"It doesn’t matter where we end up, we can plug in and are up and running with zero lapse in service or productivity"
Frontier Therapeutics designs and manufactures pioneering products that increase patient safety and wellbeing in clinical environments, specialising in pressure injury prevention to a global healthcare market.
Being at the heart of a demanding and often unpredictable supply chain, IT continuity, availability and compliance are high priorities. As part of the Frontier Medical Group, they benefited from Sentis’ backup and disaster recovery services. But in 2020, a Group sale left Frontier Therapeutics without independent IT infrastructure.
“Although this presented a challenge, we saw it as a tremendous opportunity”, explains Stephen Coombs, IT Manager at Frontier Therapeutics. “Our first instinct was to use the transition period to reassess our business goals – looking at where we are going and how we can tailor technology to help us get there quicker and more efficiently”.
“Having always been impressed by Sentis’ solutions and found the team great to work with, I approached them about a standalone Frontier Therapeutics IT project”, Stephen continues. “Strategy sessions made it clear that cloud-based solutions and ongoing managed services would provide the flexibility and cost-effectiveness we needed”.
While a new Frontier Therapeutics site was being prepared, the project teams undertook two months of rigorous planning and specification. Sentis’ objective was to make IT work smarter and harder for Frontier, maximising existing ERP infrastructure through intelligent hosting and integration while architecting creative solutions that fully utilised Microsoft 365.
It was decided that all Frontier Therapeutics’ infrastructure, including SYSPRO 8 ERP and data, would be hosted in a new private cloud environment, Office 365 would be upgraded to Microsoft 365 E5, and cloud-based backup and disaster recovery would continue.
“For me, cloud technology means instant stress reduction. I have peace of mind that the business is prepared for operational pivots and I don’t worry about day-to-day risks” Stephen shares. “Additionally, I know that should disaster strike, systems will be fully available again in just 4-5 hours”.
A private cloud allowed Frontier Therapeutics to take advantage of SYPRO 8’s huge automation and integration functionality.
With an ability to streamline and accelerate essential but labour-intensive manual tasks, Stephen says that “hosting SYSPRO 8 in the cloud has made our lives a lot easier and we can deliver services with uninterrupted focus while increasing transparency and accuracy in our compliance-heavy supply chain”.
Microsoft 365 E5 with communication and collaboration apps including Teams and SharePoint has ensured that colleagues can work effectively from home with full, secure access to the technology tools and data required to keep business moving.
Stephen explains that “with a private cloud, Microsoft 365 and Sentis’ remote desktop and firewall solutions, it doesn’t matter where we end up, the team can simply plugin and our business is up and running with zero lapses in service or productivity”.
Sentis also worked with a trusted partner to develop an app and Microsoft PowerAutomate workflow that sets off a task notification trigger when documentation such as invoices and delivery notes are scanned. When actioned, the relevant team are automatically given a follow-up action – such as the accounts team being notified to make a payment.
Stephen details that outsourcing ongoing support to Sentis was the most cost-effective and value-added approach. “From patching hosts to provisioning discs and resolving end-user requests, it is all taken care of by Sentis” Stephen adds. “Their managed services allow me to focus on the business and lead our strategic use of technology”.
Frontier Therapeutics are already rolling out new projects, including an integrated telephony project utilising Microsoft Teams Voice.
“It is an unpredictable world, but I know that we have a sustainable solution that enables effectiveness, resiliency, and agility”, Stephen concludes.