Decade-Long Partnership in Outsourced IT Services

Colliers International Romania has begun working with PRAS Consulting in 2006, in the context of the company's need to modernize their IT infrastructure and requiring assistance in addressing ongoing IT support issues.

The Client

Colliers International Romania is part of the Colliers international network and is active on the Romanian market for 14 years.

The company is recognized for the quality solutions offered in the field of commercial real estate consultancy, successfully assisting multinational corporations and foreign investors active in Romania or interested in investing in Romania.

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If initially, the contract only involved intervention on demand, the expertise and professionalism manifested by the team convinced us to request, at times, two full-time on-site PRAS specialists. It is certainly a successful partnership that will expand in the long run.

Bogdan GeorgescuManaging Partner Colliers România
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The Project

The rapid increase in workload and, implicitly, the need to develop a modern infrastructure has encouraged Colliers to choose PRAS services. Initially, the collaboration involved interventions on demand, but PRAS's expertise and professionalism convinced Colliers to ask, at times, for two full-time on-site PRAS specialists.

 

Colliers International Romania collaborates with PRAS Consulting under an IT support contract involving:

  • Network administration, helpdesk and server administration
  • Consultancy for the implementation of IT projects

IT Projects

  • IT audit
  • Integration of the Romanian network into the Colliers global network
  • VPN infrastructure between Colliers headquarters
  • Switching from a Lotus Notes-based email solution to an MS Exchange-based solution
  • Standardization of equipment
  • Backup Infrastructure

Challenges

The services provided by PRAS were fast, not to disrupt Colliers employees, and the assistance provided was efficient and personalized.
The challenges posed by the project entailed finding solutions for different complex technical requirements using various technologies, interconnecting the local network with the global customer network, 24/7 prompt support, and IT budget management.

Technologies Used

  • MS Windows server
  • MS Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
  • MS Office 2003, 2007
  • MS Project
  • MS Sharepoint
  • MS Exchange 2007
  • MS ISA Server
  • MS SQL Server
  • 3COM routers
  • Checkpoint VPN routers

Deliverables and Methods

  • Helpdesk support on-site
  • Remote support
  • Fast response time for on-site support and remote access
  • Audit reports
  • Monthly activity reports
  • Network documentation
  • Documentation for the implementation of new projects

Results and Benefits

Colliers International Romania now benefits from a modern infrastructure that meets the company's needs and is easily expandable on the basis of requirements. Moreover, any issue that arises can be solved by the PRAS team.

Băcănia Veche becomes more productive with Microsoft Office 365

Băcănia Veche is a small business, designed on the structure of a family business, a project designed by Marius Tudosiei and officially started on September 24th, 2010. Practically, the professional reconversion of Marius Tudosiei, who has 15 years of experience in media and marketing, began with the creation of a Facebook account through which he presented his business project, set up a focus group and began to gather feedback about how Băcănia Veche should look and sell.

The materialization of the project was facilitated by the fact that Băcănia Veche was among the four finalists of Start & Grow, a program for encouraging local entrepreneurs, whose main partner was Microsoft Romania. Through the Start & Grow program, Marius Tudosiei's project benefited, free of charge, from 8 months of support and advice on important aspects of business development.

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Basically, I could not afford to invest in a solution that would be mine, because it would require an IT guy, servers, networks ... therefore I have found the Microsoft services very suitable, and for a small business is very important to have 100% controllable costs.

Marius TudosieiOwner Băcănia Veche
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The challenges

At the official opening of the store, "Băcănia Veche" operated with a relatively large number of products, but did not have an IT infrastructure and / or a computer system that allowed an efficient management of the relationship with the suppliers (half a year after the official opening, "Băcănia Veche" had 80 suppliers and 1,500 types of products). As a result of feedback provided by first customers and from online platform, together with the products diversification and expansion of partners channel, the situation seemed to become quickly complicated in a risky manner.

Gaps in communication (mostly by phone) with suppliers, problems encountered in managing multiple email accounts, difficulties in synchronizing the activity of store personnel there were identified as obvious efficiency flaws shortly after the official opening of grocery.

"For example, I had an e-mail at an email provider, and people felt the need to give me their address at the same provider. (...) I received faxes at the friends’ offices. Actually we were splitted and we used all services that we could. Obviously, you lose energy when you have five phones and seven different email addresses (...). A lot! Because if one day you forget to open one email address, that day is dead, is lost. You can have such days and we did. We were losing opportunities, and we lost a lot of time.", said Marius Tudosiei.

The Solution

In this context, the support and know-how provided by Microsoft Romania allowed quick identification of the optimal solution for the business model represented by "Băcănia Veche", adapted to the needs and computer skills of the store personnel.

