Home Appliance Guard is a leader in UK home appliance insurance and warranties. The company employs around 200 staff and has three offices in the south of England.
Vohkus has worked with Home Appliance Guard for over 10 years. Initially it provided case-by-case support as an extension of the company’s own IT department, but for the past five years it has provided a fixed-price support managed service.
Home Appliance Guard’s estate included 15 servers linked between each site, originally installed and set up by Vohkus. Several of these operated in a clustered Exchange environment, ensuring the system could fail over with no loss of service. Home Appliance Guard was nonetheless becoming increasingly concerned about the reliability of the old equipment. Home Appliance Guard’s ICT manager, says: “We considered data loss prevention and improved governance to be high priorities, and recognised that if the company was to continue to grow we’d need a more scalable platform. The decision to migrate to Office 365 was therefore driven by a mix of technology, security and business concerns.”
Migrating to Office 365
Apart from the reliability, stability and security of Office 365, Home Appliance Guard was attracted by the fact that there would be no capital expenditure involved in migration when compared with a new onpremises solution. Vohkus had already helped approaching 50 customers migrate to Office 365, so the project itself was relatively routine. Initial planning to define the Office 365 environment took around two months, following which a link was made between Office 365 and Home Appliance Guard’s on-premises Active Directory environment. This was then replicated to Office 365. During the process, Vohkus carried out a number of remediation activities to deal with oversized mailboxes, corruptions, and to identify mailboxes of people who had left the business; the latter were archived and not migrated. The project was carried out using Vohkus’ established methodology and Microsoft’s own tool-set for migration. A period of parallel running took place after migration to assure Home Appliance Guard that the solution was performing as expected; Vohkus then helped decommission the old systems.
“There was never any doubt that the project would be a success. There were no hiccups and we immediately renewed our support contract with Vohkus,” says the ICT manager. “We’ve always been confident in Vohkus’ ability to deliver.” At the time of writing the two companies are examining options for migrating Home Appliance Guard’s archives and backups to Microsoft Azure for Active Directory, although this is not an urgent requirement because archive performance is not as critical as live mail.