CASE STUDY: Veridia makes a clean shift into the cloud with Alliance Business TechnologiesBrie Gordon-Krueger
With ageing infrastructure no longer meeting the needs of its mobile workforce, consumer hygiene systems specialist Veridia looked to Alliance Business Technologies (ABT) for the introduction of a Microsoft cloud-based solution. With the implementation of multiple software solutions, including Azure Virtual Desktop, several Microsoft Azure services, Microsoft 365 applications and VPN network connectivity, Veridia today is equipped with a scalable, flexible solution
which powers ‘work from anywhere’.
Headquartered in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Veridia is a family business with unrivalled experience in helping facility managers right across Australia. The vertically integrated hygiene systems operator manages the ordering, distribution, storage and compliance risk of chemical and consumer hygiene systems, taking the burden off of
customers hands and letting them get on with what matters most. Veridia specialises in the delivery of consumer hygiene systems in aged care, education and accommodation facilities across Australia.
With existing hardware infrastructure past a half decade old and out of warranty, and with technology having moved on substantially in that time, there was a clear case for an upgrade, confirms Veridia Operations Manager Karl Davis. “Our existing hardware was at End of Life, so we decided to look at what’s new and ways in which we could untether ourselves from our existing infrastructure.”
Doing so would also potentially provide advantages in terms of improved productivity and convenience; Karl adds that the company also sought to reduce risk by eliminating any ‘single point of failure’. Such points are practically inevitable with on-premises infrastructure, and indeed the company was experiencing limitations. Specifically, it had an internet connectivity bottleneck at its Wagga Wagga headquarters, causing problems for workers attempting remote application access.
An examination of the market confirmed that cloud solutions are scalable and provide redundancy and failover in the event of any physical hardware failures. “The idea is that a move to the cloud allows us to decommission on premises equipment, boosts our disaster recovery capability in that if any one of our physical locations is taken out, the systems continue,” says Karl.
“Proposed benefits like this make a move to the cloud highly appealing, in other words.”
Alliance Business Technologies has served as Veridia’s Managed Services Provider for more than eight years, and it was to this company that Karl turned for advice and the eventual delivery of a suitable solution. While the technology recommendation was straightforward, with a selection of enabling Microsoft technologies, Karl acknowledges that the more challenging aspect of the solution is change management with Veridia’s people.
“ABT was clear upfront that there would be a lot of change,” he confirms. “Like a lot of projects of this scale, it’s hard to
appreciate just how much that affects the company until you actually start. And once you’re implementing the technology, you realise the largest component isn’t buying the technology, but changing practices and procedures to take advantage of what you have purchased.”
Software implementation included Azure Virtual Desktop, multiple enabling Microsoft Azure services including Active Directory, the Microsoft 365 productivity suite, and VPN network connectivity.
When the challenges inevitable to a project of this scale cropped up, Karl says he was impressed with the way ABT
handled them. “There are always hitches and this is where you discover the strength of your partner. It’s not what goes
wrong that matters, it’s how it is handled. And ABT did a great job of enunciating the problems, then providing options or the way forward.”
With a now-serverless infrastructure, Veridia no longer has the overhead associated with the management of on premises hardware. As Microsoft cloud solutions are in practical terms infinitely scalable, the company can add or remove workers as necessary; and remote access presents no challenges, as workers can log on from anywhere equipped with an internet connection.
Moreover, cloud infrastructure is significantly more reliable than old on premises equipment, resulting in improved
availability and access, secured by Microsoft’s extensive investments in cybersecurity. They weren’t getting from their
Karl says the results of the cloud migration are clear. “We’ve eliminated delays across the network and in particular on one key server. Uptime is improved and essential functions like backups no longer impact performance,” he says. “We’ve also unwound redundancy features we once had in the networks, reducing cost and complexity and taking out one more potential point of failure.”
While still early days, he says already changes and improvements in how people work are becoming clear. “We’re making use of more functions in, for example, Teams. The Tasks feature is proving invaluable and is improving our management of Goods Inwards and invoicing, with Power Automate taking out some of the legwork. And, importantly, we’ve gone past user resistance as more of our people see the advantages inherent in the new system.”
He says thanks to ABT’s careful implementation, the project has been a resounding success. “There’s more value to be
extracted in the fullness of time. But for now, “Alliance Business Technologies has delivered a fully hosted cloud solution meeting our needs for multiple locations to work remotely any time with a high level of security and ability to easily expand resources.”