OUR BUSINESS HAS CONTINUED ITS RAPID EXPANSION AND THE SOLUTIONS LEAP IT PUT FORWARD TO MEET OUR NEEDS HAS REALLY HELPED US.
The CMC Group is a multi award winning Mazda, Suzuki and MG dealership with locations throughout the Midlands.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you should know that Coventry was awarded the title UK City of Culture 2021, taking over from Hull who were awarded the accolade in 2017. The award is made every four years and was a huge success for Hull boosting the economy by an estimated £60m. Coventry beat off stiff competition from Swansea, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland who were all in the running for the prestigious award.
| Business Objectives
The CMC Group is a multi award winning Mazda, Suzuki and MG dealership with locations throughout the Midlands. Oﬀering a comprehensive range of services from new and used car purchasing, after sales support, servicing and repairs across the ensure Mazda and Suzuki range.
The CMC Group approached Leap IT back in 2016 to overhaul the IT systems across their dealerships. Following several planning meetings it became clear there were several areas of the business which would beneﬁt from the latest cloud technology. A plan was put together to audit the current infrastructure and upgrade where necessary, migrate the email to Oﬃce 365 and lastly to setup a brand new dealership in Stourbridge in the next 4— 5 months.
- A detailed audit of the IT Infrastructure across the business with a view to upgrading and replacing older IT equipment with the latest Windows 10 operating systems and Oﬃce 2016 software
- Migrate the email platform for the entire CMC Group away from the application provider to Microsoft Oﬃce 365. The key objectives being increased uptime and reliability, a streamlined solution for creating new email addresses and better email management moving forward
- Design and install the IT at a new Mazda dealership opening in Stourbridge within the next 4-6 months. The design needed to encompass Hardware, Networking, Wireless Customer Internet Access, Uniﬁed Communications and Managed Print.
Phase 1 : Audit
The ﬁrst phase of the project was to deploy our Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software across the entire CMC Group, this was done remotely in a matter of hours to every single machine connected to the CMC network. From here we were able to run a detailed report on each endpoint capturing the following information:-
- The age of the PC/Laptop/Server
- The version Windows operating system being used
- The version of Microsoft Oﬃce software being used
- The Anti-virus software installed
- A summary of the latest Windows updates in-stalled including any missing security patches
- A full inventory to include licence keys and software on each endpoint
From this we then produced a framework document to highlight which devices need replacing, those devices with out of date antivirus and windows update software and lastly a full inventory of the devices including make, model and installed software to be kept by CMC Group.
Phase 2 : Office 365 Email Migration
The second phase of the project was the migration of the email across all dealerships to the cloud with Microsoft Oﬃce 365.
The email system at the time was managed by the application provider and was setup when the business was ﬁrst formed. Whilst this worked initially the rapid expansion of the business meant this was no longer a viable solution moving forward and an alternative solution was needed.
With the upgrade of Microsoft Oﬃce being rolled out across all of the endpoints it made sense to wrap this around an Oﬃce 365 Business Premium subscription giving both email management and Oﬃce licenses to each user. As a side piece of work we also transferred in several of CMC Groups domain names to enable us to provide an end to end management of the email system and company websites.
Microsoft Outlook became the standard email client across the business which enable better visibility of the staﬀ across all of the dealerships using shared calendars and shared mailboxes meant the hundreds of emails now ﬂowing through the business each and every day could be better managed.
Phase 3 : Setup New Stourbridge Dealership
The ﬁnal part of the project was providing an IT, Communications and Print solution for a new dealership
Leap IT were involved in the project at an early stage meaning we were able to specify how the structured cabling needed to be distributed for wireless access points, telephone handsets and our Sharp multi-function copiers. Once the cabling was in place we then rolled out our managed UniFi Wireless solution which is controlled directly from our offices in Solihull giving CMC Group both internal private wireless access and guest access to customers visiting the showroom.
CMC Group then consolidated the IT, VoIP Phone system and Photocopier requirements for the new dealership all with Leap IT for easier management and efficiency.
Leap IT supplied Dell hardware throughout the dealership including laptops, PCs and a central Dell server with a managed ﬁrewall and router. We also installed the latest 3CX VoIP telephone system with both ﬁxed and wireless handsets throughout the showroom. This was all hosted directly with Leap IT on the cloud meaning no costly hardware was installed on site and no hardware maintenance contracts were needed on the phone system moving forward. Lastly we installed the latest Sharp Digital photocopiers throughout the dealership to manage the print and copy requirements.
Those PCs highlighted as needing to be replaced by the audit were upgraded to the latest Dell Optiplex PCs with dual monitor screens and the latest Microsoft Oﬃce 2016 software. The new computers were much more responsive than the older models they replaced and email, oﬃce and the main CMC Group application ran quicker and smoother across the group.
Anti-virus software was rolled out to the endpoints via our Remote Monitoring and Management agent (RMM) which is now monitored 24 hours a day to ensure it is up to date and computer scans are scheduled to run automatically on a weekly basis. Our RMM also manages the installation of critical windows updates to all the endpoints on a weekly basis making sure The CMC Group have the best level of protection and security against viruses and malware.
Having migrated the email away from the application provider and into the cloud with Microsoft Oﬃce 365 CMC have seen a noticeable decrease in the amount of SPAM coming into users mailboxes. It also enabled them to utilise shared calendars giving better visibility across the group of who is working at which dealership. Email was also now available across a number of devices including mobiles and tablets
Lastly the Stourbridge dealership was opened on schedule with full wireless internet access throughout the showroom for visitors and guests. We also registered the domain mazdastourbridge.com and stourbridgemazda.com with full email and website services on both domains and rolled this out to the site for the opening.
Telephones are now managed directly with Leap IT and we have already tweaked some of the settings to better suit the business with their requirements. Finally a central Sharp MX-3070N photocopier was installed in recepon for printing important customer agreements and documentation alongside an MX-2640 for the backend admin staﬀ and a MX-C301W small A4 printer for the workshop. All the IT, Comms, Cloud and Print were then wrapped around a Managed support contract with Leap IT moving forward.