LOCATION

Ontario
Alberta
Nova Scotia
British Columbia

 

PROJECT LAUNCH

2022

INDUSTRY

Retail

SYNOPSIS

9 Locations Across Canada
Multiple Key Vendors

PROJECT SCOPE

MPLS Internet Service
Microsoft Office 365
Hosted VoIP
IT Support
Hardware Procurement
Infrastructure
Cyber Security
Cloud Adoption
Vendor Management

Working with Synchroworks over the past year and a half has been an excellent experience and their firm was the type of long-term partner that we were seeking. From top to bottom, everyone on their team are true professionals and a pleasure to work with. Getting us migrated from old technology and into the cloud was no easy task, but they really knew their stuff and we were able to fully trust the process with them. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them for the long term.

~ Hanif Balolia, President

OVERVIEW

Busy Bee Tools (Busy Bee) is a national seller and distributor of tools and manufacturing machines in Canada. In recent years, Busy Bee has seen substantial growth and, as a result, decided to seek out a strategic partner to ensure that their infrastructure can support further growth. As Busy Bee’s selected Managed Services Provider (MSP), Synchroworks performed an on-site assessment of the set-up that is the backbone of Busy Bee’s operations. Based on this assessment, Synchroworks worked closely with Busy Bee to optimize services and upgrade their existing infrastructure to meet current demands and growth in store locations across Canada.

SCOPE OF WORK OVERVIEW

1. Hardware

  • Workstations
  • Servers
  • Personal computers and devices
  • Routers, switches and cables
  • Battery backups
  • Printers
  • Intel NUCs

2. Software

  • Microsoft Office 365 E1
  • Microsoft Office 365 E3
  • Microsoft Azure D2V2 Cloud Server
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Sophos Firewall

3. Network

  • Internet and MPLS
  • VPN
  • Firewalls and security
  • RingCentral Hosted Voice (VoIP) and Call Centre
  • Data centers

OPPORTUNITIES AND SOLUTIONS

After a review of Busy Bee’s current infrastructure and an assessment of the client’s priorities and weak points, Synchroworks developed and executed a comprehensive plan that aligns with the requirements provided by the client. While this plan involved numerous solutions, our focus here will be on the four dominant solutions that were initiated across 9 locations throughout Canada.

MPLS Network / Internet Service Provider

Synchroworks partnered with Frontier Networks to implement an MPLS network across all Busy Bee retail sites and head office, allowing for a centralized management of their network. Our team acted as project managers for the implementation and migration and was responsible for physical router installation at all sites. Service cutover was completed across all locations simultaneously and during off hours in order migrate with zero downtime.

This implementation streamlined business operations, allowing for a single IP addressing scheme across the organization, visibility of the entire network from a central location, centralized VLAN implementation, and a centralized firewall solution. This solution increased internet speed at all sites, as it eliminated the overhead caused by VPN connectivity. By implementing an MPLS network, Busy Bee now operates on a more secure and robust network across Canada.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Synchroworks implemented a robust telecommunications solution with RingCentral. This was completed in a phased approach to ensure a successful transition and eliminate downtime. This process included:

  • Assessment of communication needs: Determined the number of users, locations, and communication channels required, including voice, video, and messaging.
  • RingCentral plan selection: Assisted client in selecting a RingCentral plan that best suited their budget and feature requirements.
  • Implementation preparation: Ensured network infrastructure, internet bandwidth, and hardware devices meet the requirements for a VoIP solution.
  • Installation and configuration: Installed desktop and mobile applications and configured settings to meet the company’s requirements
  • Employee training: Trained Busy Bee staff on how to use RingCentral, including how to make and receive calls and use the new call centre functionality
  • Testing and validating: Tested the new system to ensure that it functioned correctly and that all features operated as expected.

