The Gaunt name traces its roots back to the birth of the textile industry and the spinning of woollen and worsted cloth in Farsley, Leeds. Today, the commercial property portfolio managed by Gaunts includes the original Springfield Mills, now converted into a thriving business centre for many local organisations, Mercury Quays, a multi-occupied, refurbished office building located in the heart of Shipley, the modern St James' Business Park in Knaresborough, office buildings on Acorn Business Park in Skipton and Hill Top Commercial Centre, a multi-tenanted site just outside Leeds.
Migrating IT systems for flexibility and performance
The team from PCM Systems has provided IT support for Gaunts for well over a decade, covering all aspects including servers, hardware, email platform, website and remote backup. With the in-house servers up for renewal upon reaching the end of their useful life, PCM systems undertook a project review to identify the requirements of the business, going forward.
"Our client review process and the options we could offer were simplified by Gaunts' earlier decision to move to a different accounting package, which opened up the opportunity to look at new and more efficient options," stated Lucasz Kisala for PCM. "Migrating from G-Suite to Microsoft 365 was an obvious choice, based on how business is changing following the advent of the coronavirus pandemic."
A quick and seamless transition
Following discussions with Gaunts, the decision was made to move as quickly as possible. The PCM team prepared for the transition in advance, and completed the task without any significant disruption. All files were copied across within half a day and the new systems were up and running immediately, enabling work to continue almost uninterrupted. During the transition process, all documents and emails were moved successfully from one system to the other without any loss to data, retaining every email, file and calendar event.
Transitioning to Microsoft 365 has provided Gaunts with a comprehensive package of benefits, ranging from easy remote communications using Microsoft Teams together with SharePoint and OneDrive to store and collaborate on files. SharePoint's clever ‘out of the box' revisioning system gives users easy access to all previous versions of stored documents, which together with the back-up system gives a clear overview of the evolution of every edited document.
Access to a terabyte of cloud storage and 2 Factor Authentication have also improved security, with access to Microsoft 365 bolt-ons such as Advanced Threat Protection and Azure identity protection providing opportunities for future upgrades if required.
"We trusted PCM's judgement on this, and it has proved particularly valuable in light of the coronavirus pandemic," stated Chris Pratt. "We now have up to the minute systems which are proving more cost efficient, as well as being well placed to switch easily to new working from home routines. With all our data in the cloud, we can operate effectively from home offices and still access everything we need to keep the business running smoothly."
PCM Systems continues to provide Gaunts Ltd with ongoing IT support; access to specialists who understand the company's systems in detail is particularly valued by Gaunts, who benefit from PCM's commitment to personal service.
The changeover to Microsoft 365 created minimal fuss and was completed within half a day, with no operational issues. It has made the process of working from home a very painless thing to do, with easy and flexible access to all of our operating systems. We’ve saved money too by migrating to the cloud and eliminating the need to invest in new servers to support our processesChris PrattManaging Director