Industrials is a listed property company with assets in the UK, Germany and Switzerland. Its vision is to be the leading multi-let industrial business in the UK and as such, uses cutting edge technology to revolutionise the multi-let industrial market.
Industrials believes that technology will provide the potential to leverage existing landlord-tenant relationships for the benefit of all parties, so the choice of IT partner was far greater than choosing a supplier – it was a decision of strategic importance.
Following its listing on the JSE, and in anticipation of its listing on the London Stock Exchange, Industrials approached Stellarise in 2017 to help them assess how it could separate its IT infrastructure from its former holding company. Industrials wanted to operate independently on its own platform with the freedom to move offices with minimal business disruption.
In addition, the company was keen to increase its business agility by embracing cloud technologies, with the flexibility and customisation capabilities that come with cloud-based software systems, both off the shelf and custom made. This would increase business productivity and security and deliver the desired competitive edge.
With different software, all supported by different people in various places, the project inevitably took on many strands – all of which were managed by Stellarise.
“Stellarise had to co-ordinate it all and speak to a number of suppliers, so its project management skills and ability were first class. Nothing was ever a problem – lots of problems came up but Stellarise was always very solutions driven, no matter what problems we encountered. That was very valuable – they strengthened our team and our ability to get things done. What’s more, it takes someone with good IT skills but also good explanatory skills to turn technical problems into a language that a non-technical person can understand,” said Industrials chief financial officer Patsy Watson.
With these requirements in mind, Stellarise conducted a thorough analysis of Industrials’ infrastructure, identifying any potential challenges and risks and subsequently providing more modern and robust systems, with seamless migrations to minimise downtime and to benefit the company from the latest technology.
- Created a resilient, secure network with a new high-speed internet line and physical network connectivity;
- Provided Windows networking both on its premises and also enabled remote access via the Microsoft Azure Cloud;
- Migrated e-mail to the reliable and secure Microsoft Office 365;
- Migrated all existing on-premises business systems to the Microsoft Azure cloud; and
- Implemented a cloud hosted telephony solution.
The result means Industrials can now be as productive out in the field, as in the office.
“The Stellarise process keeps things very simple, that’s the key attribute. What they do is very complex but it’s very clear, you know what you are going to get, they deliver in a very straightforward way. They are highly competent in areas where we are not, so it has enabled us to get to a technically capable solution. They condense things down and explain them back to you in a way that makes sense. They make you understand what they are doing and why,” said Industrials executive property director Julian Carey.
As well as enabling the technology that Industrials needed and integrating its systems to suit the UK business, with the associated cost and time savings, there have been other, perhaps unexpected results. The initial IT brief has been met, but Industrials view Stellarise as a strategic partner – with ongoing benefits.
“The whole strategic guidance – that’s not what you’d expect. They ask us why and what we are trying to achieve. They question, suggest different directions so we get bigger picture thinking than we might have expected. They know what we should be doing now that will stand us in better stead further down the line. It’s a relationship, not a service. And they are also very good at delivering what we’d expect from them,” said Carey.
There’s been a cultural change in terms of IT, too. What was previously a “black box” for Industrials has been unlocked and become a key part of its business strategy
“The absolute key attribute is that Stellarise brings a can-do attitude. They always find a solution . The cost savings are very important to us, but the real benefit is much greater than that; it’s the ‘can do’ rather than the ‘can’t do’ attitude. For us, this has been very important – it’s enabled us to be able to scale our platform. We can use technology to manage what we do far more efficiently and reach our goals,” said Watson.
Industrials delivers value and growth opportunities for all its stakeholders by utilising its Industrials Hive platform and Smart Lease product. If you would like to know more about how Industrials can help you, visit its website.
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