft Intune.
This laid the foundations for remote working, shifting away from their reliance on an outdated server. It also ensured all data on staff laptops could be kept secure.
To make further cost savings, our analysis showed Thermatic’s current top-of-the range Meraki firewall was not fit for purpose, so we replaced it with a cheaper, more effective Draytek option.
While that took care of the underlying challenges, we hadn’t yet implemented the transformations that would ensure the Thermatic team could effortlessly work remotely.
For day to day operations, we focused on a carefully planned move to Microsoft Teams. We analysed the structure and set up of physical departments to recreate the necessary Teams and Channels online, creating efficient workflows and moving over all files and folders into a clearly defined hierarchy.
We worked closely with the on-site IT team, providing templates and assisting with software installation across all devices and laptops.
And we made sure Thermatic really could work from home and continue to thrive during lockdown, by implementing a new Microsoft Teams Phone System.
“We started lockdown with one phone number going to one mobile, which wasn’t a feasible way to run our business. Now every team member has a dedicated line and we have a highly effective three tier phone system that makes sure no calls are missed.”
Supporting the service and repair of essential air conditioning units across the country required more than one mobile-diverting phone line and remote desktop connectivity to an older server.
Now Thermatic have multiple phone lines, each with their own dedicated account manager. They have a highly effective three tier phone system – with an emergency line – to ensure all calls are answered. And they have a single point of communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams.
Within seven months, 100 people had moved from a hotchpotch setup reliant on an old server, to all computers and mobile devices managed remotely from a cloud-based system.
All can be remotely updated, locked down or wiped entirely to prevent data breaches. All staff can work from anywhere in the world.
As the business grows, new staff can be quickly onboarded with unlimited scalability, as the systems are no longer tied to the old, low-capacity server.
We even repurposed server hardware for use in another part of the business to minimise waste, as there were economical benefits to keeping it operational before an upgrade in a few years’ time.
Having gained Thermatic’s trust over several years, they were willing to invest the time into a move to Modern Workplace – a move that delivered truly transformative results in the form of glowing feedback from staff members on Microsoft Teams, new efficiencies and the new, more effective, remote way of working.
“SaaSAge have helped us move to a truly remote way of working, with migrations to Microsoft 365, Teams and Office. It’s changed the way we operate and allowed us to grow our operations, and we’re safe in the knowledge we can manage our business from anywhere, with complete flexibility, accessibility and security,” adds Richard.
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