About Beam Consulting
Established in 2010, Beam Consulting delivers commercial engineering design solutions to clients across the UK, providing a comprehensive range of services including design for civil, structural and geoenvironmental engineering projects, flood risk assessments, drainage and highways design plus planning support and feasibility studies.
Solutions to match business challenges
Beam Consulting was looking to undertake a total review of the company’s IT infrastructure, based around a number of important criteria. With support ended for Windows 7, the company planned significant investment in IT equipment across the organisation to match and exceed the requirements of software updates critical for the business. Beam Consulting approached PCM Systems to make recommendations for the necessary investment.
The project consisted of three distinct stages. The first was to replace all the existing hardware, installing more powerful units capable of running the latest software advancements required by the business. The second was to review and rework email provision to improve reliability and remote access, and the third stage involved reviewing and improving broadband services.
Flexible working and realistic timescales
The team from PCM consulted with Beam to evaluate the current provisions, to identify areas for improvement and to establish the parameters for new systems capable of matching projected requirements into the future. A flexible timescale was set for the individual projects, with all work scheduled for completion at weekends to ensure minimal disruption to business processes.
The first stage was completed swiftly and effectively, with the PCM team sourcing and installing all necessary new hardware and accompanying software requirements, providing a ‘plug and play’ solution for the Beam team which integrated immediately into the business.
Managing email migration
Email migration was a more challenging process. Originally all managed through the company’s in-house server, this had resulted on occasion in limitations in access to emails, exacerbated by the demands of remote working during the coronavirus pandemic. The PCM team recommended moving email to a Cloud platform, and again completed the project over a weekend period to minimise disruption.
"Although there are few changes visible to the customer, this was potentially the trickiest part of the project," stated engineer Lukasz Kisala. "Here, we were reliant on third parties to make some of the necessary changes to the service, which were potentially out of our control. We also faced the challenges of working within the limitations of someone else’s infrastructure to achieve our goals." The changeover was successfully completed on time, and henceforth any necessary changes will be more straightforward with the system operating under PCM controls.
Alterations to the broadband provision were also completed to schedule. With the emails now moved to the cloud, PCM disconnected expensive and redundant security services and installed a new business class router, handling VPN, firewall and traffic monitoring, together with a new access point to manage the internal WiFi network for staff and visitors.
Originally, everything had been driven by the server, so if the broadband was down, nothing worked. PCM assessed what was required and gave Beam Consulting a system that matched their existing and projected requirements. Emails can now be accessed remotely via a range of devices, facilitating increased remote working and reliability.
Following successful completion of all three stages of the project, Beam Consulting have now agreed an ongoing IT support contract with PCM Systems providing a remote backup service for Beam data as well as a 9-5 helpline to ensure optimum reliability.
Changing working practices and necessary software upgrades required us to review our IT infrastructure and ensure we were working with the most robust platforms. PCM Systems made appropriate recommendations designed around our individual requirements, designing practical solutions and completing all necessary work within weekend windows to ensure the business could continue without interruptionsHannah PhilipBeam Consulting Engineers