Optilan is a leading communications and security integrator for businesses, industries and governments, specialising in the provision of bespoke telecommunications solutions for energy, critical national infrastructure, pipeline, and rail projects.
The company needed a way to prevent system downtime and maintain productivity. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it also needed to empower employees to work from anywhere.
Insight worked in close partnership with Optilan to build a cloud-based business continuity solution and create a pool of Windows Virtual Desktops.
Optilan needs to maintain connectivity to enable employees to access critical applications and systems at all times. As a comms specialist, it also needs connectivity to maintain its services to clients.
Optilan wanted to ensure it had no issues with downtime, and was urgently looking for a backup solution to prevent this. Due to the impact of the pandemic, it also needed to enable employees to work remotely, giving them the flexibility to carry out their roles from home.
Although Optilan had an on-premise remote desktop infrastructure, it did not integrate well with the Microsoft 365 stack. In addition, the ageing solution was difficult to scale and did not support the company’s desire to optimise its security posture.
Optilan wanted an environment that would keep the business running smoothly and give employees the tools to work effectively anytime, anywhere.
“Insight’s business continuity solution provided a stepping stone for us to move fully into the cloud. By working with Insight throughout the project, we also gained the skills to further develop the Azure environment to meet our future needs. In addition, with a WVD pool, our employees are now able to access systems wherever they are working.”
James Stoy, IT Manager, Optilan
Insight had been supporting Optilan with its IT supply chain needs for some years, supplying laptops, PCs and its core peripherals.
Based on the strength of the existing relationship, Optilan approached Insight for help with a business continuity solution. Following the initial conversation with an Insight Solution Sales Specialist, Optilan were highly impressed with Insight’s technological capabilities. Optilan then decided to work with Insight as its technology partner of choice.
Following a series of workshops led by Insight experts, Insight’s consultants learned about Optilan’s applications and how they were set up. During the workshops Optilan learned best practice for working with Azure.
Insight’s consultants then worked with Optilan to create a roadmap, and Optilan began the building and testing process.
Insight recommended creating a failover environment in Azure to provide a business continuity solution. Optilan could then use this failover environment as a staging environment for a full Azure migration. Insight worked closely with Optilan’s own developers to build the solution – upskilling the Optilan team so that they could complete the migration themselves.
Having built an Azure environment, Optilan worked closely with Insight to pilot a Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) pool. Using knowledge gained on the previous project, Optilan was then able to test its WVD environment and apply policies to fulfil business needs.
Insight showed Optilan how to resolve the bugs it had identified, enabling it to go live successfully.
Throughout both phases of the project, Insight’s Solution Architects supported the Optilan team in developing its skills and experience with Azure, so the business would be able to manage its environment independently.
Optilan is protected against any downtime with an Azure disaster recovery solution.
Working closely with Insight has given Optilan valuable knowledge, and the company is now able to manage its infrastructure independently.
The WVD solution integrates seamlessly with the Microsoft 365 stack including Microsoft Teams, so employees can access the tools they need when working remotely.
Having moved to the cloud, Optilan can now access applications through a Software as a Service (SaaS) model rather than hosting apps on its own servers. This helps it to drive down costs and enables it to scale up when required.
The newer, cloud-based model also enables Optilan to benefit from Microsoft’s enhanced security protection.