Last year, we have had the immense pleasure of working with independent vet consultants Vet Dynamics on improving their IT infrastructure.
Vet Dynamics offers a comprehensive range of business education, analytical and consultancy services for independent veterinary practices. Operating globally, from one-day events to full membership programmes, Vet Dynamics gives vets the tools and the know-how to make their businesses succeed.
When we first met the team in March last year there were a number of areas in the IT systems and infrastructure that they wanted to address:
- Their previous supplier was not providing the kind of support they needed. Although a reputable cloud service provider, they were not equipped to offer all-round general user support for the entire IT system, which became even more imperative given the need for support during the transition to remote working during the coronavirus lockdown. This meant that there was a real opportunity to improve VetDynamics’ user experience and simplify the way they work to accommodate home working.
- The recent Coronavirus lockdown had exposed some flaws in the way in which their previous supplier had set up their file server and mail server systems for remote working, which was constrictive. When working from home users were required to use Teamviewer to remote onto the PCs in the Office to then use a VPN to access their emails and data via the cloud. This is a convoluted and over complicated way to set up access for remote working and gaining access to work documents.
- The speed of the systems and user access to important files and emails were also an ongoing issue, with some users having gone months relying on their colleagues for access, this was no longer going to work with a dispersed workforce.
- Although not immediately obvious, the way in which the IT infrastructure was set up was not as secure as we like to see. We added improving the security
This project came with a very specific challenge, one that we have not seen before. But we were undaunted as here at Veterinary IT Services we love coming across complicated obstacles and overcoming them using smart, efficient and easy to use tech.
As part of their consultancy work with independent veterinary practices Vet Dynamics use a data extractions ‘script’. In layman’s terms, this program extracts clients’ data from their practice systems and then another ‘script’ that will index the information so that Vet Dynamics have all the materials they need to be able to help their client and that these files re-organised in a way that their team can utilise them.
These ‘scripts’ have been built by Vet Dynamics to be used in the system that they had previously. Our challenge was to engineer a solution to ensure that these fully integrated with and still worked in the new SharePoint environment we were migrating them across to.
Firstly, we migrated all of Vet Dynamics data from their cloud-based server into SharePoint. This gave their users a simple method of access for remote working. Instead of having to hop across three systems to access their data, SharePoint allows them to retrieve and view company files from anywhere on any machine, which is a lot more conducive to successful home working.
Next we migrated their emails from their outdated (and insecure) Exchange server based installation into Office 365. This again gave users freedom to access their information from anywhere in a highly secure manner whilst taking advantage of the vast 365 suite.
The final and most complicated part of the Vet Dynamics project was overcoming the complications surrounding their script based data retrieval and indexing in a method. Our veterinary IT experts implemented a solution that was familiar to their users as it closely mirrored their previous setup and integrated with the existing scripts seamlessly. This continuity was of particular importance as we wanted to ensure that the Vet Dynamics team continued to have an experience that they were comfortable with.