Total IT Solution for hydraulic and pneumatic equipment manufacturer

TSG supplies AC Hydraulics with an end-to-end solution including telecoms refresh with lines and minutes, transferral of all IT equipment to new office premises, and hardware/software support.

The customer

AC Hydraulics is a major single source for both hydraulic and pneumatic products. Over its 37 years in business, AC Hydraulics has built up its expertise and customer relationships to deliver simple parts from a single sealing washer to complex system assemblies.
The company trades nationally and is a relatively small operation employing 12 members of staff based out of a unit in Hinckley.

AC Hydraulics use Pegasus Opera II as their operating platform and have done so for many years. TSG first engaged with AC Hydraulics after acquiring their local IT provider from whom they relied on for limited Opera II support.

“I don’t have the expertise, or the time to make sure that our IT systems are working day to day. Letting the experts at TSG look after the network gives me peace of mind really that everything will be taken care of – we have come to expect the system to work day in, day out.”

TSG and AC Hydraulics
Impeccable timing

The timing of TSG’s initial contact with AC Hydraulics some 5 years ago was perfect – the business had just discovered they were out of their lease agreement for their existing server.

Stewart I’Anson, a Director at AC Hydraulics says, “It was perfect timing really. Our server was 6 to 7 years old so we knew that we’d need to invest in new technology. A few of the work stations were quite old and slow too. After talking to the guys from TSG we knew that we could rely on them to help us in that area.”   

infrastructure to ensure that their proposal for a full network refresh covered all hardware components. In doing so, TSG identified various different systems in the business, all working as complete separate entities.

“At the time of dealing with TSG we were using a multitude of systems. A system to store data, another system for emails… too many to keep on top of really. That’s why I asked TSG to recommend a solution to help us bring everything together onto one platform.”

As part of TSG’s initial engagement with AC Hydraulics, they were keen to express the benefits of SystemCare. After all, if the business was to invest heavily in new infrastructure, it made sense to protect it.

12 months on…

AC Hydraulics had come to the end of their telecoms lease agreement and approached TSG for the provision of a new telecoms system.

Stewart explains, “We were out of lease with our current supplier and didn’t want to renew with them because we hadn’t been happy with their services and customer support. At the time, TSG had started talking to us about their move into the telecoms space, so we were comfortable having a discussion around our requirements.”

It made sense for AC Hydraulics to continue their existing strong relationship with TSG from their IT Operating Systems on to their Telecoms solutions as well.

The TSG Solution
Delivering an end to end solution

When faced with consolidating all of AC Hydraulics systems onto one platform, TSG replaced the ageing server and infrastructure to speed up operations within the business and provide a more reliable foundation.

As a preventative measure, Sophos Anti-Virus software was installed on every machine across the office to protect them and the network from harmful malware.
Keen to eliminate costly downtime or run into technical issues, AC Hydraulics signed up to TSG’s SystemCare support contract – a remote monitoring system that identifies threats to the system before they have an impact.

Stewart adds, “Having had limited Opera II support with our previous IT supplier, we were pleased to be able to retain support of that application but with the added benefit of being able to protect our investment in hardware too.”

Upon deployment of the new infrastructure environment, TSG consolidated AC Hydraulics’ disparate systems onto one platform to streamline operations and increase network performance. This included bringing their e-mail on to the Exchange server.

To replace their ageing legacy telecoms system TSG deployed a Mitel 3300 CXi controller along with the 5330 IP handset onto the network to provide AC Hydraulics with a connection over one line for all voice and internet requirements. AC Hydraulics also took advantage of TSG’s competitive lines and minute’s package to avoid the need to deal with various suppliers for their telecoms system.

On the move

In early 2013 AC Hydraulics confirmed an office move to a business park in Hinckley.

Stewart explains, “We needed to move to bigger premises to improve our factory setup. There’d been a few tenders we’d missed out on based on our lack of space and facilities to accommodate larger more complex system build in a suitable workshop environment.”

TSG assigned a project manager to draw up an office move strategy; responsible for co-ordinating the move of all IT equipment including server, workstations and telephony/comms. TSG worked closely with BT around the installation of cabling and ISDN wiring to ensure a seamless transition and working to the brief set by AC Hydraulics for as little downtime as possible, and ideally over a weekend.

“We were very impressed with TSG’s efficiency in getting us moved from one office to the other. We had a project manager to make sure everything ran like clockwork. TSG switched machines off on the Friday night and we were up and running, processing orders in the new premises by the Monday lunchtime!”

The benefits to AC Hydraulics of an end-to-end solution

Stewart, who has been with AC Hydraulics for 26 years and had been given responsibility for looking after IT in the business, is delighted with TSG’s services so far.

“I don’t have the expertise, or the time to make sure that our IT systems are working day to day. Letting the experts at TSG look after the network gives me peace of mind really that everything will be taken care of – we have come to expect the system to work day in, day out.”

SystemCare has already provided significant cost savings in the business; identifying upgrades to service packs on the server and fixing other issues without the business even knowing.

“The weekly SystemCare reports I get are very useful. It’s good to see a simple breakdown of what’s happened the previous week and how SystemCare has essentially saved the business from suffering any major problems.”

More recently, SystemCare pinpointed machines within AC Hydraulics running Windows XP.
[In April 2014 Microsoft withdrew support for the Operating System.]

Stewart adds, “We were able to act quickly to upgrade the machines that were running Windows XP. TSG reacted quickly which we were grateful for, otherwise the security implications could have been costly.”

The new telecoms system provided the business with one line for all communications including internet connectivity, bringing with it cost savings as well as a more resilient platform. The Mitel solution has also allowed the business to increase the amount of extension numbers to improve communication and customer service utilising the latest technology.

During the office move, TSG was able to retain AC Hydraulics’ original number for business continuity purposes until they were settled and managed to change their contact details.

Having TSG support their software, hardware and telecoms solutions is a great benefit to AC Hydraulics.

“Relying on one supplier is a great comfort to us because it means we don’t have to keep a track of who deals with what. We just have one number to call in the event of any IT and telecoms queries or issues.”

The future for AC Hydraulics and TSG

AC Hydraulics is already speaking with TSG with regards to extending the functionality of their Opera II system in the near future. In the long term, the business foresees a transition to Opera 3.
There are also discussions in place to evaluate how SharePoint may help them with document management and version control.

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