Simultech IT Appointed As International Project to Lead
Simultech IT was appointed to deliver the transition project. Managing Director Bharat Gorsia had prior experience working for Martins Brokers London office. CEO Stephen Welch selected Simultech IT to take on the IT support for the Netherlands in February 2015.
The first step was to split the data for the Amsterdam office from the data used by the London office.
The NetApp Storage Area Network solution was isolated so that only the Netherlands could see their data, and it could not be accessed by the London entity. Further permissions were given to the Stockholm office as required.
Before the transition, the company had 12 servers in a mirror set-up between London and Amsterdam, with six servers in each location. The Netherlands retained six servers after the split, decoupled from the UK office. Those six servers were then consolidated down to two.
A new Windows 2012R2 Active Directory domain was built in parallel to the existing AD domain, migration of users and groups was then carried out between the domains, this was to ensure a seamless cutover to the new segregated environment.
All PCs were enrolled to the new Wallich and Matthes domain, and shared Mailboxes were created for managers. Email distribution groups were reviewed and restructured.
The Amsterdam and Stockholm offices needed to be able to see one another’s data, so Simultech IT carried out replication between the two sites to enable this.
In addition to the Netherlands office, Simultech IT had to consider the requirements of a small entity in Stockholm. There was a requirement to bring the Stockholm data in line with the Netherlands, and Bharat visited the site to ensure that data was stored in the right places, and offer support and reassurance to the local teams.
As a hedge fund, it is essential that Wallich and Matthes are compliant with regulations on email retention. Simultech IT set up a 10-year email retention using a Mimecast configuration tool synced to Active Directory. This allowed all users to log into and check old emails under a single user name.
For virtual working, Simultech IT set up a server side VPN with two-factor authentication using an RSA token, to allow Wallich and Matthes users to work remotely without compromising security.
The split offered an opportunity to review existing hardware and software, and identify out of date, out of warranty and unsupported products. Simultech IT carried out replacements and upgrades across the board, including:
- Migrated to a new Windows 2012R2 Active Directory domain
- Groups and Users migrated using the Active Directory Migration Tool
- Upgrade from Microsoft Office 2010 to 2013
- Hybrid configuration of Office 365 including the migration of emails, mailboxes and shared calendars from on-premises to cloud. This included importing existing .pst files.
- Office 365 DirSync to sync Active Directory with Office 365
- CRM upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics working in partnership with a local CRM specialist
- Upgrade to Lync
- Anti-virus software update
- VMware upgrade to Version 5.1
- Replacement of out of warranty UPS power supply to run the servers
- New DHCP server in partnership with a local Network team
- Replacement of printers with configuration to Office 365
- Recommendations for wireless internet implementations in a possible new office, later deployed by the local Network team
- A move from tape back-ups to a network back-up on a removable drive
Mobile device management
Simultech IT led on the necessary change policies and processes. The existing desktop environment was heavily restricted. Working to the Group CEO, Simultech IT reviewed and customised group policies to relax this, while also adhering to the security policy.
Simultech IT was also responsible for mailbox policy, and set send and receive sizes, and designed the disclaimer for the email system via Mimecast.
When the transition project came to an end, Simultech IT conducted a knowledge share session to hand over to a local Netherlands outsourced IT support company. This was one of several local Netherlands teams that Simultech IT worked with closely to deliver outstanding results.