Interview of Guillaume Castillo,
IT Administrator at La Royale
IT Administrator at La Royale, a natural food supplements mail order company, Guillaume Castillo has led a project to completely overhaul the infrastructure. He recalls the issues and the benefits, one being much easier management and supervision.
Can you describe your company’s IT requirements?
Our team consists of just under 80 people. At the call centre, where around thirty employees work, IT is a major support to the teams’ efficiency. It provides them with an interface enabling them to take orders and provides an easy access to relevant information in the database. IT also provides a real logistical support, enabling dispatches to be monitored better. The IT team’s mission is to manage the infrastructure, from the servers to the workstations, to guarantee operations and to provide support to users.
You recently overhauled your whole infrastructure. What was the justification for starting up such a tricky project?
We currently work on three sites, one in Belgium and two in Luxembourg, with a decentralised information system, between the data relating to stock on the one hand, and data relating to orders and dispatches on the other. One of the issues is to be able to maintain a connection between the three sites so as to ensure continuity of the operations over time.
Over the last few years, with a run-down infrastructure, we were facing an increasing number of problems. We had to renew the system to make management easier and so that we could continue to grow. This transformation also enabled us to integrate new tools so that, in particular, we could take orders easier. None of that was possible without a fully virtualised infrastructure.
What is the impact of a modern infrastructure on developing the business and IT management?
Everything changes very quickly. And you have to keep up with the times.
Our solutions now turn on a fully virtualised infrastructure, which is simpler to manage and to monitor, and it is more flexible, more secure.
We can more easily guarantee that operations are maintained as well as data backed up, using a more efficient backup system, and that information is replicated at remote sites. If a problem should arise or if a site crashes, following a power cut for example, we would not suffer any loss in production.
How has monitoring and managing the infrastructure been able to be improved?
As part of the infrastructure overhaul project, for which we were helped by POST, the mother company of TERALINK Solutions, new requirements were identified. Especially that of being able to work on the infrastructure more easily and to take control of a workstation remotely, so as to provide more efficient support to users.
Our partner provided us with an answer to this requirement, with their PostPilot product, and it is much better than we expected. Not only does the tool enable us to work remotely on our infrastructures, we can also better monitor their performances and the operations.
The solution also enables us to back up some of our information on the cloud, providing us with strengthened security outside our on premise backup system.
What benefits have you felt from transforming your infrastructure?
We have saved a lot of time in our everyday tasks, especially at helpdesk level. The monitoring system, with alerts each time the performance thresholds are reached, or an unusual bandwidth use is observed, provides us with better control.
We can better anticipate needs in resources. The time saved enables us to concentrate on administration, updating servers or workstations, and even firewalls, to guarantee efficiency and security.
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