MIGRATING TO THE CLOUD – WHEN IS THE TIME RIGHT? 

HONG KONG RUGBY UNIONA CLOUD CASE STUDY

Since 2014 when FunctionEight (F8) acquired one of its competitors we have developed a close and valuable partnership with our friends at the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU).

A prestigious and well known brand name in Hong Kong, the HKRU have proven to be an excellent client who not only listen to our recommendations but also work with us closely to ensure our support matches their needs. This was exactly the type of client FunctionEight look to have.

As with all acquisitions there is a certain amount of potential unknown around the client base which always proves as a challenge to develop sufficient working knowledge of the client’s IT Infrastructure and environment such that ongoing support and maintenance can be efficiently and well delivered.

As was the case with the HKRU.  During this initial period the HKRU were amazing in giving the flexibility to allow F8 to get up to speed and they worked closely with us to ensure we had all the information we needed.  This included the audit of their infrastructure which as is the case with many clients at that time there was an inhouse Microsoft Exchange Server running the client’s email.

Over the last 5 years F8 has had the honour to maintain all the infrastructure for the HKRU and during this period the HKRU have entrusted us with various hardware changes and warranty upgrades as well as software updates and patches to ensure the solution is up to date and secure.

During this time the HKRU has been extremely successful in the development of grass roots rugby in Hong Kong and now proudly has 5 sites around Hong Kong and 130 users respectively.  As with all companies the use of email has significantly increased over the years.  Another factor is the backup which takes not only an increasing amount of time to complete but also an ever-increasing amount of time to perform restores either for validation or recovery purposes.

We are very happy that the HKRU has been very patient and methodical in strategy and the planning of a major overhaul in their infrastructure.  Their approach has been to listen to our advice, ask the right questions and work with us as we negotiate the best deal from vendors etc that we can.

Unless you have had your head in the sand or lived on a remote island with no internet for the last two years you will be aware that Microsoft Windows 7, Office 2010, Server 2008 and Exchange Server 2010 are all End Of Life during 2020.

The HKRU most certainly has not had its head in the sand and always has shown great awareness to listen to our recommendations.  The HKRU has over 100 computers using these solutions and the total cost to replace them with new licenses was significant.  This is where our advice of Microsoft new monthly licensing plan came in to play.  The new model allows companies to pay monthly fees and keep up to date with the latest versions without having to purchase any new licenses.  This for many companies is the most cost-effective way to move forward and the HKRU to their credit listened to this and acted accordingly.

With this solution comes the inevitable discussion of moving everything to the cloud.  Cost of replacing servers, firewalls, backup solutions plus the maintenance costs meant that the monthly cost of fees to Microsoft made complete financial, business and maintenance sense.

F8 is honoured to be entrusted with performing a complete upgrade of all workstations and at the same time migrating to Cloud Azure and a Hybrid Exchange Environment.  This process started in planning mode over 18 months ago such that we could get budget approval and also fit the upgrade into a timeline that works for the HKRU.

HKRU has trusted us with this migration and we are confident that the HKRU will see not only a smoother running email solution but also benefit from all the other applications that come along with the Microsoft 365 product base which we are sure will enhance their productivity.

Written by Phil Aldridge 

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