Helping Campos Coffee to Wake Up Queensland
For Queenslanders, nothing starts the day like a cup of Campos coffee from their favourite café. Locally roasted in Eagle Farm, the brew is known for its tantalising aroma and exceptional flavour – Campos only ever uses speciality-grade beans. Yet it isn’t only in its choice of product that Campos demands excellence – the business has flourished from the best methods – and the right technology.
As the business grew, director John Ronchi was quick to recognise the opportunity in using technology to increase efficiency.
‘We have been working with Smile IT since May 2015, and they were instrumental in our changeover from MYOB to Xero and Unleashed,’ said Ronchi.
‘Since then, we have engaged them on a permanent basis for both our IT and business consultancy.’
The understanding that Smile IT sought for that first engagement impressed John, and he knew that the Smile IT team shared his vision. In the digital economy, IT is ‘vital’ in the business, and Smile’s role as a technology partner has helped the business in its growth phase.
‘They have helped implement new systems and streamlined how our business operated. From a business consultancy aspect, they have greatly assisted with our reporting and cash flow.’
A priority for the Smile IT team was to help Campos to identify where the business was profitable, and where improvements or changes were needed.
‘We have monthly sit-down meetings, not only for reporting but also for strategy,’ said John.
‘This has put us in a better financial position month-on-month.’
While the implementation of the accounting and reporting systems has played a key role, it is the ongoing involvement that makes the most difference to the Campos team. Smile IT handles the day-to-day IT essentials, leaving the Campos staff to focus on business production and growth opportunities.
To hand over key IT management to an IT partner involves significant trust, and John, is clear on the reasons for his choice of Smile IT.
‘Their service is exceptional. They also take time to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of our business model. All the team are very approachable and professional.’
For John, it isn’t just technical knowledge that he values from the Smile IT team. Being on the same wavelength is essential in such a close partnership.
‘They understand what it’s like to run a business. The whole team is hands on and approachable.’
John believes bringing in Smile IT to run Campos’ IT environment is an important investment, citing a ‘major impact in our profitability and cashflow’ as some of the greatest benefits of working together.
Campos’ success is good news for Queenslanders seeking their morning hit, with the premium coffee available in more places, including Campos’ own cafes in Brisbane. John has recommended Smile IT to other businesses – and we certainly recommend a daily cup of Campos to any coffee connoisseur.
GBA and Smile IT: Connecting Outback Projects
From its headquarters in Barcaldine, Central-West Queensland, GBA Consulting Engineers is helping build the outback. From road building and bridges to aerodromes, the projects are as diverse in nature as they are in location. To cope with Australia’s harshest conditions, GBA turns to the skills of Smile IT to keep them online.
GBA’s heavy IT workload was being impacted by old server hardware running dated operating systems. The business was using outdated Microsoft products, risking service interruption.
Downtime could impact projects spread over thousands of kilometres, proving costly to the consultancy.
“Downtime would have a 100% impact on productivity,” said GBA’s Ian Donald.
Storage capacity was also an issue. It was important to store growing data volumes. Meanwhile, slow internet was causing frustrations among the hard-working GBA team. Ian Donald’s team identified some key considerations.
‘Cloud-based email, fast servers and a fast network were our priorities to ensure our business could run at peak efficiency.’
GBA’s business servers were upgraded, and mail was migrated to the cloud with Office 365. To increase efficiency, GBA moved from a traditional infrastructure to a hybrid server running virtual machines.
A strong backup policy was put in place. GBA opted for ShadowProtect to enable them to meet a 15-minute disaster recovery window.
Three levels of redundancy were put in place. Redundant drives, power supply and reliable dual CPU servers prepare the business for the challenges of the remote environment. Virtual servers are backed up at image level on-site, and ready to virtual boot in minutes. For additional assurance, all business-critical data is replicated off-site, so no matter what the outback elements throw at GBA, they are ready.
The updates included site-to-site virtual private networks (VPNs) using SonicWall routers, so that all remote offices could be linked. This allows all GBA’s users to access business data securely, making their daily work routine easier.
With new projects to work on, the GBA team could not afford disruption while the new IT infrastructure was rolled out. Smile IT’s specialists worked closely with GBA’s in-house IT team to minimise disruption.
‘Smile IT limited impact and conducted a smooth, easy transition,’ said Mr Donald.
