Angus Fire

Angus Fire is a global leader in firefighting technology, with customers in over one hundred countries across a wide range of industry sectors.

While initially tasked with implementing the company’s new on-premise Exchange Server, Phoenix Software was also able to deliver Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business) to all of Angus Fire’s 400+ staff for no extra cost by utilising unused time in the original Exchange project’s contract.

The Challenge

Angus Fire’s history in manufacturing fire protection products can be traced back over two hundred years. Since its formation, the company has grown to over 400 staff with a sales network of over 60 distributors around the world. In 1968 the company was acquired by Dunlop and was later owned by the Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp, from whom it regained UK ownership in 2013. Up until the date of its newfound independence, the company’s email and numerous other IT services had been provided by its corporate owners, so Angus Fire was faced with the daunting task of building its own IT infrastructure and Exchange email services from scratch – all without losing any service to its 400+ staff who serve its sizeable client list. The task was made all the more difficult by the short timeframe that the company was given by its former owners to achieve its IT independence.

An additional, albeit unrelated, challenge for the company was the high cost of its telephony. Given the close collaboration required between its many manufacturing and sales networks around the world, the company found that it was spending far more on telephone calls than it needed to.

The Solution

In order to provide Angus Fire with an email service independent of its former owners, Phoenix Software deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 onto on-premise servers. This comprised of two servers at each of Angus Fire’s two sites; one at its North Yorkshire headquarters with the other at its international sales office in Buckinghamshire. This physical deployment was paired with Microsoft Exchange Online in order to leverage the Microsoft service’s additional message hygiene features and to provide a second layer of disaster recovery and backup.

With the Exchange project having been completed faster than expected, Phoenix Software highlighted to Angus Fire that the company still had nine days of contract time left within the Volume Services Agreement it had undertaken. After undertaking further consultation with Angus Fire and evaluating its broader IT needs, it was determined that Microsoft Lync would be a good complement to the Exchange deployment just completed, while helping the company to lower its internal telephony costs. Phoenix Software, therefore, deployed Lync to all of Angus Fire’s 400+ users at both sites in addition to providing workshops for staff training.

The implementation of both services was swift. The Exchange Server was installed and up-and-running within just 20 days, which included the time it took Phoenix Software to coordinate and work with a number of third parties to ensure the smooth transition, including Angus Fire’s former owner and BT. Lync was deployed to the company’s staff within a further five days.

Phoenix Software has been a genuine partner to us during this transition. They helped us through what could have been a very stressful and demanding time, particularly given the tight turnaround time for the project and the mission-critical nature of our email services. The Exchange migration was handled with the upmost professionalism and went ahead without a hitch, while the additional functionality yielded by Lync was just the icing on the cake.
Simon Mulenga, IT ManagerAngus Fire

The Benefits

The benefits of Exchange Server 2010 combined with Exchange Online provided Angus Fire with its own highly-resilient email service with all the advanced Exchange features of an organisation-wide address book, shared calendars and presence. By pairing the onsite deployment with the online service, Angus Fire can also leverage the best of both worlds; the high-performance of an on-premise solution with the resilience and backup of an online service. What’s more, since this is Angus Fire’s own service, the company is no longer reliant on a third party for the provision of its email service so can add new users at the flick of a switch or invest in new features without unnecessary administration.

The firewall features of Exchange Server 2010 are specifically designed to run with the Windows Server Firewall with Advanced Security enabled. This means that the required firewall rules to allow Exchange services to communicate are created automatically during setup, ensuring that only the authorised communications to and from Angus Fire’s staff are permitted through the firewall, protecting the business from threats without interfering with day-to-day workflows.

With Microsoft Lync, Angus Fire has seen a significant improvement in the collaboration of its workforce. Employees can now contact each other by a range of different means beyond just voice, such as instant messenger (IM), video conferencing and even spontaneous webinars. This has resulted in teams that are far better connected despite their geographical distances. What’s more, with Lync supporting voice calls too, the company has seen a significant reduction in its telephone bill for internal calls too.

Simon Mulenga, IT Manager at Angus Fire comments “Phoenix Software has been a genuine partner to us during this transition. They helped us through what could have been a very stressful and demanding time, particularly given the tight turnaround time for the project and the mission-critical nature of our email services. The Exchange migration was handled with the upmost professionalism and went ahead without a hitch, while the additional functionality yielded by Lync was just the icing on the cake.”

True Partnerships. Remarkable Outcomes.

To find out how we can work together to assist your organisation modernise and enable your workforce, students and citizens, contact the Phoenix Team on 01904 562200 email hello@phoenixs.co.uk or fill in the form below: