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Case study - PR Firm

Business

  • Public Relations
  • PCs: 10
  • Locations: 1

Challenge

A Melbourne PR Firm had been growing for over a decade largely without IT incident until a critical server failure threatened to bring the company to a standstill and revealed urgent IT challenges that had not been apparent previously.

Solution

The PR Firm turned to Combo to get IT systems up again and address previously hidden back-up and business continuity issues to prevent this ever happening again.

Results

With a new server, robust backup and recovery systems and a renewed focus on the critical importance of well supported IT systems, the Firm is back focussing on crisis management for customers not its own survival.

Melbourne PR Firm

Clients rely on this Melbourne PR Firm for a range of expert public relations services including media relations, issues and crisis management.

With sensitive client information on file, a need to be responsive to emerging client issues and standard business operations requirements, IT systems are critical to the operation of the business.

With over a decade of experience in crisis management for clients, the Firm never expected internal IT systems to become the source of a business crisis. When the Firm’s server failed and existing backup and recovery systems were revealed to be woefully inadequate, the Firm found itself in crisis mode.

The business problem

As a successful small business this Melbourne PR Firm managed expenditure closely. Careful financial management and outstanding service had seen the Firm thrive for over a decade.

“We knew our IT systems were important and we thought we were doing the right things to protect the business,” says the Firm’s Director.
“We had what seemed to be a cost-effective solution. A small one-person IT support provider provided reasonable service, the price was right, and we thought all was well.”

“We used to have a tape backup system, but after discussion we agreed to install what we thought was an offsite backup and recovery system.”

“When our server failed everything began to unravel. We discovered we were nowhere near as protected as we had thought. In the midst of the crisis we realised that a one-man band, no matter how good, cannot be expert in everything.”

“A security breach through an open portal on our website led to progressive deletion of files on our fileserver. What we thought was a robust backup and recovery server then turned out to be simply mirroring the live server. As things went from bad to worse on our live server, the replication server simply copied the mess. We had no separate backup!”

“Our one man IT support provider seemed to be in panic as nothing was working. It was obvious we needed help.”

Partnering with Combo

“We turned to Combo in a time of crisis. Combo understood the critical importance to our business and were experienced in working with small to medium sized organisations. They were able to source a new server overnight.”

“It was a new relationship forged under immense pressure. Candidly, there were issues we had to resolve with Combo during this crisis. What was blatantly evident though is that a team like Combo provides access to a breadth of expertise that a one man provider simply cannot provide.”

“Combo successfully installed the new server, we eventually managed to recover most of our files, and Combo recommended and installed a really comprehensive backup and recovery system to avoid this happening again.”

Business benefits for this PR Firm

“We have learned some painful lessons as a result of this crisis.”

“As the Director of a small business you simply cannot ignore the importance of IT to the business. When critical files disappear the pain is immediate. When email and other systems also go down the pain escalates further. You soon realise that any extended period of that sort of crippling stand-still could bring the company to its knees.”

“Having someone ‘look after’ the systems is not enough. We discovered the hard way that all was not well. Working with a broader team like Combo earlier would probably have highlighted the issues well before they came to a head. Establishing a new IT relationship right in the middle of a crisis is one more headache right when you can least afford it.”

“When crisis hits though, the benefits of a broader expert team are obvious. There are so many different hardware and software configurations. No-one can be expert in them all. Working with an expert team gives your business access to wider expertise, deeper support resources and greater protection.”

“I was overseas at the time of the crisis and watching the growing threat of my company potentially grinding to a halt. I never want to be in that situation again.”