Case Study: CHC migrates to remote working during COVID-19

Published on: August 24th, 2020
Last edited: November 19th, 2020

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CHC employees walking around lobby - Case Study

.Kaine Mathrick Tech helps an architectural practice overhaul its IT infrastructure to accommodate its rapid growth and improve overall service delivery, while enabling remote working during COVID-19.

Success Story: Clarke Hopkins Clarke

Industry

Architecture / Engineering

Customer

Clarke Hopkins Clarke

Situation

Established in 1960, Clarke Hopkins Clarke has been an architecture practice that focuses on the community needs in its approach to design. The company had been doing well in all regards until it experienced rapid growth. In less than five years, the company approximately doubled in size. From a small size architecture practice, the company became a medium-size or what some can even call a large-sized practice. While this is a good thing, it brought some frustrations as the IT infrastructure was inadequate to handle the growth. It was evident that additional expertise was needed to revamp the IT network, and that was when KMT came into the picture.

Solution
  • Kaine Mathrick Tech Managed IT service
  • IT infrastructure Overhaul
  • Fortinet VPN SSL Solution
  • Microsoft Solution
Benefits
  • Seamless overhaul of IT infrastructure
  • Increased security and flexibility
  • Improved mobility for employees and access to the IT system from anywhere
  • Being able to function efficiently as a business during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Timely delivery of IT services to facilitate remote working
  • Continued IT support for five years and counting
Client

Clarke Hopkins Clarke (CHC) was founded in 1960 by Jack Clarke, David Hopkins, and Les Clarke. It is an architecture practice that focuses on the community’s needs in its approach to design. After several decades of existence and active service, the company has not deviated from its core value.

Clarke Hopkins Clarke has become a household name in some parts of Australia. In the early days of the practice, Les Clarke designed the famous Eltham College. This paved the way for more work in the education sector. The company has received several LEA (Learning Environment of Australasia) awards. Over the years, CHC has built an enviable reputation across different sectors, including education, health, senior living and care, mixed-use, and multi-residential.

Currently, Clarke Hopkins Clarke also has interiors and urban design teams in house. In addition to the exploits of the founders, the current crop of partners have been doing a lot. Partner Dean Landy has authored a book titled Creating Vibrant Communities, which provides the design methodology for CHC to design for the community. It is not surprising that the practice has grown so big.

Situation

In terms of growth, Clarke Hopkins Clarke has been doing so well in decades. In the last few decades, the company has grown rapidly. It got to the point that it approximately doubled in 5 years. This growth took the practice from a small business to a mid-sized business or what some will call a large practice in the architecture industry. This was when the frustrations started.

With the rapid growth and higher responsibilities, it became obvious that Clarke Hopkins Clarke has outgrown its IT infrastructure. It was time to overhaul the entire system and provide a stable, robust system that will not only take care of the needs of the company at that time but also accommodate the rapid growth.

At the time Clarke Hopkins Clarke decided to bring in the experts to handle their IT infrastructure overhaul, there was a need to approach it in a manner that will introduce the changes in a manageable way. Immediate fixes were expected to keep the company’s IT running while a long term agenda is also provided. The company also needed an IT managed service provider that will stick around for a while.

Solution

KMT understood what was required to support CHC in their growth with an IT infrastructure overhaul.  Both Brad and Scott took a personal hands on approach, discussing balanced solutions which were designed to implement at a pace the business could realistically absorb.  A solid IT roadmap and strategic agenda was provided and there was a capable team that could deal with day to day issues while improvements were made.

When COVID-19 hit Australia in March 2020, CHC required all staff to be set up for remote working within a tight time-frame.  Within a week and a half, KMT were able to reshuffle server requirements, install a new firewall, create remote gateways for our growing number of users and manage the upgrade of our internet service.  “Throughout the process, KMT were informative, patient and reliable” comments a CHC representative.

KMT has been managing Clarke Hopkins Clarke IT infrastructure for years. They have been able to respond to any request and keep the system working consistently. When the COVID-19 pandemic difficulties posed a risk to the business, KMT was contacted to reshuffle server requirements. They made it possible and safe for users to work remotely. This was done in the most satisfactory manner, with Fortinet VPN SSL solution implemented to allow all users access from home without the need for a true VPN.

Benefits

The relationship between Clarke Hopkins Clarke and KMT has been a very beneficial one for the architecture practice. From the time KMT was contracted, it has always been able to provide sound and reliable IT system, which has been the heart of Clarke Hopkins Clarke smooth business operations.

A specific benefit in recent time is the project that allowed Clarke Hopkins Clarke to function smoothly as a business during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact that seamless access for 150 remote working-users was configured and enabled within 48 hours is another remarkable feat.

Clarke Hopkins Clarke believe that the relationship with KMT over the years has had an impact on their success. According to CHC, “having worked with KMT for 5 years we can feel reassured that we have a team we can trust to stay on top of our current and future IT needs”.

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