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Riverstone Custom Homes

Case Study
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“Based on Riverstone’s experience working with Bremmar, I would recommend them to everyone. They are highly professional, work to our budgets and make sure we don’t get surprises. Our systems are reliable and consistently perform how we need them to.”

Paul Marshall - Former General Manager/Owner

Business future dependent on up to date, reliable technology

As a highly regarded builder of luxury homes, the family-owned Riverstone Custom Homes company had relied on its founder, Paul Marshall, for much of its IT and management direction. As he transitioned to retirement, the company looked to fully outsource its technology requirements.

As Riverstone’s IT partner for over ten years, Bremmar had always provided guidance and knowledge to help the business continuously increase its efficiency and maximise technology solutions. With Riverstone’s IT environment – on premise server-based – reaching its use by date plus risk and maintenance overheads, Bremmar knew it needed to present a robust solution to help future-proof the company moving forward. “Knowing their business and IT environment, it made sense to us to provide a solution that was organic to their organisation rather than continue with a rigid, onsite solution,” explained Daniel Clark, Client Information Systems Manager at Bremmar.

By identifying their issues, including Paul Marshall’s retirement, early enough Bremmar presented the cloud solution. Riverstone was reluctant initially, especially when it came to security and data storage. However, they trusted Bremmar’s guidance.

“The potential impact on the business when a server went down was immense. We didn’t want to worry about our IT set-up. Ensuring it could be well managed by our outsourced IT partner was a key objective,” Paul Marshall says.

The focus was to be on resilience, cost savings and removing the need for in-house IT expertise. Riverstone did not need to go to market to find the right cloud transition expert, choosing to work with existing partner Bremmar in making the cloud move.

“The service element that Bremmar so consistently delivers was very important to me. In my career, I’d worked with a number of IT companies and most proved unreliable. But when we brought Bremmar on board, things improved immediately. I was confident they were the right organisation and strategic partner to help us make the cloud move.” PAUL MARSHALL – Former General Manager/Owner and now Consultant to Riverstone Custom Homes

Robust, secure cloud solution

Bremmar worked closely with Riverstone to create a cloud solution that met their unique business requirements. “Bremmar demonstrated that their cloud solution made economic sense and they overcame any initial concerns we had about cloud reliability, datacentre connections, and backup – I had to be able to trust that the new platform would cut downtime,” says Paul Marshall.

The new cloud environment also opened doors for Riverstone to invest in a critical industry technology, the workflow management system – Onsite Companion. Bremmar was able to consult with the third-party application to determine what was required for the solution, performed the necessary network configurations and testing, and made sure that all system integrations with legacy software and apps were in place.

The staged implementation plan detailed by Bremmar was followed to the letter and Paul Marshall was “pleasantly surprised at how smooth the transition was. Everyone went home from working off the old system on a Friday and came back on Monday able to work exactly the same – just cloud-based.”

Centralised cloud environment delivers cost savings, peace of mind and flexibility

The robust cloud set up has helped Riverstone focus on their core business, better manage their technology costs and deliver a better staff experience. Here’s how:

  • IT that takes care of itself. Bremmar has proven a critical partner to Riverstone, increasing their efficiency through migration to the cloud. Riverstone’s management team no longer has an active role in managing the IT environment. “We don’t have to think about our systems, it all just happens. No one has had to step in to perform the tasks that I used to do. All that management time has been freed up for value-creating work,” says Paul Marshall.
  • Savings and certainty. The regular OpEx monthly fee for hosted services replaces the costly and unpredictable world of server maintenance, replacement and data migration. The move to the cloud has increased efficiencies so much so that IT operating support costs have been reduced by almost $500 per month on average. Paul Marshall says: “It’s definitely cheaper on a month to month operational level. Where we used to replace servers every 3 years, we now have a managed service and support contract and estimate the reduction of costs over the same period at about 20 percent.”
    “This is a significant plus on its own but in addition to this we also now have certainty. We know that in the event of a catastrophic event (such as a fire) we could set up very easily and quickly in a new location, turn our computers on and get on with it.”
  • New flexibility in working arrangements. Heavily reliant on the Onsite Companion system, staff previously needed to be in the office to access its on-premises version. By moving Riverstone to the cloud, Bremmar were able to implement an open office – staff can work from anywhere – to help enable flexibility in work arrangements not previously possible. “It’s now so easy for our team to log-in -from any computer, and any location – to access what they need to do their job,” says Paul Marshall.
  • Fewer interruptions and greater peace of mind. The new cloud set-up means that system updates are now managed centrally and happen instantaneously with minimal disruption. “And I feel really comfortable with the security arrangements. The firewall infrastructure is much stronger than what we could have built ourselves, and this gives us peace of mind that our data is protected,” adds Paul Marshall.
  • Better control and scalability. The new cloud IT infrastructure opened the door to new systems like Onsite Companion allowing Riverstone the ability to test or trial new software before committing to a full investment. Riverstone can be confident that as business needs change, the core technology behind it will continue to evolve and remain.

Leveraging cloud into the future

From a customer services perspective, Riverstone is looking to implement a new customer portal where they can communicate with clients and provide them with access to their project documentation. Rather than individual emails, everything can be tagged, attached to individual job files and centrally accessed.

“The experience with Bremmar gives us the confidence to take on projects like this and keep evolving our business using technology,” says Paul Marshall.

Words of advice

“Don’t be afraid of the cloud. Our experience shows that it is robust, safe and secure and it has delivered us great efficiencies, flexibility and peace of mind,” says Paul Marshall. He continues, “based on Riverstone’s experience working with Bremmar, I would recommend them to everyone. They are highly professional, work to our budgets and make sure we don’t get surprises. Our systems are reliable and consistently perform how we need them to.”

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

If you’d like to know more about how our Complete Care IT service, or any of our other solutions, could help your business work better, call us on 1300 991 351 to arrange a chat or email enquiries@bremmar.com.au

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