Macutex’s Journey to a Secure, Agile Hybrid Work Model

Client

Macutex is an Australian-based, award-winning company that specialises in providing reliable building data and reports to inform asset management and commercial decisions. Since 2006, they have translated data into strategic business information for government firms, private businesses, and not-for-profit organisations across the country.

Background

Steadfast Solutions has monitored, managed, and provided support for Macutex’s IT environment and infrastructure for over 10 years. Macutex expressed the need for a shift to remote working capabilities, which Steadfast Solutions addressed with a comprehensive plan.

Macutex wanted the solution to provide scalability for growth, a reduction in generated waste, work within their existing Microsoft environment, and robust security measures that would demonstrate dedicated commitment to the protection of their clients’ data.

Challenges

Macutex was facing several challenges in their journey to a hybrid work model, largely due to outdated infrastructure and insufficient security measures.

Physical infrastructure

Macutex’s on-premises servers were becoming obsolete. The traditional firewall protection was limited to the office environment, demanding a more flexible, secure solution.

Cyber security

The changing work landscape necessitated stronger, cloud-based security measures and access controls suitable for remote access to company resources.

Outdated phone system

 Macutex’s traditional phone system was inadequate for modern and remote working environments.

Solution

Steadfast Solutions proposed a plan that would consist of four major factors to transition Macutex over to the cloud and allow their employees to work as normal from any location, fully protected by advanced, strict security measures.

Azure Cloud

Steadfast Solutions facilitated Macutex’s move to the Microsoft Modern Workplace, transitioning all on-premises data to Azure Cloud. This shift included changing Macutex’s directory services to the cloud, utilising Azure Files, and adopting a SharePoint strategy with Macutex’s existing Microsoft 365 licensing.

Cisco Umbrella

To extend protection beyond the physical office, Steadfast implemented Cisco’s Security Internet Gateway (SIG) Advantage, a cloud-based firewall ensuring continuous security coverage no matter where employees were accessing company files from.

Microsoft Teams

Transitioning from traditional to cloud-based telephony, Macutex adopted a Microsoft Teams phone system, integrating communication within Teams and allowing them to make office calls from any location.

VPN security

To secure remote access following the shift to Azure and Cisco Umbrella, Macutex implemented Microsoft’s Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for VPN connections, and enforced access controls.

Implementation

Once the plan was approved by Macutex, Steadfast Solutions began the transition over an extended period of time. Each phase was implemented with user adoption training for Macutex’s team to ensure ease of deployment, and reduced complexity in their day-to-day administration.

Quarterly Business Review

Steadfast Solutions conducts regular reviews to align their solutions with Macutex’s evolving needs and future direction. They regularly updated Macutex on this long-term project to ensure all efforts and solutions were working smoothly and in line with Macutex’s business requirements.

User training and support

Transition to the new systems was fully supported by Steadfast Solutions with several training sessions, comprehensive user guides, and hands-on assistance to ensure smooth adoption.

Project management

Steadfast Solutions maintained consistent communication throughout the transition, minimising disruptions and ensuring efficient implementation.

Results

Steadfast Solutions’ implementations have ensured that Macutex was smoothly set up to work seamlessly in a hybrid workplace environment well before the COVID-19 lockdowns hit. Since then, with increased emphasis on security and AI advancements, Macutex was able to easily adopt further improvements along the way.

Improved productivity

Enhanced remote working capabilities and strong security measures have allowed Macutex to operate in an interconnected, secure digital environment. The integration of cloud storage and telephony has streamlined operations and supported Macutex’s hybrid work model.

Business growth

Leveraging security enhancements and AI advancement, Macutex has adopted further improvements, allowing them to scale their workforce and harness new advances in the Microsoft environment.

Cost-effectiveness

The shift to cloud solutions has reduced physical hardware needs and associated costs, while providing scalable solutions for future growth.

Improved client trust

Ensuring all connected endpoints are secure was a critical requirement not only for Macutex, but also their clients, who are growing more interested as to how Macutex keeps their data secure.

Adaptive response

Macutex adapted quickly to the solutions as they were implemented with continuous support, training, and reports from Steadfast Solutions.

Future

Building on Steadfast Solutions expertise in advanced cyber security, Macutex plans to implement automated threat protection such as SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) and SIEM (Security Information and Event Management).

Macutex also plans to optimise their environment for future use of AI-assisted programs, and automated information lifecycle administration, which will include utilisation of Microsoft Power Platform and Power BI.

Testimonial

“Steadfast have been great at working through options and outlining impacts and timeframes. They’ve always ensured a well-planned and executed implementation, and allowed for helping the team through the changeover.  

“The Steadfast team kept in contact from project creation and scheduling, through to implementation, to ensure the minimum amount of disruption to our day-to-day business activities while the project was implemented. Their support guides and initial training ensured an incredibly smooth changeover.”

Sarah Brand, Systems Integration Manager, Macutex