“What really impressed me about Sentis was their ability to interpret all the information I provided and put it into a solution. They also went above and beyond to make migration seamless."
Latium is a private equity group supporting clients in the UK and USA with their strategic growth. In business for 30 years and with a global portfolio spanning property, renewables, media, software, healthcare, and other high potential sectors, today Latium is headquartered in the thriving Greater Manchester region.
Latium hosts its mission-critical IT infrastructure on-premise due to physical data control policies. But, in 2019, it became clear that their hosting solution required revitalising and futureproofing. As a Microsoft Exchange Server user, Latium would be affected by the product going end-of-life in the year ahead. As such, it was time for proactive action.
“Continuing with Exchange would limit our ability to update, configure and optimise, added to the security risks of being unable to patch” explains Darran Wilde, Group IT Manager at Latium. “We wanted to keep core functions on-premise. But we needed an alternative that performed stronger, was more resilient to change, and would offer security peace of mind.”
“In conversation with a contact of mine at KPMG, I asked who they’d trust with their IT” Darran continues. “They immediately put forward Neil Homer and the team at Sentis Managed Solutions. With Sentis’ track record of maximising existing IT infrastructure, and making on-premise work flexibly, securely and sustainably, I got in touch straight away.”
Neil, Sentis’ Director and a team of strategic engineers visited Latium and undertook an IT audit of all functions being operated from HQ. This was a comprehensive deep dive covering everything from networking and disaster recovery to applications and data security. The findings formed the project direction.
“As a hands-on manager, the audit didn’t throw up any surprises” Darran says. “However, it validated my direction and having that in-depth analysis told me, okay, here’s exactly what we can do differently to get this digital transformation roadmap back on track fast, with minimal upheaval and instant impact. I also liked Sentis’ straightforwardness and flexibility. Their approach was to support me in realising my plans as an experienced IT leader – collaborative and with a lot of mutual respect.”
Implementation got underway during 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. A new on-premise server was architected for hosting critical applications, accounts software, telephony and networking, with secure remote access to support hybrid working across several business units. To enable agile communications and collaboration from anywhere, cloud-based Microsoft 365 Outlook, SharePoint and Office apps were integrated too.
One of the biggest transformations was the rearchitecting of Latium’s disaster recovery. Latium were using tapes to back up data, which were changed manually every day. Sentis implemented a hybrid solution which replicated data every hour, 365 days a year to a secure OneDrive cloud and second onsite server. Files worked on by any user, from any company device, automatically synced to OneDrive, with Darran able to control storage remotely. Achieving redundancy in this manner significantly reduced risk, improved business continuity outlook and streamlined Darran’s resource.
“What really impressed me about Sentis was their ability to interpret all the information I provided and put it into a solution” Darren explains. “They also went above and beyond to make migration seamless. We switched over during the middle of the night, with 2 hours of downtime – it was somewhat of a military operation with all hands on deck, myself included!”
“Latium’s clients scale rapidly”, says Darran. “We must match their speed, agility and ambition, and this rests on providing the most connected, nimble and always-on service we can. Leading IT, my goal is to ensure that technology drives better outcomes. What we have achieved with Sentis has enabled us to reduce risk, provide a truly agile service and focus on using digital to progress strategy – stepping away from the day to day to think bigger.”