One of Ireland’s oldest surviving family businesses Mason Technology has rolled out a centralised IT infrastructure at a cost of €200,000.
The company, which was founded in 1780, supplies laboratory and industrial products and numbers pharmaceutical firms, universities and the semi-state sector among its customers. Following a recent competitive tender, Mason Technology awarded the contract to design, deploy and support the new IT systems to the networking specialist TechNiche.
The deal covers an audit and design of the infrastructure across three offices in Dublin, Cork and Belfast, catering for a 70-strong staff. The contract also includes full management and support services. Mason Technology’s network consists of 70 workstations and laptops and six servers spread across its three offices, which are connected via a leased line. Users outside the office connect through virtual private network (VPN) tunnels.
The company had three objectives in mind for the upgrade: lower administration workload, increased reliability and better performance for end-user applications. TechNiche recommended that Mason Technology upgrade to Windows 2003 and on top of this to install Citrix Presentation Server running on W2003 Terminal Services to ensure secure and immediate remote access for mobile staff and teleworkers. This also provided for greater overall performance for existing and planned data-intensive applications.
“We introduced a mini-Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system a year ago so a proper operating system and communications platform was needed to handle this,” said Mason managing director Peter Brennan. “We are also currently developing an online shop so that customers can buy equipment over the web, so network performance and efficiency was imperative.”
TechNiche also implemented SurfControl’s Enterprise Protection Suite, a unified security solution that comprises web-filtering, email-filtering, Image Agent and anti-spyware technology.
The project was completed on time and within budget. Brennan added that the company is already seeing a return on investment, even if that was not the reason for upgrading to begin with. “This was not a cost-driven solution but it has saved us money,” he said. “We have already started recouping the costs and expect to have these fully recouped within 12 months.”
By Gordon Smith