Finsia outsources applications and infrastructure

David Kennedy, manager of IT services at the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, explains his organisation's move to managed IT services.

Following the sale of a business unit in 2007, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia) revamped its entire IT infrastructure, ultimately settling on a set of managed IT services.

Finsia is an organisation for the financial services industry, with more than 20,000 professional members. The organisation employs approximately 36 staff and has offices throughout Australia and in New Zealand.

According to David Kennedy, manager of IT services at the organisation, the sale of Finsia’s education business in 2007 provided an ideal opportunity for the organisation to reassess its IT strategy and needs.

To this end the organisation undertook research and analysis to establish the IT needs of the business and the costs of managing a new IT solution internally. The organisation ultimately decided on a managed IT services solution.

“We conducted research to establish the costs of internally managing a new IT solution. The potential costs we needed to assess included building a robust data centre, communication links, network and server infrastructure; purchasing hardware and software and training staff to implement and maintain it all,” says Kennedy.

“When we broke down the potential cost of building and managing an internal IT solution, we decided to explore the option of managed IT services.”

Finsia conducted a full RFP (request for proposal) process to review and select a suitable solution. They selected Wavenet, an IntraPower Group company to provide a tailored SaaS solution.

“Wavenet was able to manage the entire solution and implementation without outsourcing to an array of partners. This provided us with one point of contact, which ensured a smoother transition process,” Kennedy says.

The SaaS solution provides applications via a private network – or the internet – for a monthly subscription fee. The applications are hosted by IntraPower in a remote data centre. The hosted desktop also means that applications and data are securely accessible from remote PCs on a connected private network or the internet.

Finsia’s solution links all office locations to IntraPower’s secure managed private network which hosts the SaaS solution. All Finsia data and applications – including Microsoft Office, finance and membership systems – are delivered through the private network, which reduces the headache of managing the IT systems internally. Wavenet also deployed thin PCs and notebooks across all sites as well as a complete IP PABX solution throughout the Finsia network.

“Overall the implementation was incredibly smooth. After signing contracts, we agreed on a timeline and work schedule which Wavenet adhered to during the entire implementation. The solution went live in December 2007,” added Kennedy.

Kennedy says the solution offered a 60% savings on the cost of operating the company’s IT internally. Another benefit was the uptime that the solution provided.

“Our downtime is significantly reduced – with all maintenance and upgrading scheduled for off-peak times – which has also made a considerable difference to our overall productivity,” he says.

With the hosted applications and infrastructure, Finsia has freed up resources and in-house IT staff. These employees are now able to focus on other IT projects, as opposed to undertaking mundane software work and maintenance responsibilities.

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