Cloud and managed services provider, Ignia, has rolled out Windows 10 with Australian retail pawnbroking company, Cash Converters, streamlining the processes of 350 stores globally.
Following the company's adoption of Office 365 in 2012, Cash Converters CFO, Glen Fee, said standardising the business on Windows 10 represented a natural progression for the organisation, which also migrated its legacy POS system to the Azure Cloud.
Ignia director, Josh Boys, told ARN that following many recent successes in Windows 10 deployments with other customers, his business approached the new deal from an innovative, non-traditional angle.
"We are not a traditional Windows desktop company, we are from the Cloud and app side of the world," he said.
"Lately, we have been doing a lot of Windows 10 deployments, so when we approach these types of deals we come at it from an approach that will offer quick time to value.
"For us it is not about traditional managed operating environments or standard operating environment projects, it’s about getting the new OS in and easily getting the apps that people require."
Fee said the decision to standardise on Windows 10 was based on the way the operating system allows employees to better serve the changing needs of customers as well as streamline IT management processes.
“When we looked at the cost and the added efficiencies of software upgrades and patching, capability for backup and all the other capabilities of a Datacentre provided as a service, it really was a no brainer for us,” Fee explained.
“When you are looking at an ecosystem where you have the same operating system on your desktop, tablet and phone, as well as running Office 365, it makes the management of IT smoother and more efficient."
As part of the business overhaul, the pawnbroker also migrated its POS system to Azure.
Prior to the upgrade, the process for deploying a POS system in every new store acquired by the pawnbroker was costly and time consuming as a separate new network was required to be set up, followed by the deployment of the application itself.
Additionally, Fee said the business had inconsistencies with data management due to the sporadic systems back-up.
“We originally commenced rolling out the POS on the individual store servers but we calculated that at the rate we were going it was going to take many years," he added.
"However, once we explored Azure we worked out that we were going to be able to deploy across all Australian corporate stores in a matter of months, with the UK corporate stores over a similar timeframe."
According to Boys, Ignia transformed the business in a couple of weeks.
“These types of projects typically take years or months and within a matter of weeks, Cash Converters were able to redeploy their entire end point suite based on the architecture we designed,” he said.
For Fee, the centralised nature of the deployment has helped streamline the IT management for the company.
"One of the greatest benefits we’ve seen from this deployment is the ability to take issues with POS away from the store level,” he added.
“Instead of having multiple people working to address issues locally, we have been able to manage the application from a central location. It’s allowed our local staff to add value at a store level in better ways.”
Moving forward, Boys said Ignia plans on continuing to strengthen its relationship with the retailer through Microsoft’s business intelligence solutions.
“We do a lot for Cash Converters in the business intelligence (BI) space already, so this project was an enabler for us to push out new modern BI tools out to all the stores so Cash Converters is now a complete Power BI adopter," he added.
Boys added that as a result of the most recent deal, Cash Converters has become “a pure Microsoft shop”, as the standardised upgrade across its entire business has built on its previous long-standing usage of the Azure Cloud.