Enterprise capabilities with internet connection for Warwick Wine Estate
The food and beverage industry is a fast moving, competitive one. Warwick Wine Estate’s beautiful vineyards, cellars, restaurant and picnic area is part of the Stellenbosch Winelands. They needed an internet connection that offered a communication and data technology system that would allow for ease of use but using an ISP email solution was making this difficult. The estate’s location outside of Stellenbosch, meant that their options for internet connectivity was limited. Because Crimson Line assured them, limited connectivity didn’t need to keep them out of the cloud.
Warwick Estate used their ISP’s generic email solution. Although it is inexpensive, it is labour intensive to manage. For example, it was a manual process to backup and archive users’ email. They also had a need for shared mailboxes, but the ISP’s solution did not have this functionality. It was difficult to whitelist (opposite to blacklist, e.g. the user needs to receive email from the sender) domains to prevent non-spam email being caught in the spam filter. Since there was no central console in the ISP’s solution for managed IT support, it was difficult to guard against viruses and to prevent phishing attempts. They had been victims of numerous ransomware attacks that resulted in hours being lost to the recovery process of data. These ransomware attacks were as result of successful phishing attempts and an aging operating system.
As Warwick Wine Estate’s number of employees grew it became time-consuming to schedule meetings between staff who could be located anywhere on the Estate’s grounds. Electronically shared calendar functionality would solve this problem.
The Internet Connection Solution
Microsoft Office 365 is a cost-effective and easy to manage subscription service product from Microsoft that incorporates Microsoft’s cloud services and a copy of the latest Microsoft Office. It is the clear solution for Warwick Wine Estate. Crimson Line, with whom they have a longstanding relationship, and who has various Microsoft competencies, was the preferred cloud solutions provider.
On suggestion from Crimson Line that Warwick Wine Estate migrate to Office 365, they immediately (and expectantly) raised the concern that they didn’t have fibre. Operations manager, Martin Gebers explains “When Crimson Line recommended we move to Office 365, we were worried that our problems would only get worse because of our connectivity issues. They reassured us that this wouldn’t be the case as we could still work on our files and email in Office 365, even if we had limited internet connectivity.”
Crimson Line recommended that Warwick Wine Estate also subscribe to Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). Because it’s a cloud-based email filtering service that helps protect an organisation against unknown malware and viruses. By providing robust zero-day protection and includes features to safeguard an organisation from harmful links in real time. Because this was recommended as past phishing attempts were successful, meaning users were finding it difficult to distinguish between authentic and phishing emails.
The migration to Office 365 saw a reduction in the man hours related to managing email backup and archiving resulting in a substantial operational expenditure saving.
In this instance, the migration was a manual process for two reasons:
1. There were bandwidth limitations at Warwick Wine Estate; and
2. Due to the ISP email application from which the migration was being done.
The only way to handle this migration, was by doing a “cutover”. Because it meant taking Warwick Wine Estate off-line for a time-period. Thus to limit the disruption, it is done over a weekend with each mailboxes’ PST file assembled on an external hard drive. Therefore this hard drive was taken to a Crimson Line’s office that had a high bandwidth connection to ensure a quick upload. Since Warwick Wine Estate had limited bandwidth. Outlook was configured to keep three months’ worth of email on a device while the remainder resided in the cloud.
Crimson Line’s project process flow for the migration to Office 365 starts with mail. It’s the easiest component for users to familiarise themselves with.
Deliverables through the internet connection
- Office 365 readiness assessment
- Drive user adoption through training.
- Migration will be done after hours to limit downtime.
Key Customer Benefits
- Increased reliability
- Reduced local server footprint
- Reduced IT cost through eliminating server maintenance
- Shared calendar functionality for users
- Shared mailboxes to decrease response time
- Increased protection against phishing attempts
- User adoption through training