Making the upgrade possible is Network Configurations, the shipping company’s technology business partner, which has been providing Turners Shipping with an IT outsourcing service for more than a decade.
Ian Losinsky, the group financial director, said the upgrade to Microsoft’s new operating system, a new offsite disaster recovery centre, redundant storage systems and back-up servers connected in a nationwide fibre-optic network has positioned the company at the forefront of the shipping fraternity.
“In this competitive industry client service is paramount and if you can’t offer a world-class service, you won’t last. We’ve quadrupled our connectivity through our association with Telkom without having to outlay additional costs and we have the option of improving this tenfold should the need arise,” he said.
The dual fibre-optic lines cater for Turners’ wide area network and internet functions, such as e-mail and browsing, while at the same time ensuring a failover service in the event of a disruption.
The next phase of the upgrade will be to implement a voice over internet protocol solution to the Turner Group’s operations throughout the country.
Losinsky said Network Configurations has been the driving force behind the upgrade, allowing his personnel to focus on their responsibilities while leaving the complex technology details to their IT partner.
“It’s worked for us since we were a small 20-user company and it still does now that we are a 170-user networked corporate,” he said.
“Managing the IT infrastructure of companies within the small and mid-size corporate space is our core business,” said Iain Emerson, the managing director at Network Configurations. “We’ve grown up and matured with the Turner Group and are ideally positioned to deal with convergence around communications, collaboration and most importantly, business productivity.”
Emerson said the creation of a disaster recovery centre meant that in the event of a catastrophe the maximum downtime of Turners’ critical applications would be 15 minutes. “In addition, we have in place our unique managed services framework, which is a proactive maintenance and management service, ensuring (that) business uptime expectations are met.”
He said they often detected problems before they affected the network and addressed them before the client was aware there had been a problem in the first place.
“Generally, if we phone with a problem, it’s taken care of immediately. It’s a win-win relationship which we try to achieve with all our service providers. It’s all about servicing the customer,” said Losinsky.