The word “upgrade” often petrifies business owners that have seen success for years without change. A longtime client asked us how she could make her office more efficient. After polling the employees, we found that the number one complaint was the speed of the computers. After running some quick diagnostics, it was clear that their rapidly aging Pentium 4 powered, Windows XP machines had to go. After moving to an advanced Exchange server for their email, the employees wanted to continue the trend and upgrade their email and accounting software. They were running Outlook 2003 and an old version of Creative Solutions Accounting Software. Unfortunately, their underpowered PCs would likely have issue with Outlook 2010 and the new version of their accounting suite.
After a series of discussions, mostly to reassure her and her office that the transition would be smooth, she made the plunge to upgrade all of the office PCs to new Core i5’s with Windows 7 64-bit. Because we recently moved all of their data to a RAID network attached storage unit and their email is hosted off-site, we had very little to backup before the upgrade. So that the business didn’t skip a beat, we came in early Saturday morning and began our preparations for the move. We used the network to our advantage by sending the user profile backups to the network attached storage instead of having to back up each computer manually to an external hard disk.
We powered on the new, powerful Core i5 computers, mapped the network attached storage drives, and initiated a restoration of the user profiles from the network attached storage. The gigabit speed network we constructed for our client made this process a breeze. After restoring the user profiles onto the new machines, we installed Office 2010 and downloaded each user’s email profile to Outlook 2010. Next, we installed the new version of their accounting suite. Once everything was in place, we initiated updates to make sure that the computers would be functioning with all of the current Windows, Office, and other Microsoft updates.
When we finalized the setup, we instructed one of the senior employees to do a test run of typical tasks the employees would need to perform on each computer. After he gave us the thumbs up, we cleaned and packed up the old units for recycling. Although part of the reason we came back on Monday morning was to ensure that the employees didn’t have any issues with the new computers, the main reason was to see the look on their faces as everything they used to do simply worked better and faster. Our client was pleased and impressed that her office had increased efficiency and overall happier employees.
This upgrade was a success.