The D’Aquino Group of Companies is diverse, with interests across the alcoholic beverage sectors, including winemaking, contract winemaking, bottling, distilling, wholesale, export and import. The company has a vineyard with a restaurant and function facility, along with seven retail outlets throughout country NSW, while its head office and main warehouse are in Orange (NSW), with other offices and extensive wholesale distribution facilities in Brisbane and Sydney.
“We had a meeting with them last year to look at how things had gone in the first two years. Our finance team had a budget to redevelop and go to the next level. Viatek came back to us with a budget and said ‘this is where we can take you to’. We’re literally now above and beyond where we wanted to go IT wise – and we’re still sitting with the same original budget. That’s just one reason we’re glad we went down this road with them.”
As a small family business, the Operations Manager took on the IT role several years ago. While the initial system created to connect the different sites worked, further expansion meant the system had become too slow and the business’s overall IT needs were beyond the manager’s time resources and capabilities.
The Group’s rapid expansion over the past few years culminated in several IT needs:
- I mproving the performance of business-critical systems, such as the ERP system
- Minimising the risk of downtime to business-critical systems
- Minimising the threat of business continuity (reliable backups needed in place)
- Building a stable foundation for continuing growth and other IT projects
- Creating and implementing a disaster recovery plan
The D’Aquino Group of Companies needed a comprehensive data network-management system that would firstly align with current business needs and allow all sites to communicate properly, and then crucially allow the overall business to continue its rapid expansion. With most sites operational seven days a week, they needed suitable help-desk availability. They also needed the capability for staff to move between sites and log-on remotely.
The Group also wanted a supplier to work in partnership with them over the long-term.
After comprehensive research to find the right supplier, the D’Aquino Group chose Viatek Technology in mid 2015 for three reasons:
- Viatek’s approach in offering a solution
- Help-desk availability 24/7
- D’Aquino Group’s existing relationship with Viatek Print
Operations Manager Andrew Windiate says, “When we very first sat down with Viatek Technology we told them what we wanted to do but needed guidance because we were not sure how to do it. Their response wasn’t a case of ‘here it is, this is what we sell’; they gave us the options they thought would be better suited – but didn’t tie us into a corner. They also explained the reasons why they made those suggestions and they made sure we understood what they were talking about. So while we had their recommendations, it was still our choice.”
Viatek’s recommended and implemented solution includes:
- Migrating the existing environment to new HP Enterprise
- Generation 10 Servers and SSD Enhanced SANs for enhanced security, resilience and performance at an economical cost
- Provided a platform that enabled the business to be agile and cope with change as the market demands
- Maximise investments by re-using existing infrastructure for a DR solution while keeping budget constraints in mind
- Provisioned a Private WAN which enabled the Private Cloud DR solution to work between the customer’s datacentres
D’Aquino Group’s new IT environment has resulted in the business being “vastly more efficient and productive with everything being centralised”.
Improved access and mobility – Connection right across the Group has also improved staff mobility.
“The other advantage is we can move those people around anywhere. So if we want to move a task to, say, Sydney, we can. They log in and they’re off working. It also means if I’m travelling, and I’m the only one that can answer a question, I have full access to our systems. That goes for all staff: it doesn’t matter where we are on the planet.”
Along with the new DR plan, the new DR centre means that if the Group loses its main data centre (which is also its own), within hours all staff can be back, continuing work.
The 24/7 help desk has also proven very important. Andrew says, “With Viatek’s after-hours service, my staff can contact them anytime if there’s an issue, Viatek do whatever they need, and my staff can continue to do their job. That’s really vital because we’re a seven days-a-week operation – the liquor stores, restaurant, cellar door …everything is seven days a week sales.”
Installation was “very easy”. “Things can have teething problems, but Viatek will work through any teething problems with you. I have not only their call desk, but I have an account manager and a project manager. I can ring any of them at any time and ‘say this isn’t working’, and they’re straight onto it.”