After a succession of challenges with cloud providers, Europarts Group made the decision to move to Xperience Group in spring 2015. They now have a more resilient, robust and secure cloud computing platform with built-in disaster recovery, while enjoying considerable cost savings on top.
In summary, moving cloud providers to Xperience Group has enabled Europart's to:
- Improve customer experience with slicker processes and faster response times
- Increase productivity of the remote staff by accessing business information wherever they happen to be
- Deliver exceptional levels of customer satisfaction through improved accessibility
IT Manager, Gareth Leslie, explains why the company decided to move to Xperience. “We’d been through several cloud providers,” he says. “One doubled its prices overnight and the other had one issue after another with regards the Citrix environment. Additionally, they didn’t own the hardware; they were simply ‘middlemen’. Not only were we paying more, we didn’t have direct access to Citrix expertise.
“We came to the realisation that we were going to have to build new servers from scratch. When I got a call from one of the sales guys at Xperience who explained that they were Citrix experts and they could save us money, I decided it was time to switch.”
“From the very first time we met with Xperience, everything seemed ‘just right’. Not only do they know Citrix inside out, they own and manage their equipment. So the people you speak to are the people that look after the platform. Owning their own kit also means they don’t have the mark-up of being a white label provider, so there are distinct cost savings as well.
“Moving to Xperience seemed like a win-win situation. They obviously knew what they were talking about and there was an air of quality about everything: their premises, their boardroom, even the quality of the coffee they served! Just as important for a company like us that needs 24/7/365 continuity, it looked as if the transition would be painless.
“Xperience devised a detailed plan spanning over a couple of months between May and June 2015. The move went so smoothly that many of our people weren’t even aware that anything was going on in the background. Even the Go Live date was trouble-free. No downtime, no upheaval, no complications - just a seamless changeover.”
“The benefits have been enormous,” says Gareth. “Because most of our glass distribution customers prefer to pick up the phone rather than order online, it’s critical that we have a stable telephone system. We used to have voice and data running over a single line with no point of failover. Now we have dedicated lines for voice, data and failover with a Cisco kit that includes auto failover, so our VoIP system is considerably more stable and resilient.
“It’s also easier for our people to work remotely. Citrix receivers can be installed onto remote users’ laptops. Plus, our glass distribution guys have remote desktop clients on their smartphones so they can access our server from wherever they happen to be.
“Security is better, too. We’ve installed quite a lot of new software which seems to be doing its job, making life a lot easier. And if I ever need support, I know I can call Xperience who will explain everything to me clearly, never technical jargon. Their engineers are friendly and helpful; there is a sense of duty and care which filters through from the top down.”
“For me, the major deciding factor was that Xperience could provide us with a resilient, stable and flexible cloud computing solution that would deliver failsafe business continuity. For our financial director, the deciding factor was cost. So we’re both happy.
“Xperience are now taking our resilience to the next level, installing Cisco routers and switches plus firewalls so every call centre has the same kit, something they didn’t have before. Certainly this will make things easier to manage and more robust as well as improving performance.
“I would encourage any business to talk to Xperience about moving into cloud computing. Even if they already have a cloud provider, I’d say: ‘Don’t feel that you’re locked in or that switching will be hassle. Get Xperience in to see what they can do for you.’
“That’s how it started with us. I got a call from the sales guy and he assured me that it was something I should be looking into. We haven’t looked back. We have a more robust and resilient system that costs us less to run. As for the switchover itself, it went so smoothly that I only wish we’d done it sooner!
Based in Dungannon, the Europarts Group is an automotive parts and Glass Wholesale distributor, providing car and van parts from the worlds foremost leading brands. With over 28 years of experience ESG (Glass division) is the largest independent distributor of automotive glass and other associated products to the replacement market in Ireland.