About Professional Building Consultants
The longer Brent Goldschmidt and Professional Building Consultants (PBC) work with Lancom Technology, the less they need to worry about IT systems. That’s because over the course of seven years, the managed services provider has consistently earned its keep, providing the necessary support and infrastructure even as Professional Building Consultants has grown by more than 25 percent.
Established in 2005, Professional Building Consultants provides consultancy services to numerous councils around New Zealand. Providing end-to-end and overflow services for councils, PBC’s services wrap around building consents and compliance and include acceptance, vetting and lodging, consent processing, building inspections, processing Code Compliance Certificate applications. PBC is an IANZ Accredited Organisation (Building), the first private company in New Zealand to achieve this qualification.
A firm believer in leaving specialised functions to professionals, Goldschmidt says even prior to bringing Lancom on board, PBC’s technology support was outsourced. “But we soon we realised that as a growing business we needed more than our initial provider could offer especially in terms of looking forward and got Lancom in. That quickly proved a good idea, as they not only help with the day-to-day running of our infrastructure and device environment, but have also provided strategic guidance in moving to the cloud.”
From a staff complement of around 30 people, PBC has grown to 42 individuals, and moved into new premises in December 2022. The company’s main line of business system is an in-house developed application, while typical office functions are ably handled by Microsoft 365 (which incorporates the popular Office 365 productivity suite), along with multiple cloud-hosted services for data storage, backup and disaster recovery. “Essentially our needs are for an IT setup that we don’t have to even think about. We just want it to be there, available, and doing what it should every time we need it,” Goldschmidt notes.
Moving into the cloud wasn’t as crucial in 2016 as it is today. But PBC, like many other businesses, was struggling with the overhead of on-premises servers and storage. “Our on premise based environment continually needed upgrading and more and more storage capacity. We could also see that as we moved from paper to digital systems, the problem was just escalating and the amount of data we were capturing and storing was huge and growing.”
Improved employee experience
Among the changes Lancom advised on was getting rid of the on-premises infrastructure and standardising on Amazon Web Services for storage, backups and disaster recovery measures. When Covid restrictions struck in 2020, Goldschmidt says this guidance proved especially useful. “Nearly everyone in the office was already set up to work from anywhere, thanks to Lancom’s advice to move over to cloud based systems. In fact, seeing the writing on the wall, we sent everyone home a week before lockdown; a few people unplugged a PC and took it home, the rest carried on with their home setup. The whole company just kept going ‘business as usual’. Phones, computers, the whole lot just worked exactly the same.”
Scalable and smart systems
With storage in the cloud, he says adding new capacity is now as easy as pushing a button. “The old server environment took up a ton of space and was just painful to manage. Now, we have a reliable IT infrastructure and upgrades are simple and incremental. Lancom's Managed Services partnership ensures the right level of governance, monitoring, and ongoing strategic recommendations. The implementation of a cloud based archiving service, that puts files into ‘deep freeze’ storage at a tenth of the cost with the ability to auto delete these files after a longer fixed period of time, is just one of the examples of how Lancom works with us to meet our business needs, intelligently.
Ongoing reviews and advice
Goldschmidt adds that periodic reviews from Lancom means PBC has a close eye on its IT environment, including advice on device refresh cycles, the security of files and infrastructure, and evaluations of its backup and disaster recovery measures. “IT is a dynamic space, so having a partner that keeps us top of mind and advises us is important. We want to use what’s available if it adds value to us, and we want to be efficient as possible.”
“Nearly everyone in the office was already set up to work from anywhere, thanks to Lancom’s advice to move over to cloud based systems." - BRENT GOLDSCHMIDT / Director
It really comes down to having focused attention on the IT systems, says Goldschmidt. “When you have a trusted provider in place which you know is looking out for your interests, it means pulling away from the day to day running of tickets and IT issues. It’s really good.”
Getting the most from that relationship is also a two-way street, he reveals. “Our team knows not every issue is high priority and they know to try basic measures before getting Lancom on the line. Yep, make sure it’s plugged in, restart your machine, check a few things. Only if that doesn’t work, then get into the Lancom portal and ask for help.”
It’s ‘the boy who called wolf’, laughs Goldschmidt. “This has a twofold effect. One is that we’re not annoying our service provider with silly requests; we appreciate that they have other things to do and if they jump for every little thing, it has an effect on other people, either in our own company or other Lancom customers. The other is that if we have an issue, they know it not trivial, so we get the necessary attention.”
While IT is sometimes seen as a source of innovation or competitive advantage, he says for most applications and devices, the simple reality is that it should be as close to invisible and out of mind as possible. “You just want everything to work. With a process of continuous improvement and oversight and detailed regular reporting, that’s what we get from Lancom. It’s no worries IT.”
IT Managed Services
Amazon Web Services
Microsoft Office 365
Looking for a Managed Services provider?
Learn more about our IT Managed Services and how you can optimise the technology that powers your business and keeps your teams buzzing.