When time is money, modern software is imperative


It’s a busy time for Arthur Natsioulas, Professional Services Leader at Combo, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. As of today, July 14 Windows Server 2003 will no longer be supported so Arthur has been busy working with his clients to ensure they migrate off Windows Server 2003.

As a trusted IT provider to professional services organisations around Australia, Combo takes a proactive approach with its clients. Arthur and his team formulate annual IT roadmaps for each client that highlight where the customer is at, and where they will be at the end of the year. Of course, the end of support date for Windows Server 2003 was a key component of this year’s roadmap.

One of their clients, Williams Ross Architects (WRA), is a firm based in Melbourne with a strong commitment to high quality design and architecture within the time and cost goals of their clients. For WRA the migration from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 brings, among other things, peace of mind for the firm.

“Security and client confidentiality are crucial for all our clients. As technology gets older the security risks increase, with Williams Ross Architects we made the decision that the risk in not migrating was becoming too high and it was imperative that we move to Windows Server 2012 R2 in order to negate some of those vulnerabilities,” said Arthur Natsioulas.

‘We knew that the threat of having our data corrupted or stolen was going to be far too costly to both ourselves and our clients.  Working with Combo to upgrade our IT infrastructure was the most cost effective solution to the issues we were facing,’ said Leanne Reed, Business Manager, Williams Ross Architects.

In combination with the server upgrade, WRA has also moved to Office 365. Some of the directors tend to work remotely, even sometimes from holiday houses so enabling them, along with the other 20 employees, to have the user experience of Windows Server 2012 with Office 365 will lead to major increases in productivity, with less time spent navigating through old and slow software.

For professional services firms, time is quite literally money, so being online and productive is crucial to helping the bottom line.

Another client that Arthur is helping to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 is Terrain Consulting Group. Also based in Victoria, Terrain is a well-established town planning and land surveying consultancy who work on industrial, commercial and residential projects.

Due to large file transferring with councils and other architects, their system was slowing them down as inboxes were becoming full without file sharing functionality. Due to the nature of the work, employees are often on the road and mobility capabilities are imperative for them to provide seamless and professional client service.

Further, compliance and security was a really big factor for Terrain as, being town planners and dealing with a lot of councils, they had to ensure standards and requirements were met.

“We had a few bugs along the way but that’s what happens when you go from a 12 year old version to the latest and greatest without the incremental upgrades along the way. The team at Terrain understood where they were coming from and where they were going to and knew how important jumping that gap would be for the future business,” said Arthur Natsioulas.

“We deal with a lot of stakeholders, and the ability to share content, some of which comes in extremely large files quickly and easily is extremely important. By working with the team at Combo to upgrade our infrastructure not only are we able to seamlessly share files but we can do so on the go, wherever our consultants may be,” said Andrew Smith, director, Terrain Consulting.

“Upgrading is so vital for all of these professional service firms to remain competitive in their individual fields. When they’ve got an older system that’s constantly crashing or having regular outages, there’s only so many people they can service and they lose revenue as a direct result,” said Arthur Natsioulas.

Arthur encourages other professional services firms to look at Williams Ross Architects and Terrain Consulting Group as examples of businesses that are reaping the benefits of an upgrade.

“Whether it be for security, productivity or mobility, businesses still running old servers need to be acting and upgrading now before it is too late,” concluded Arthur.

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