The change to hybrid IT has given GBA the best of both worlds; they have the ease and immediacy of cloud combined with the control that comes with keeping some data and applications on-premise.
Staff at GBA’s remote locations can access the information they need immediately, so they can make fast, well-supported decisions and keep projects running smoothly.
Most importantly, GBA has an absolutely reliable IT environment that will make sure they can keep working through natural disaster, power cut or human error.
In keeping with GBA’s need for a rapid solution, the ‘professional and competent’ Smile IT team was able to meet a very short deadline.
‘It is a huge improvement and we are very satisfied,’ said Ian McDonald.
Helping Gateway Containers Ship Across Australia
Gateway Containers are the preferred choice for Australian businesses. With over 5,000 containers at two facilities in Brisbane, the supplier has earned a reputation for both competitively priced containers and modifications engineered to the highest industry standards.
With the contract for their previous IT provider coming up for renewal, Roy saw an opportunity to explore other options for their IT requirements.
“Smile IT came highly recommended through a business forum group and we were suitably impressed with the recommendations that were made by them, by the positive attitude displayed by the Smile team, and also by the highly competitive rates offered,” said Roy Finnegan.
Working with Smile IT helped Gateway Containers reduce costs, become more streamlined and offer a more efficient service all round. The solutions implemented meant less disruption and outages.
“As with all businesses these days, we are extremely reliant on our IT infrastructure for our day to day operations,” said Roy Finnegan.
“We are in constant contact with major global players within the shipping industry, and a large percentage of our data is sent through automated EDI systems.”
While the benefits for customers and the business at large are great, Smile IT has also helped make the jobs of Gateway Containers’ employees easier as well.
“Smile IT immediately switched our platform to a cloud-based system and made numerous changes to our hardware,” Roy Finnegan said.
“These changes have consistently delivered less downtime, enabled our staff to work remotely whenever required and made information sharing seamless.”
For Gateway Containers, switching to Smile IT was a logical transition thanks to the location, agility, competitive pricing and perhaps most importantly, the Smile IT team’s “can-do” attitude and continuous improvements for the business.
Smile IT’s work has meant Gateway Containers has greater flexibility, flow of information and results tracking, creating a more engaging, efficient business for employees and customers alike.
Making Luxury Getaways with Spicers Retreats Hotel and Lodges Stress-Free
Spicers Retreats Hotel and Lodges is a world renowned accommodation provider, offering unique, luxury retreats across Queensland and New South Wales. With several locations spanning the east coast in beautiful scenic regions, Spicers are popular for special occasions, couples getaways, or those simply looking to escape the concrete jungle.
With thousands of people booking getaways every year, a good technology foundation is crucial for Spicers Retreats Hotel and Lodges and this is where Smile IT have helped.
Peter and the team at Smile IT have managed Spicers’ IT requirements for eight years, allowing the business to focus on growing.
“Smile IT are an integral part of our business and our relationship is most importantly built on trust,” said Lynne Tyquin, Spicers Retreats Hotel and Lodges Chief Financial Officer.
“Peter looks at our business as he would his own – he is continuously trying to find smarter ways to improve efficiencies as well as cut costs.”
For example, Spicers recently reduced their annual Telecoms spend to some of their remote properties by $30k annually by cleverly building long range PTP data links that utilise the NBN network. This enabled those properties to remove expensive 3G/4G plans and replace them with cheaper NBN connections that deliver much better speed and reliability. The end result is a better client experience when staying at these particular properties.
But it’s not just these unique situations where Smile IT shines.
“Smile IT have lightning quick, friendly, knowledgeable support via the telephone,” Tyquin said.
“We love not having to wait in support desk queues for overseas technicians like some providers.”
Tyquin also mentioned how the team understand each of their retreats thoroughly and the intricate challenges that go into keeping each one running smoothly.
“The team have implemented and supported our fully scalable managed single Wi-Fi network across all of our retreats including regional locations,” Tyquin said.
Through ongoing project management, Smile IT provide Spicers’ solutions for new and existing retreats, including managing subcontractors, as well as offering expert advice and procurement of reliable and reasonable hardware and software products and assistance.
Smile IT’s work has meant Spicers Retreats Hotel and Lodges have better solutions for guests and staff alike, helping the business grow and ensure the level of luxury they promise to their guests.