Centrered partnership puts paid to DJAS Architecture’s IT challenges
Looking for quality, no-nonsense technology support so it could focus on the business of design, Canberra’s DJAS Architecture found a capable partner in Centrered – and being just down the road didn’t hurt, either. With a smooth migration from a previous managed services provider and finding itself with a trusted partner providing a clear path to the cloud, DJAS Architecture today enjoys reliable, well-supported technology systems with a roadmap supporting its future ambitions.
Founded by Daryl Jackson and Alastair Swayn in the 1980s, DJAS Architecture is instrumental in shaping Canberra’s urban landscape with remarkable projects like Brindabella Business Park and Majura precinct. With a reputation for delivering top-notch design-based architecture, the interdisciplinary team of professional architects, building designers, interior and graphic designers collaborates closely with clients to craft creative, cost-effective, and quality-driven solutions, showcased by a diverse portfolio. DJAS Architecture has offices in Canberra, Brisbane and Armidale.
As is the case for most organisations, DJAS Architecture is dependent on IT systems for its successful operations but would rather focus on its core business than deal with computer troubles. While it had an existing managed services relationship, there was something missing, which the firm’s Chief Operating Officer Kylie Ochsenbein describes as ‘partnership’. “We’re in the middle of a very large project but at the same time, we understand the advantages of and are keen to move into the Microsoft cloud,” she says.
More than that, Ochsenbein says challenges in IT delivery included a complex and uncertain process for provisioning new employees with IT services and equipment (along with the related process of offboarding). “We don’t want people running around trying to figure out QR codes or expired passwords. There’s nothing worse than joining a workplace and not having access to your computer for a week, or longer,” she notes.
The company also sought greater visibility of its growing move into the Microsoft Azure environment – partially related to onboarding and provisioning – and sought a streamlined, efficient deployment of its Microsoft 365.
“We just weren’t comfortable with making the move with our previous provider. And with a recommendation from Conscia, which facilitates our internal strategy meetings and is therefore familiar with how we operate, we were comfortable moving ahead with Centrered.”
Things got off to a good start, says Ochsenbein, with DJAS Architecture impressed with Centrered’s initial approach. “The experience is consultative and considered. The team doesn’t jump into anything without ensuring they have all the information first.”
Co-location helps, with Ochsenbein appreciating in-person engagement which extended to Centrered’s team visiting the DJAS Architecture offices so they know who their work in delivering IT support and migrating into the Microsoft cloud is really for. “Having direct contacts within the team is important. It is great to have Centrered in Canberra with an office not far from ours, and a friendly, open relationship with the Centrered team is fantastic so far and makes a world of difference when selecting companies to partner with.”
Onboarding was smooth, with Ochsenbein reporting a responsive experience where the team didn’t hesitate to pay a visit when required. “Centrered’s communication is what really stands out, so even if there is a challenge, the team communicates well and tells us straight away.”
While the general result of establishing a trusted relationship is ready support when, where and how required – along with the all-important aspect of strategic guidance as DJAS increasingly moves into the Microsoft cloud – the company benefits from the assurance of quality.
“Centrered has identified where and how efficiencies are possible, and what technologies are available to make our jobs easier,” says Ochsenbein, adding that as the relationship deepens, implementation is likely.
Visibility has improved, as have specific processes including the all-important staff onboarding. “The process is a lot smoother, and we have been able to hand over some items to Centrered when it comes to onboarding and offboarding processes that we would have otherwise done in-house.”
With a server coming to end-of-life, and with broader cloud ambitions, she says Centrered’s expertise and insights are proving invaluable in terms of optimising IT not only from a functional perspective, but a financial one. “We’re looking at how to manage specific files, our hardware, and our servers to make our remote offices more efficient. It has been great to have a level of visibility and clarity throughout the process.”
But best of all is the confidence knowing that the IT is taken care of, so DJAS Architecture can set its own focus where it matters – for example, as a major project kicks off for the firm, it has ‘no worries’ about IT in general, or the specifics of the ongoing cloud migration. “We see Centrered as a partner, with a great commitment to partnership rather than just providing a service, that makes a difference. In a way, this means we’re building an IT board of directors with Centrered at the helm,” she smiles.
And that’s a lot more than mere ‘IT support’.
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