About Northwest Investments(NWI)

Northwest Investments Pty Ltd (NWI) owns and operates a number of Quick Service Restaurants throughout Australia. NWI have a head office located in Melbourne and run a Payroll system called Accrivia.

Drivers to the Cloud

NWI was running an old Microsoft Small Business Server in their head office location. The hardware was end of life and the operating system were no longer supported. Connectivity for remote staff was also an issue with store managers needing to log into the central system to submit data. Slows due to the NBN connection caused severe issues for remote staff trying to connect back to on-premise resources.

Accrivia (Payroll system) is a WOLK partner and always recommend AWS and WOLK as their preferred cloud offering. This is where NWI and WOLK started their journey to the cloud. NWI wanted a system that was up to date, easy to use and allowed their remote staff better access to their systems while also keeping user familiarity with the current systems as a priority to reduce user pushback.

“We needed to replace our aging hardware and considered several solutions and providers, the recommendation from Accrivia and the fact that WOLK supply services for a number of other similar franchisees made the decision easy” said Diana Earp, NWI.

Why Amazon Web Services (AWS)

NWI needed to replace their old server infrastructure and decided that cloud was the answer. As always, using a proven system is the easiest route to guaranteed success and WOLK had proven that it can provide solutions to other Accrivia customers, hosted on AWS.

Being the world’s biggest and most reliable public cloud provider, moving to AWS gave NWI a lot of certainty that their data would be safe. There would not be capacity or speed issues and all staff would have the same experience when using shared company resources.

WOLK implemented a new firewall appliance with failover to 4g at the NWI head office, which meant that the normal blocker of “what if my internet goes down” was negated very easily.

The Benefits of Working with AWS and WOLK Technology – an AWS Advanced consulting partner and “Amazon EC2 for Microsoft Windows” Solution Provider

NWI had been working with another Managed Service Provider (MSP) for the on-premise server who made things a lot easier for WOLK to transition NWI to the cloud. Moving all of NWI’s IT resources to WOLK meant that WOLK turned into their single point of contact for all their IT needs.

There was no longer a need for a VPN or insecure RDP connections to an unsupported Remote Desktop server. WOLK initially implemented a modern and secure Microsoft Remote Desktop solution which meant that everyone had access to everything they needed to do their job and meant that the store managers could be more efficient all while keeping the way they worked very similar to before.

WOLK provided a very straightforward solution, which includes the EUC environment, File shares, Office applications, Payroll system and their Legacy apps. With a baseline cost, every additional user cost can be easily calculated to allow for planning.

Most of the office-based staff now work from home and only occasionally go into the office. This is only possible because staff can now work from home with the same efficiency as working from the office, even if using BYOD home grade equipment. The ease of switching from office based to remote working is one of the key advantages to having a cloud native end user compute solution.

So what did WOLK do for NWI?

Due to time constraints and the technology stack already in place, WOLK migrated NWI to AWS using a lift-and-shift method from the on-premise server to reduce pushback by users when completely changing the technology they used. We were told that staff were very resistant to change and they are used to the previous / old systems. We implemented a classic Microsoft Terminal Server environment and migrated all users to the new infrastructure over a 48 hour period.

NWI used this system for about 12 months, but a change in Microsoft licensing forced a rethink of the environment and NWI agreed to move to Workspaces.

WOLK conducted a Well Architected Review with NWI. The result being that every component is compliant with the new Microsoft licensing terms and the account is in the best state possible. Going through the process of a review with the client highlights the reasons behind some of the recommendations we were making and the client learnt a lot along the way. Engraining the Well Architected principles into everything we do adds real value to clients.

Technologies used within this environment include but are not limited to:

– Organizations
– Cloudformation
– EC2
– Config
– GuardDuty
– Secrets Manager
– Systems Manager
– Workspaces
– FSx
– Lambda
– Route 53
– S3
– Cloudtrail
– Cloudwatch
– Backup