How The IT Team made Pencarrow’s day

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Chris Schulz

Their IT system was in desperate need of an update, but Pencarrow didn't want to risk its security. That's when The IT Team stepped in to help.

Lloyd Percival knew the risks involved in updating Pencarrow PE’s IT platform were huge.

“If our IT infrastructure is compromised at any level, it’s a high risk that we don’t want to deal with,” admits the finance manager for the Wellington-based private equity firm.

At stake during the switchover was the integrity and security of the company’s private information, files on their investment portfolios, and information about their customers, being made public.

“We’re dealing with sophisticated investors and numerous portfolio company investments,” says Percival. “And it is imperative we maintain security of this information.”

Things at the private equity company needed to remain private.

But, at the same time, their technology needs had changed.

Pencarrow’s IT system was ageing and restrictive, requiring a drastic overhaul to bring it up to date. Staff needed more functionality, stability and the ability to work on documents together in real time, with no loss of security.

That’s when The IT Team stepped into help.

The problems

At the beginning of 2019, Pencarrow’s IT systems were outdated with staff struggling to do simple things, like collaborating, working remotely, or signing documents safely online.

“We were on a terminal server environment, that was not optimal for our changing needs,” says Percival.”(If you wanted to work from home) you had to take your laptop and log into the terminal server and there were performance issues with that.”

Even worse were inefficiencies that arose when multiple staff were working on the same documents, often working on the wrong version.

Percival knew a brighter future for Pencarrow was possible. “We could see that there were benefits to working in the cloud,” he says.

But when Pencarrow approached their IT provider at the time, “They said no. As they did not support Office 365”.

Connon Daly, general manager of The IT Team, says he could immediately see the problems facing Pencarrow when they got in touch at the beginning of 2019.

“Pencarrow didn’t feel confident in their online security,” says Daly. “They felt in the dark about their security position. They also didn’t feel they were able to have much control or influence over their IT system.”

Pencarrow had seen data leaks happen at other companies, and didn’t want to go through the same thing.

“They were using a shared system and were very concerned that their data could be viewed by other organisations,” says Daly.

At the same time, they wanted staff to have the ability to do their work remotely, safely, if and when they needed to.

“They weren’t able to do what they wanted to do or take advantage of collaboration capabilities very well, away from the office or offline,” says Daly.

Pencarrow wanted all of that – and they wanted to save money on their IT system too.

The solutions

Changing a company’s IT system is a massive undertaking, and can often take many months, or even years.

The IT Team managed to switch Pencarrow over in just eight weeks.

“We knew it wouldn’t take long for Pencarrow to start seeing the value of changing from a very traditional and expensive system to a Microsoft cloud server-based system,” says Daly.

“It’s a modern, unrestricted, economic IT system with massive potential to add and adapt to new tools and services. We were pleased with Lloyd and Pencarrow’s forward-facing outlook on technology to take a leap of faith with us.”

Using Microsoft 365 and Azure, Pencarrows team are easily able to work in Microsoft apps like Office and Outlook, as well as Adobe and DocuSign, from their phones or laptops without logging into a VPN.

When multiple staff work on documents, time stamps and version logs are saved.

Crucially, that means staff don’t need to be in the office to get their jobs done.

Percival says he’s more than happy with the changes The IT Team has made.

“We’re working more efficiently, and remotely. It’s allowed us to be more agile. Once we moved to an Office 365 environment, and upgraded the hardware, it gave us better autonomy to move around.”

And he couldn’t be more pleased with the timing of the changeover, which meant Pencarrow was prepared when a worldwide pandemic reached New Zealand just a few months after their IT switch was completed.

“We moved to The IT Team in September, 2019. As part of that, we updated everyone with new hardware, so when Covid-19 hit, we had a whole lot of spare screens that we just farmed out for use at home,” says Percival.

Staff were able to take them and quickly set up a home-based office, using apps like Zoom and Teams to keep up with their work and communicate without any of the issues that were dogging them before the changeover.

“Coordinating, communicating and working collaboratively was one of the remits behind why we moved,” says Percival.

“The stars,” he laughs, “must have been aligned.”

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Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz has 20 years experience writing about New Zealand's technology and entertainment industries. He lives in Auckland.

The I.T. Team

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The I.T. Team delivers reliable, well managed and cost-effective I.T. services to medium-sized organisations around New Zealand. Our focus is on providing proactive technology advice, backed by fixed price, best in class Managed Services.

Infrastructure modernisation

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The term Infrastructure Modernisation rose from the expensive struggle businesses face maintaining, upgrading and scaling their digital content infrastructure requirements. This infrastructure refers to data center hardware, including all the storage servers, network devices, operating systems and middleware that allow companies to store, protect and access content. It’s usually complex, expensive to manage, a hassle to manage and update, hard to expand, and, in many cases, needs modernising.

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