About Matta Products
The value of a capable and versatile managed services provider quickly became apparent for Matta Products, a New Zealand-based international manufacturer of specialised workspace safety surfacing. With the server hosting its Enterprise Resource Planning solution out of warranty and requiring replacement, Lancom Technology stepped in with a viable solution, then assisted with the introduction of SharePoint, reconfigured the head office Local Area Network, and for good measure upgraded the company’s Customer Relationship Management solution. The result is better-running IT systems, so Matta Products is free to focus on product development and manufacturing, and its customers all around the world.
Founded more than three decades ago when Murray Scott saw an opportunity to divert waste from landfill, Matta Products pioneered a new manufacturing process and a innovative generation of safety surfacing products. Today, the company with roots in Otaki on the Kapiti Coast has offices in Auckland, Australia, the United Kingdom, and two locations in the United States. It manufactures and sells non-slip interlocking floor mats suitable for workspaces and playgrounds using waste products including discarded tyres. Matta continues developing its product through vigorous safety testing, installation welding systems, and is focused on expansion to agri, fitness and industrial surfacing markets. Matta holds the Environmental Choice NZ certification.
All good things must come to an end and so it was for the trusty server hosting Matta Products’ Greentree ERP system, says director Dylan Matthews. “We run an on-premises server and it was going out of warranty. At the same time we were upgrading our ERP and looking to consolidate our software estate to become a bit leaner, improve security, and reduce cost.”
When a server reached end of warranty, running the IT infrastructure start to get costly, and fast. “The cost of extending the warranty is exponential and then you also have uncertainty in terms of reliability. And of course, technology moves quickly, and our old machine was pushed to the limit with processing power and storage capacity, and we had to keep adding drives to the file storage subsystem.”
Dylan knew where to look for advice. "We have partnered with Lancom for well over a decade, so we engaged with them on this project too,” Matthews notes. “With a lot of old programs made redundant with the emergence of cloud solutions like Microsoft 365, we wanted to improve storage and collaboration with better file sharing, taking that element away from the on premises server so it could be dedicated to the ERP system alone.”
As Lancom started the project, it emerged that the CRM system needed an upgrade, and an improved backup solution supporting business continuity would be of benefit to the company. And, with a concurrent move to new premises, the Local Area Network required some configuration, bringing it up to appropriate security and performance standards.
Whilst a cloud first approach was considered, a replacement server strategy was adopted – bringing the environment into a current state.
Already leveraging Microsoft 365 for its email solution, expanding the utlisation to SharePoint became a no-brainer. “It’s about cost and functionality. We’re already paying for SharePoint with our Microsoft licensing, so why wouldn’t you. As such, Lancom has helped migrate our file storage to SharePoint, relieving the new server of that task so its solely dedicated to running the ERP.”
Any interference with an ERP system represents a potential existential threat to a business as the software is essential to operations. With Matta Products’ international footprint covering multiple time zones, further sensitivity was necessary in switching to a current server environment, mimimising any downtime. “Lancom approached it brilliantly. They had a team of 3 engineers and an account manager, and in terms of engagement and planning, there was a regular cadence of catching up, working on scope, timeline and budget – things which are important to have a good steer on. Clear communication is essential, and we got an open dialogue where nothing was hidden, unknown or unexpected, and we saw excellent management of basic project principles,” says Matthews.
Mitigating any threat to business continuity, the old and new servers ran in parallel until full confidence was established. The process also involved ‘retiring unused legacy systems’, says Matthews, making the business leaner with fewer bills and fewer support partners.
He describes the SharePoint aspect of the engagement simply as “That was great; and it was easy. Lancom were enthusiastic about moving us to SharePoint and we were unsure of how it would go and quite how it would work. Once up and running, our Sales team found it easy. There was no noise, and that’s a great indication of success.”
The most obvious result with a new infrastructure environment is trouble-free ERP. "Staff notice the difference, with no lagging but a quick and sharp response from Greentree.”
SharePoint has made life easier with improved collaboration and filing for nearly all the people in the business, while the elimination of several now-superfluous applications has simplified Matta Products’ environment, reducing the cost of support and licensing. This includes the removal of an obsolete ‘sync’ app from user devices. “Now we just upload to SharePoint. People don’t have as many issues or concerns, and there are fewer tickets to Lancom, and cleaned up consolidated software means better security and fewer support partners,” Matthews notes.
Dylan says a support partner capable of going well beyond the standard ‘break/fix’ elements of a typical MSP has proven invaluable. “Lancom has an eye on where and how to improve performance, cut costs through making the most of licensing, and driving down support by getting rid of unnecessary or outdated software.”
With its environment now running smoothly, the near future will involve further steps to improve filing and file sharing, and attention on cybersecurity improvements targeting user risk.
For now, though, he says, Lancom’s approach supported the delivery of an entirely anticipated result; the introduction of new hardware and software with no impact on the business. “We got what we wanted, and we paid what we expected. There were no moments of disappointment, and that comes from alignment. And it helps that those on the project are good people and easy to get along with.”
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