In at the deep end
In 2018 InterCity acquired two highly-regarded Cairns-based dive companies, Divers Den and Tusa Dive, within the same twelve months. The business objective was to transform them from direct competitors into one consolidated offering to its customers.
This was easier said than done. Both companies had a passion for the dive industry, but that’s where the similarity ended. There was little technological alignment between the two, or with their new parent company.
“They were using separate email systems and onsite servers,” says Pete Yates, chief technology officer for InterCity Group. “One was using a Mac server to store everything and had local email accounts set up on staff Macs. There was a very real risk of losing all their data if their server failed. And remote system access was via a VPN, so it wasn’t easy or streamlined.”
With the companies due to relocate their two separate functional teams and locations into one, and start their new life together in January 2019, it was critical to provide a common technology environment to smooth the way. InterCity Group uses the Microsoft 365 suite of products, including email, SharePoint and OneDrive. So the ideal solution decision was an easy one, says Yates.
“The new business needed technology they could use anywhere and anytime,” says Yates. “Staff needed single sign-on access to years of historical emails and documents, plus the ability to work securely work from home or while on the road. A successful migration to Office 365 would provide all of this.”
While there was an obvious need to sort the two companies out from a systems perspective, Yates says it was just as critical they support the 70 dive staff in the new business throughout the cultural upheaval.
“Unaligned technology over several locations wouldn’t help us build a strong new culture,” says Yates. “We had to unite two companies together in one place, under one general manager, one leadership team and one technology platform. It was important to us that the new entity felt like part of the total InterCity Group, and could get on with business as usual, as quickly as possible.”
With a go-live date of 28 January 2019 for Office 365 announced just weeks before Christmas, the pressure was on.
Fusion5, dive buddy
InterCity Group appointed Fusion5 as their Microsoft technology partner in 2018. “As a Microsoft Gold Partner they’re a good fit with our business,” says Yates. “Fusion5 has a highly competent and experienced Microsoft practice, and are right-sized for our organisation.”
The group has already consolidated its enterprise systems and made significant investments in Microsoft products, including the Office 365 suite. Fusion5 had worked closely with Yates on their business’ Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution and is currently replacing the group’s current financial solution with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. All of which made Fusion5 the natural choice of partner for migrating the new dive business to Office 365.