When London Irish Rugby Club moved to a new training facility the club also looked to upgrade the rest of its organisation, including its IT setup.
This involved moving the 60 or so staff running the club from primarily desk-bound machines and systems to a cloud-based environment using key Microsoft tools such as Office 365 and Dynamics CRM.
Operations manager at London Irish Rugby Club Richard Watton explained to V3 that the move is aleady having a huge impact on the club. “The Office 365 system we’ve gone for has been quite liberating,” he said.
Watton explained that staff can now easily work between the training facility in Hazelwood, Surrey, or at the club’s ground in Reading’s Madejski Stadium, and access key information whenever required.
“For example our ticket guys, who previously didn’t have a connection to the older server, are now in the position where they can access shared drives and documents from any location,” he said. “This is streets ahead of where we were before, where we had to use a data transfer website, which was clunky to use.”
While in the past the majority of staff had desktops, and the minority laptops, this has now switched around. HP 650 ProBooks have been given to staff who are regularly on the move, while HP ProDesk 400 and ProDesk 600 machines are used for the remaining static machines in use.
This shift to new hardware also allowed the club to move away from its old Windows XP machines.
To work through this process the club worked with an IT reseller in the area called LeadingEdge, which Watton said was key for the club, especially as the migration to Windows 7 took place after the end of XP support.
“There were about three months where we weren’t sure what would happen but LeadingEdge did a great job in transferring all our data like emails to the new environment, something we may have struggled with.”
Windows 7 was chosen by the club as the next natural upgrade to its operating system use. “Windows 8 was not something we looked at, as we just wanted to move on a constant update cycle, so we’re up to date with the market,” Watton added.
Similarily, the club has not looked to deploy any tablets as yet for staff, as it wants to make sure the new laptop and cloud system is fully established before it starts adding new hardware into the mix.
“We may look at them in the future, but tablets may be an extra cost we don’t necessarily need, so we’ll just wait and see.”