Fully managed services across all aspects of IT and telephony deliver improved efficiencies, better communication & collaboration, faster access to working documents, disaster resilience, lower capital cost and peace of mind.


Background

HIC Services (HIC) have been Australian owned and operated for close to 40 years. Since conception, they have continued to excel as a market leader in wear technologies to the mining, agriculture, construction and power generation industries. HIC’s focus on innovation has seen a natural progression to develop their HICTECH product range, allowing them to continue to remain the local leader in wear technologies.

The business has grown from its original location in Newcastle (Carrington) to add locations in Mudgee, Gunnedah and more recently Mackay (QLD).


How We’ve Helped

When HIC first approached Forsythes Technology more than seven years ago, it had outgrown its IT and telephony solution and was looking for a partner who could support business growth and help improve business outcomes.
Since then we’ve been successfully providing managed IT and telephony services to HIC, with a focus on shifting the business from an on-premise environment to cloud-based technology.

Our services to HIC include:

With all aspects of its IT and telephony managed by Forsythes Technology, HIC is able to focus its resources on its core business. As a fully managed service client, HIC has 24/7 access to our one-stop-shop, responsive service desk and peace of mind that its questions and requests will be handled quickly via one single contact point.

Hybrid Cloud Microsoft 365, On-Premise Environment and SharePoint Online

One of the key improvements implemented by Forsythes Technology more recently was a hybrid cloud Microsoft 365 and on-premise environment, as well as SharePoint Online.

The extended warranty deadline approaching on HIC’s existing on-premise server environment was the catalyst for this project and the identified requirement for improvements to technology used within HIC. In making recommendations, we took into account service ticket history and feedback on user experience at remote sites, the future plans of the business and existing system weaknesses.

We recommended transitioning to hybrid cloud to leverage public cloud technologies from Microsoft for messaging, collaboration and document management, and private cloud services from Forsythes Technology. This solution would deliver improved user experience at remote sites, and faster access to key documents and applications while keeping network connectivity costs down.

SharePoint Online is a cost-effective solution to organising data more efficiently and with stronger governance. For example, leave requests submitted using paper-based forms were replaced by an online form with fields such as delegated authority approvals being tailored depending on the user. The approvals themselves were delivered via the Power Automate platform, allowing for approval either in-email or via mobile notifications. Such automated workflows have allowed HIC to effectively manage an imperative process for their business.

Hybrid cloud refers to an IT environment comprised of computing, storage and services building blocks using a combination of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud and public cloud services.

With the introduction of SharePoint Online, previously labour-intensive email-based solutions could be replaced by online processes. Clunky multi-step filing processes have been replaced by a simple drag and drop. HIC particularly enjoys the efficiencies created by being able to collaborate on tasks through Planner (a feature of SharePoint), across various branches and departments, maintaining full visibility with all participants. In addition, the ability to customise access and manage security based on job roles and departments has ensured they are able to meet internal compliance requirements.

The SharePoint interface page is being used as a communication tool for recent news, celebrating employee and customer highlights and the use of toolboxes for easy access to regularly used documentation. This allows the business’ employees to enjoy a more visual experience. Knowledge and real time information that would otherwise have been stuck in folders not easily accessible, or not communicated at all is now highlighted and accessible.


Results

The improvements to HIC’s technology has delivered the following benefits:

  • Lower capital cost, leveraging the Microsoft 365 platform
  • Digitisation of manual processes, and bringing governance to previously manual processes
  • Visibility and auditability of leave requests and purchase order systems at each stage of the process
  • Increased accountability for approvals and ability to properly implement delegated approval policies
  • Faster access to working documents with local storage of files per site
  • Disaster resilience with dispersed applications and replicated data between the offices
  • Improved collaboration between teams
  • Improved search functionality for resources and documents
  • We have a 100% customer satisfaction rating on resolved service tickets.

“Ultimately, HIC are enjoying new platforms for communication, breaking down barriers between remote locations to achieve greater collaboration within their teams. It’s affording teams the opportunity to learn new skills, including more innovative ways to communicate.” – Samantha Leach, HIC