Network Hardware

Synchroworks assisted Busy Bee by providing expert guidance in hardware procurement. In addition to ordering and installing all required hardware, Synchroworks continues to monitor the hardware remotely and provide regular updates. This process included:

  • Assessment of business needs: Worked with the business to determine their specific hardware requirements based on size, industry, and unique workflows.
  • Hardware sourcing and installation: Utilized our established relationships with vendors and negotiated better pricing for hardware and software products. Once the hardware was ordered, installed it at all 9 store locations, ensuring that it was configured and operating correctly and efficiently.
  • Monitoring: On-going monitoring of the hardware, using specialized software that alerts us of any issues or failures.
  • Remote diagnosis: With remote access, Synchroworks can diagnose and resolve issues without the need for an on-site visit. This minimizes downtime and reduces costs for the business.

Microsoft Office 365

We delivered a streamlined and tailored Microsoft Office 365 migration to avoid downtime and ensure users maintained access to their email and email archives. Our email migration solution, which included email archiving, email security and email continuity, minimized the impact on current business processes, but also quickly reduced legacy infrastructure costs.

The process of migrating emails to Office 365 involved:

  • Assessment: Examined Busy Bee’s current email environment, including number of mailboxes, types of email systems used, and any other relevant factors.
  • Migration preparation: Before migrating, Synchroworks backed up existing email data and ensured all mailboxes met the necessary prerequisites.
  • Email migration: Emails were migrated smoothly and efficiently. Synchroworks utilized a staged migration approach to tackle the large volume of mailbox contents and avoid disruption to end-users.
  • Testing and validation: Once the email migration was complete, our team tested and validated the new environment to ensure that everything was working as expected.

Cloud Migration

After assessing the company’s IT infrastructure and determining that cloud adoption would be an ideal solution for a retailer that operates Canada-wide, the Synchroworks team identified which applications and services would be suitable for cloud migration. Once the migration was complete, the new cloud environment was tested thoroughly to ensure functionality and then deployed. Synchroworks performs ongoing management on Busy Bee’s cloud environment to ensure that the system is running smoothly, and any issues are addressed promptly.

Cloud migration has provided the client with significant benefits, including scalability, cost savings, flexibility, disaster recovery capabilities and connectivity across all locations. 

Cyber Security

Synchroworks has provided Busy Bee with robust security solutions to protect their network, infrastructure, and cloud environment from cyber threats. Our team has implemented security measures such as firewalls, anti-virus software, and intrusion detection systems.

Some of the cyber security services offered include:

  • Assessed and measured Busy Bee’s exposure to cyber security risk
  • Developed a strategy and vision for tackling their cyber security strategy
  • Designed and implemented secure IT systems
  • Identified and monitored malicious activity on networks

Busy Bee now has far greater confidence in its cyber security and, if the worst should happen, is equipped to respond quickly and effectively to minimize its business risk.

    Rosewood Winery Web

    Client gains scalable, centralized, and cost-effective infrastructure solutions with ZERO downtime.

    Over the course of one year, the Synchroworks team worked closely with Busy Bee to plan and execute a comprehensive and efficient network and infrastructure set-up. Our combined remote and in-person approach allowed us to oversee every step of the plan and ensure effective communication and strategizing was maintained throughout the process. With the new infrastructure in place, Synchroworks was able to optimize Busy Bee’s infrastructure to improve efficiency, reduce downtime, and increase productivity. The client now operates all store locations in a more streamlined approach, maintaining unified solutions across Canada.

    Centralized Printing Solution

    By implementing a centralized printing solution with more robust and feature rich printers, marketing can now print flyers and materials directly to the store, eliminating expensive shipping costs. 

    Centralized Telephony Solution

    By implementing the RingCentral solution, long distance fees were eliminated. We also implemented a more robust contact centre solution, providing reports that were previously unavailableThese reports provide management with an in-depth insight into contact centre efficacy.

    Improved Communications

    Vastly minimized out of date, unsupported technology that was causing increased cybersecurity risks, failures and downtime. Synchroworks brought all hardware to current technology and software versions. Our team also implemented virtual machines for legacy systems that required older software to be maintained, while improving hardware reliability.

    Revitalized Technology and Software

    By implementing Microsoft Teams across the organization, head office staff and store management can quickly and easily communicate in a much more stream-lined approach. Most meetings are held now over Teams, eliminating any previous telephony costs, and allowing staff to be more personal with video.

    Contact us now to find out how Synchroworks can benefit your business.

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