The Business Need
As their business expanded, DUAL’s IT Infrastructure also grew quickly. However the company didn’t have an overarching strategy to manage this growth.
As a result, their IT infrastructure became unstable and it wasn’t clear to management what work was required to rectify the issues.
DUAL received some input on the problems from their two internal IT people however management was doubtful about the validity of the advice provided.
“We came to the conclusion that managing our IT in-house no longer worked, so we needed to find a fully integrated outsourced IT solution,” Damien said. This became even more apparent when DUAL brought in a COO who reviewed the set up.
The COO looked at the IT infrastructure and realised it was a time bomb - an accident waiting to happen, Damien said, “it was like one flick of a switch and everything could blow up. I knew then that we needed to drastically change if we were to avoid a potential disaster”.
Without an effective IT infrastructure, there were on-going performance issues and complaints from DUAL’s staff. Problems included poor phone line quality, system freezes and kick outs, slow internet browsing and issues with documents.
There were also concerns around the overall stability of the network with frequent extended internet and phone outages. More worryingly, there were potential issues around business continuity and disaster recovery.
As problems mounted, DUAL management doubted that their own IT team had the knowledge and skills required to fix the problems. “As a CEO you need total confidence in your IT infrastructure - but I didn’t have that,” Damien explained. We needed to get clarity around the IT issues and build a robust solution.”
As a starting point, Lanrex carried out a review of DUAL’s IT systems. Findings from this review highlighted some serious risks and DUAL engaged Lanrex to resolve the critical issues immediately.
DUAL then made the decision to outsource their entire IT support system to
Lanrex under a managed services contract who subsequently:
- Upgraded voice and data network in Australia, implementing a fully redundant solution
- Virtualised and consolidated the server infrastructure (reduced number of physical servers from 14 to 3)
- Implemented a Cloud backup solution
- Upgraded the Microsoft and Citrix operating systems
DUAL also ran their own project to upgrade their business systems – the Core Insurance System.
Since working with Lanrex the number of complaints from staff around IT issues has fallen significantly. DUAL’s IT Infrastructure has been stabilised and the company is confident that they have an effective Disaster Recovery plan in place.
DUAL saw the benefits of appointing Lanrex with their specialised IT team. “Lanrex provides clarity around technology issues and presents information based on facts. As a Managing Director, Jodie Korber is incredibly responsive and hands-on”, said Damien.
“We now have a full service operation for all of our seven offices across four countries. Lanrex provides a complete service solution for all the territories and has been able to respond well to a high growth business. We also have peace of mind around the ongoing upgrading of top quality software - we know everything is up-to-date and running efficiently.”
Damien continued, “Our IT function has gone from haphazard to well-planned out. It’s this structure and planning that gives me the greatest comfort. As a CEO, I don’t want to hear complaints and now I don’t – the systems are working so I don’t hear much - which is perfect!”
The new system means that DUAL can easily measure response times. And when there is a complaint they now have the transparency to measure the effectiveness of Lanrex’s services.
“We can see immediately when there is a user complaint, and now we actually have the facts, the data and the structure to address these promptly,” added Damien.
DUAL is about to roll out a global operating system to upgrade their business systems and will be working closely with Lanrex on this project.
Damien’s parting advice to other businesses who find them in a similar situation is: “In financial services your operating environment is as critical as your people. If your core skills are managing people and your business, then get a professional to help manage your IT – don’t try to do it on your own.”
DUAL is a specialist underwriting agency committed to delivering insurance solutions to businesses in the corporate and mid-market sectors. DUAL Australia was established in March 2004 and has experienced rapid growth with offices in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.