The answer to the problems faced by Marius Tudosiei and his team was the adoption of Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online solutions, provided by Microsoft as services, within the Business Productivity Online Suite (Microsoft Office 365). Both solutions have been adapted and customized for "Băcănia Veche" by PRAS Consulting (Microsoft Gold Partner) and they could be used quickly by the end of January 2011.

The adaptation and personalization process for the two Microsoft solutions, achieved in just two days, has created through Microsoft Exchange Online, the e-mail accounts for "Băcănia Veche" team, a shared calendar and task management system. Through Microsoft SharePoint Online we created an online system for storing documents with shared folders and different access levels for users.

"The support provided by Microsoft functioned practically as a funnel - I took all of the 7 distinct "pipes" (different e-mail accounts used before the adoption of Microsoft solutions) and now we have all correspondence in one place. Even more, in SharePoint, because there are different levels of access, we can have host the document where we keep track of incomes and daily receipts", said Marius Tudosiei.
 

Results and benefits

Based on the two solutions from Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, Băcănia Veche team could see very quickly, the following advantages:

  • increased productivity by focusing on core activity;
  • eliminating the need for initial investment, difficult to sustain for a family business, at a small scale;
  • predictability for the usage cost (by paying a monthly fee);
  • eliminate the need for dedicated technical support, for maintenance operations;
  • easiness of use (as these solutions are developed on Microsoft Office suite interface, users learned quickly how to use them, thanks to a minimal learning curve which eliminated from the start the risk of under-utilization due the lack of knowledge);
  • increase the operational efficiency level by enabling the centralized management of all the electronic correspondence exchanged with the suppliers;
  • possibility of accessing the e-mail from any location, including the smartphones, which lead to a considerable increased mobility of the employees, allowing better control over business;
  • a single integrated location where employees can efficiently collaborate with the team members, share knowledge and find resources and organizational information;
  • easiness in team members activities synchronization by using shared calendars and task management tools;
  • centralized document management system, with the possibility of collaborative working, using a system of shared folders with restricted accessibility level.

The final result obtained after the adoption of Microsoft Office 365 solution is a centralized management system for contacts with suppliers, but also a reliable management solution for store team with a very good cost-performance ratio, which allowed to obtain a significant increase operational efficiency.

Outstanding IT Infrastructure and IT outsourcing services

Eptisa Romania chose PRAS to efficiently manage workstations and servers, as well as to providce consultancy in implementing various IT projects. Eptisa Romania is a PRAS customer for over a decade, and the high degree in customer satisfaction is the best argument for continuing this successful collaboration.

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The Client

Eptisa Romania is one of the most well-known engineering and consulting companies on the Romanian market, offering services especially in the fields of environmental infrastructure and civil engineering. EPTISA has been active in Romania for more than 15 years, has a turnover of almost EUR 10 million annually and over 100 employees. The head office is in Bucharest and, besides that, EPTISA owns three regional centers in Cluj-Napoca, Craiova and Iasi. The company's activity takes place in more than half of the country's districts.

The challenges

"Initially, at Eptisa Romania, we are talking about a simple Workgroup-based infrastructure. PRAS has helped to build a modern IT infrastructure based on Active Directory and the latest generation of Windows Server" said Paul Roman, owner of PRAS Consulting.

The main challenges for this project were:

  • the need to have rapid services that do not disturb the work of employees;
  • to provide support under the agreed 24 x 7 x 365 SLA;
  • the interconnection of the local network with the client's global network.

The Project

Among the services provided by PRAS for EPTISA Romania, there was to implement the network and telephony infrastructure at the new EPTISA headquarters of the Bucharest branch. Within the project, the network has been tested to the highest standards in industry. Additionally, PRAS has installed and configured all active and passive network infrastructure and servers in the new headquarters.

"Considering the EPTISA expansion at national level, the project presented a high level of complexity. PRAS has provided support services for both the headquarters in Bucharest and the subsidiaries in the country" said Paul Roman.

The IT outsourcing contract with EPTISA Romania includes two categories of services. The first level is dedicated to helpdesk services, services by which EPTISA employees are assisted in solving problems related to the exploitation of software applications or hardware. 

PRAS Consulting also provides Level 2 IT support services, including network and server management. At this time, PRAS offers both proactive and reactive IT services based on customer requests.

Results and benefits

"By integrating an infrastructure based on Active Directory and Windows Server, EPTISA Romania currently has a modern network infrastructure. Most importantly, this infrastructure is aligned with the IT security and needs of a global company." said Paul Roman.

Other projects made for EPTISA include the integration of a Windows Server-based network share solution and enterprise backup solution. The backup solution is based on HP technologies.

"We are glad that both for EPTISA and most of our customers we have succeeded in becoming a one-stop shop company. Because of the knowhow gained over time, PRAS has managed to become a single point of contact for all IT and telecommunication infrastructure issues." concluded Paul Roman, PRAS Consulting owner.


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