As one of the UK’s leading construction and cost consultants covering all aspects of the built environment and building assets. Quartz specialise in Project Management, Building and Quantity Surveying.
Quartz Project Services manage and deliver construction projects across the UK. Staff often work remotely, so it is crucial that Quartz’s team are able to access email, files and applications from a variety of locations, not just their Mayfair or Manchester offices. Quartz were concerned about the inherent security and availability risks associated with running on-premise infrastructure. This architecture also made it difficult for users to access applications and data from outside the office.
“We felt frustrated by our existing IT setup so were interested in what Virtuoso could offer in terms of both IT support and IT Transformation. Remote working is essential to our business, and our users are often in high pressure, time-sensitive situations where IT just has to work.”Eliza Hawthorn, Operations Director
Virtuoso took the time to understand Quartz’s issues and objectives and engaged with Quartz’s application vendors in order to understand the feasibility of different deployment scenarios. Virtuoso helped Quartz evaluate different options which addressed their challenges and determined together that a combination of Office 365 and Microsoft Azure would address both their existing challenges and future requirements.
“After discussing possible solutions with Virtuoso, I felt confident that what had been proposed was a perfect fit for the company. We wanted to modernise the infrastructure at Quartz by having as much as possible stored and backed up in the cloud. We liked the fact that our project teams would be able to collaborate live on documents wherever they were – in the office or on site.”Eliza Hawthorn, Operations Director
Quartz’s applications are dependent on Active Directory, so rather than implement Azure AD, Virtuoso migrated full Active Directory to Microsoft Azure. New application servers were deployed in Azure and Virtuoso coordinated with the application vendors to migrate application configurations and data to these servers.
Rather than hosting a dedicated file server in Azure, Virtuoso introduced Quartz to a combination of Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. This enabled a restructuring of file data and integration into an intuitive, unified communications workspace. Quartz’s users can now chat, meet, share files and work with business apps.
Upon completion of the project, Quartz are now able to access their key business applications from anywhere in the world, via Microsoft Azure. File data is accessible from SharePoint in Office 365 and synced with the OneDrive for Business client to allow easy, intuitive access for the team. All servers have been virtualized then migrated from the on-premise infrastructure to the Azure platform. Doing so removed the dependency on the on-premise server and enabled physical decommissioning of the old infrastructure
With all applications and data now in the cloud, users in Quartz’s offices outside of London are able to access all corporate services without coming through the server. The combination of SharePoint and Teams allows users in different locations to access and collaborate on files from anywhere in the world.
Servers in Azure, and the information on them, are backed up daily using Azure Backups, meaning Quartz’s infrastructure is more robust, resilient, and secure than ever before.
“We’re working in an entirely different way now, but as a solution, it’s really simple and easy to become familiar with. Now we’re now working entirely from Azure, we’re not at risk of on-premise hardware failing or needing to be replaced, and our teams are using fully integrated systems to collaborate on data, all over the UK.” Babak Erfani, Director
We have since began exploring other Microsoft Cloud solutions that Quartz could benefit from, including Power BI. This tool will empower our customer’s at Quartz with valuable data and insights they can harness to better their services.