Byrne Casey Associates Case Study
Project Type : Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft 365
Sector : Accountancy
BCA is a mid-tier firm of Chartered Accountants and business advisors based in Tullamore and Dublin 2. The firm has 45 employees in the practice. BCA provide a full range of proactive financial, taxation, business advisory, audit, company secretarial and corporate services to their broad range of clients across all industry sectors.
BCA as an established practice have built up a significant amount of data and applications that are necessary to service their clients daily. Having a streamlined IT system in place is very important to ensure employees get their tasks complete inside tight deadlines, especially during tax season. In more recent times, it became apparent that the need for remote access to applications and data was critical to accommodate remote working. Not only that, but the practice also felt it necessary to adopt a more uniformed approach for IT systems. While the practice was up to date on the latest versions of software and hardware, it was assembled on an ad-hoc basis whenever users IT equipment required an upgrade. The system process required better streamlining to ensure consistency of application versions and updates. There were a few key areas where Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 could assist, including the following:
The ability to have remote access to files and applications while working from home or at a remote location
Have a unified solution whereby all employees work off the same system, have the same version of applications and Windows Operating System
Ensure extra redundancy measures were in place for backup and disaster recovery purposes
The ability to decommission the on-premise server
VPN connectivity issues for Sage and Relate
Eliminate the need for expensive laptops and having to regularly replace laptops and PC’s
Have an IT system in place that required less hands-on maintenance and support of local hardware
The requirement for a reliable remote working solution was critical for BCA. There were a number of options including VPN connectivity to the on-premise server and Remote Desktop Services. Ultimately the best solution for BCA was the new Azure Virtual Desktop offering by Microsoft which encapsulated the latest in remote working technologies that was simplified for end-users. In conjunction with Microsoft 365, Tier3Tech identified one of the key benefits being the fact that all users would work off a Windows 10 environment in the Cloud, exactly as they would local. This meant there was no risk for the practice having to train employees on the use of this new technology. The solutions deployed by Tier3Tech engineers for this migration project were as follows:
Migration of all on-premise server files and applications to Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktops
Provisioning of Microsoft 365 Business Premium for all employees for Windows 10 and the latest Microsoft Office 2019 suite of services
Ensuring all applications such as Relate Accounts Production, DRIVE, Company Secretarial, Sage 50, Sage Accounts Production, ROS Offline among others worked seamlessly in the new cloud environment
Optimising the Windows 10 Azure Virtual Desktops for a fast-performing experience
The ability to perform both video and audio calls from Microsoft Teams within the Azure Virtual Desktops
OneDrive for all employees who have to need to share and take in files from clients
Results, Return on Investment and Future Plans
The benefits for BCA Chartered Accountants meant employees could work from home and become more efficient and productive, due to the new Microsoft Azure solution they acquired from Tier3Tech. This greatly alleviated the stress of having to go on site to the main office or working off a VPN connection that was not as reliable.
While there were initial concerns around moving into a cloud environment, the results after a year speak for themselves. There is now real confidence and a great remote working experience for those who require it when the need is there. As part of the technology roadmap, BCA are on the right path as a paper-free firm with scanning and softcopies of files becoming the day-to-day norm. The leap to electronic signatures in the past twelve months has also brought with it huge benefits. Not least cost and time saving efficiencies. Investment in hardware has been minimal apart from some new scanners to scan older documentation into an Azure archive repository. The next step is a full paperless office which is the end goal for BCA.
Quote From Customer
“BCA is very much dependent upon the reliability and efficiencies of its IT technology to ensure we meet the filing requirements and deadlines of all our clients throughout the year. With this in mind it was imperative that we moved forward and put into action our technology roadmap. The implementation was not without its fears, however the benefits now one year on has met and exceeded our expectations. We are now looking to see where more efficiencies can be made as a result of what we have achieved in the last twelve months during the impact of Covid 19. We are very happy with the Tier3Tech recommendation and performance of our Azure Virtual Desktops and the help and support to make it a reality.”