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Marson Fabrics
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How technology is helping Marson Fabrics to operate more flexibly

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Vision and purpose

Working without limits

Marson Fabrics is an established textile merchant and design company based in London. It works closely with customers to supply material that meets their very specific needs for both quality and design. Fabrics are sourced from, among other places, China, and Turkey. Marson Fabrics offers an attractive combination of local design and control, with efficient international sourcing. An increase in international trading means Marson Fabrics needs to work flexibly. Staff require easy access to their systems and data whether in the office, at home, or abroad. Head office relocation provided the ideal opportunity for Marson Fabrics to review its systems, it called in Network Interlinks to help.

The business challenge

Increased flexibility, simpler, safe backups

In addition to enabling staff to work seamlessly from anywhere in the world, Marson Fabrics has a design team that creates large graphic files, these files need to be accessed rapidly while being easily stored and reliably backed up. Alister Heath, financial director at Marson Fabrics says, “Backups were running all night and hadn’t finished in the morning. Data recovery under test conditions was proving to be a challenge when using backup tapes.”


Business need and cost parameters

In addition they also wanted to replace their desktop PCs and upgrade software such as Windows, Microsoft Office and Exchange to newer releases. Alister explains, “Our decision was really driven by business need and we just had to find a solution within reasonable cost.”


Better cash management

While offering better access and more flexibility, systems also needed to simplify the budgeting process and enable improved cash management.

Value delivered

Added value

Although the initial project focus was to reduce the amount of office space used by technology hardware, which is a significant benefit and cost saving, quite a number of other benefits are delivered by the solution and the improved information flow that it brings.

 

Reduced costs, enhanced continuity

The smaller on-site comms room reduces the power and air conditioning requirement, helping to lower overall costs. Hosting in the Cloud ensures that systems are available 24/7 and that data is properly backed up — providing greater levels of business continuity and disaster recovery. It also removes the reliance on tape-based backup solutions, which had become difficult to manage as data levels grew.

 

Lower capital expenditure

The new approach also means that there is now no need for large scale capital expenditure on new and replacement equipment. This simplifies the budgeting process and improves cash management as Alister explains, “It does make it easier having a regular monthly cost rather than some big capital expenditure. It evens things out, making planning and cash flow easier and when budgeting we know exactly what our costs are going to be.”

 

No nasty surprises

When commenting on the costs of the project Alister went on to say, “The project came in exactly on budget. There have been no nasty surprises. Network Interlinks were very competitive and compared to some of our other suppliers their costs are very reasonable.”

 

A reliable partnership

Another benefit for Marson Fabrics was the certainty that came from a long term partnership. “We have been using Network Interlinks for 15 years. We know them and they’ve never let us down” says Alister.

The solution

The best of both worlds

A hybrid solution using a hosted Cloud environment with the addition of some on-site capacity was proposed by Network Interlinks. Marson Fabrics’ Microsoft Exchange system and enterprise applications were migrated to the Cloud, including Mertex, the company’s ERP solution. These applications were then delivered internally and externally to users via Citrix XenApp thin client technology, a platform that Marson Fabrics already knew well. “We have used Citrix for over 10 years so were already used to accessing remote applications” commented Alister.

 

Integrating valued applications

Although Mertex was a legacy application, Network Interlinks was able to integrate it into the Citrix environment, taking advantage of the improved availability of the platform. At the same time they were able to upgrade the version of Exchange to deliver both performance and functional enhancements to the business.

 

Intelligent file storage

In order to manage large graphic and image files produced by Marson Fabric’s design team and the company’s document management system, on-site servers and storage were also deployed. This on-site capacity is driven by the need for this data to be stored and accessed without using up valuable bandwidth, reducing the need for expensive connectivity.

 

Simple, reliable back up

On-site data is both replicated to the Cloud environment and to mirrored storage appliances located at the company’s warehouse in Harlow. All servers and data based in the Cloud are protected by regular snapshots which are incrementally transferred to the provider’s back-end storage. This removes the need for tape backup. Alister says, “The solution is very easy to use. It’s quite seamless”.

Key benefits

  • Improved system availability and business continuity with IT delivery no longer dependent upon the London Office
  • Space, cost and carbon emission savings – through the reduction of servers, air conditioning and power consumption required
  • Pay as you Go – monthly subscription

Technical summary

  • Hosted Cloud solution for enterprise applications
  • On-premise servers / storage for fast access to large files
  • Citrix XenApp to deliver applications
  • Data mirroring and snapshots to protect data

				
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Cybercrime continues to be an issue for small & midsize businesses.

  ransomware image Yesterday the BBC reported that more than 50% of UK businesses have suffered ransomware attacks in the last year. This is the greatest single risk to IT networks and business performance. We have helped a number of companies, in the past few weeks, recover from recent attacks. However, the cost in terms of lost time and sales revenue has in some cases been significant. We believe prevention is better than cure and have outlined the issue and methods to avoid the angst and potential loss of sales revenue below:  

How does it work?

  Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to business data by encrypting and renaming files. The bug usually travels into the IT network through email or downloadable internet files, programmes or applications. A demand for a sum of money is made and usually payable in bitcoins. These are untraceable so the perpetrator escapes with the cash – usually in the region of £2,500. Decrypting files without the decryption key is complex and time consuming. As a result organisations and businesses must weigh up whether they wish to part with the ransom or lose time, precious data and incur costs for IT consultants to solve the issue.  

How do I prevent it?

  Enforce good security practices within the businesses IT networks by employing effective anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spam products to improve the chance of detection before infection. This includes educating the workforce to the dangers of downloading information from an unknown source. Talk to our consultants who will assist your company to write and communicate effective online security policies that will protect your business.  

How does my business recover without paying the ransom?

  Efficient back-up is the answer. Network Interlinks works quickly and painlessly to rebuild computer systems and applications to an acceptable recent state from the businesses Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity solution. This out smart’s the criminal hacker and puts the company back in business promptly.

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SW20 8QU
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Network Interlinks Ltd.
318 Worple Road
London
SW20 8QU
UK

Remote support

view on map
info@networkinterlinks.com
+44 (0)20 8739 0660

Network Interlinks Ltd.
318 Worple Road
London
SW20 8QU
UK

view on map
info@networkinterlinks.com
+44 (0)20 8739 0660

Network Interlinks Ltd.
318 Worple Road
London
SW20 8QU
UK

view on map
info@networkinterlinks.com
+44 (0)20 8739 0660