Ausin Group

by Ricoh Australia

We knew Ricoh had the global presence that could support our staff around the world.

Simon Lam, Chief Information Officer, Ausin Group

Supporting growth with cloud migration

A global multi-disciplinary property and investment services company, Ausin provides a suite of specialist services across property, project sales and marketing, financial and investment solutions to Australian and international customers.

The challenge

When first established, the company had just five staff working from a single office in Sydney. Since then, headcount has topped 500 people who work in 22 offices across five different countries.

“We realised we had reached the stage where our existing IT infrastructure was no longer able to provide the level of support required for our growing operations,” says Simon Lam, Chief Information Officer, Ausin Group.

“Our legacy infrastructure hosted servers and had only ever been designed to support a maximum of 25 people.”

Lam says staff were becoming increasingly frustrated by not being able to access data when it was required. The infrastructure was also suffering from regular outages which disrupted workflows and reduced productivity.

“At that stage, we were also establishing new offices in London and Los Angeles, we wanted to ensure staff are able to collaborate in different timezone, while having access to all resources efficiently,” he says.

The solution

Once a decision was taken to implement a new IT infrastructure, senior company management began by asking all staff for a ‘wish list’ of the capabilities they wanted to support their activities.

This was refined into a comprehensive summary of requirements before the search for a new technology provider began.

“We knew that we wanted our new infrastructure to be cloud based as we could see this would provide the flexibility and scalability needed to support our growth,” says Lam.

The company’s IT team created a short-list of potential technology partners and then began the process of evaluating their offerings and capabilities. After a careful vetting process, a decision was taken to establish a working relationship with Ricoh.

“We knew Ricoh had the global presence that could support our staff around the world,” says Lam.

“They also had a clear understanding of cloud platforms and what we were trying to achieve.”

Ricoh worked closely with Ausin Group to plan, design and develop the new IT infrastructure to ensure it would provide the level of business support required.

Deployment was undertaken using Ricoh Professional Services and began with a thorough assessment of the existing infrastructure and business requirements.

This was followed by a design process during which the Ricoh team developed a new infrastructure for the company.

The next step was the build of the new infrastructure and migration of all existing data and applications.

Emphasis was placed on leveraging the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and Office 365 which was deployed as the core productivity suite. This was augmented by Skype for Business to underpin communication between locations.

Focus then shifted to the management phase in which Ricoh assumed full responsibility for operation of the entire IT infrastructure. Work continued to optimise the new systems and networks while ongoing support was provided to users via a 24/7 help desk.

Once the new platform was operational in Australia, it was extended to support offices in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States. The full rollout was completed in just five months.

The results

With the new Azure-based platform in place, staff now have 24/7 access to the data and applications they need to remain productive regardless of their location.

“A lot of staff spend time on the road and they are now able to access their email and files from almost anywhere,” says Lam. “Skype for Business also makes it easy to establish conference and video calls between groups as required with the minimum of effort.”

Other key results include:

  • Improved accessibility to applications and data and support for the firm’s mobile workers
  • Seamless global collaboration via Skype for Business over robust network links
  • Streamlined business process workflow through use of standardised applications and data stores
  • Universal network access, allowing staff to access data from any location
  • Improved productivity and efficiency through deployment of Microsoft Office 365 and other cloud solutions.

An ongoing relationship

With the cloud infrastructure now in place across the company, Lam says Ricoh remains a very important technology partner for Ausin.

“Without their ongoing support, we would not be able to focus on growing our business knowing we have a stable and scalable IT infrastructure in place to support us,” he says.

“Ricoh has not only helped us with our IT solutions, but also streamlined our work-flow and made Ausin much more efficient as a company.” he says.

“They understand the challenges we face and help us work towards solving them.”