Kwik Kopy's cloud odyssey

Supporting over 100 printing centres with only five IT staff can be a bit of a strain, which is why Kwik Kopy is now mainly a cloud shop.

Supporting over 100 printing centres with only five IT staff can be a bit of a strain, which is why Kwik Kopy is now mainly a cloud shop.

C-Y Thew
(Credit: Kwik Kopy)

Two years ago, Kwik Kopy's server was on its last legs.

"Our server was getting really old," C-Y Thew, business solutions manager Kwik Kopy, said. "It was dying. To reinvest in a new server was too expensive and complex."

It was then that the company decided to turn to the cloud.

"We try to have as many off-the-shelf products that we can base in the cloud [as possible]," she said.

Kwik Kopy's IT team spends a lot of time dealing with end-user requests to do with the print systems it's running, and doesn't want to have to worry about infrastructure.

"We're not a fan of big, complicated networks and security that [means you] have to log back in to a network.

"It's actually easier to house it in the cloud."

The cloud change involved migrating an in-house web-to-print service, and a management information system called PrintSmith.

The company looked around, and finally settled on Brennan IT as a cloud provider, quoting its reasons as being that Brennan's datacentre was in Sydney, that Kwik Kopy was happy with the service level agreements and that the pricing was "right".

The company is also now in the process of revamping its intranet site, so that it's run in the cloud and not on a server. A new in-house-built marketing portal will also go onto Brennan's servers.

The only thing that will reside on premises is Lotus Notes, which Kwik Kopy is keeping for archive purposes.

Kwik Kopy had also been using the Lotus Notes product until February last year, as a way of managing document storage to handle helpdesk requests (with heavy customisation). As the software was 10 years old, helpdesk requests weren't getting resolved as quickly as the IT team wished, due to a lack of visibility. The team also couldn't access the system if they were out in the field.

Kwik Kopy decided to look at other options for their helpdesk, finally whittling down a shortlist to Zoho or Zendesk. After trialling the systems with the team, 100 per cent voted for the latter option, according to Thew. The team was on Zendesk within a month.

The reason for the choice was the ease of navigation in Zendesk — it was simple to learn to use, Thew said. Visibility is much better, allowing the team to see what requests others are dealing with and what requests are a high priority.

Since Zendesk is cloud based, the team can access requests while they're out and about. This is helpful; while the team would use LogMeIn for the initial level of support, the internet connection wasn't good enough to carry out a higher level of support remotely, meaning that the team often had to go in person.

The reporting functionality has also helped the team to see when most of its requests are occurring. "Previously, we were unable to track all of that," she said.

The next step, according to Thew, was to roll out the program to users in the franchises, so that they can put their own requests into Zendesk instead of asking the IT team to do it for them. This requires a budget, and will likely get underway in the second half of next year, Thew said. The IT team's aim is to have all requests handled within a day.


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