When a Cancer Charity asked us to look at their IT problems, it took no more than a quick site visit to identify their main problem. Their "network" was an eclectic pile of cables and boxes, bundled out of sight under a desk. Like many small business and charities we encounter, they'd been given a 'fit-and-forget' service, where no formal IT support was offered and the supplier simply moved on to their next customer. Not having the luxury of a dedicated IT person on-site, no-one realised that what they'd been left with simply wasn't acceptable. The result was a complete physical mess and a system that was slow and unreliable.
Unravelling the network cables and separating them from the mains supply was a start. This was quickly followed by the installation of a new network cabinet with shelves to house the devices, resulting in an immediately more stable network and the removal of a potential hazard.
As with many charities, value for money is critical and we needed to ensure that Charity X received as much value for money as we could possibly provide. To help them to achieve this, we installed a small server in the office which now acts as their mail server and file store. Not a huge investment, but a small step that made a huge difference. The result is that now that everyone can access shared files and access email. Stability and reliability have been massively improved.
Their broadband speed was extremely slow with Fibre Broadband currently unavailable at their location. This was an issue for them, so we shared two broadband lines via one appliance which provides an increase in speed over the original single line.
With the additional flexibility and resilience introduced, they now have a system which has grown from a couple of laptops to a more integrated, professional and useful system. With a mix of Windows laptops, iMacs and Mac Minis, the system provides a cost-effective and reliable platform for the staff to use with a minimum overhead cost.