The Problem

 A core business application requires a new server and database to meet the applications requirements.

The client was using Windows 7 as a server to share excel files between team.  Often the users PCs would run slowly; all staff and clients were frustrated by the speed they were able to provide the NICEIC certificates for the work they produce.

Our client

An Electrical contractor with over 40 years’ experience and a team of 10 staff.  The company had grown and managing NICEIC certificates for their client installations as well as being able to schedule their staff efficiently require them to use Clik Software’s Clik Service software. 

Reason for change

The client had been using NICEIC software for a few years on a single PC.  As the company wanted to expand and allow their customer services team to schedule their electricians in an efficient manner.

The client has spoken with Clik Software who provide the NICEIC software and needed to meet the requirements for the latest version of the software as well as Clik software’s Service product.

Although Clik Software provide the support for their own software, the client would need to ensure their equipment met the software and hardware of the new software.

Application Requirements

Most software products, including Windows have a minimum and recommended hardware that the software developer will advise that you need to meet to ensure their application will operate correctly and so the users are not frustrated by the speed/performance.

Often these are overlooked and only reviewed when there are issues.  It is worth checking to ensure your current hardware/software will meet the requirements and ideally exceed them where possible by at least 20% to ensure the software will continue to work effectively after years of use.  Remember databases tend to grow unless you are only using them as a reference.

Both Clik Service and NICEIC required a Microsoft SQL database.  This could be the Microsoft SQL Express edition, but the full version of Microsoft SQL Server is required if used with 10 or more users or if the database exceeds 10GB).

Clik Software provide both client workstation and server requirements.

As the users would be running multiple applications we wanted to ensure the combined requirements would be met.  

It is easy to forget that most PC users will have several applications open including Word, Excel, Outlook which also have minimum recommendations from Microsoft.

Audit

We reviewed the current systems at the client’s office and verified the requirements of both Clik Service and NICEIC software.

We reviewed the user’s desktops (CPU, RAM, DISK & Windows versions) to ensure they would meet the requirements of the software.  We found that each some of the user’s PCs met the minimum requirements and some did not. 

As the client was using a PC running Windows 7 we would need to provide a suitable recommendation for the new software.

Selecting the server

The Clik software’ Service and NICEIC software applications both required a Windows server 2012 or above. 

The current version of Windows server 2019 is available in 3 editions:

  • Datacenter – for highly virtualized datacenters and cloud environments
  • Standard – for physical or minimally virtualized environments
  • Essentials – for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices

As the client had fewer than 25 users, we selected the Essentials version which is aimed at small businesses.  This would also allow the client to grow the number of users if required. 

For the database, the current NICEIC database was running on a Microsoft Access Database.  However, it was below 250MB.  After speaking with Clik we were able to confirm that the SQL Server Express would be suitable on Windows Server Essentials.

windows server 2019 essentials

Windows Server 2019 Essentials provides Active Directory that allows the server to act as a domain controller and authenticate users and can enforce security policies for user access.

Windows Server 2019 Essentials can also be synchronised with Microsoft 365 for single sign on for emails and OneDrive and Teams.

Meeting the PC requirement

From our audit of the client’s PCs, we found a number were running Windows 7 and did not meet the CPU or RAM requirement of Clik Service.

Clik Service recommends an i3 or i5 CPU and 4GB RAM.  We we would be running multiple applications we recommended each PC should have 8GB RAM. 

We were able to upgrade some of the PCs to Windows 10 Professional and install RAM were possible however some the PCs that did not meet the minimum CPU requirements were not cost effective and we were able to provide refurbished PCs that would allow the client to improve the users experience without exceeding their budget.

Installation

The client has been running Windows in a workgroup environment which had been configured without too many restrictions. 

This allowed us to start from a clean slate and implement some best practices for file sharing and groups and passwords.

The client’s data was transferred from their existing Windows 7 PC and stored on the server. 

At the same time, we also migrated their emails to Microsoft 365 and were able to upgrade all of the Microsoft Office to ensure that all of the users had the same versions of software installed.  (See our email migration case study)

Database Software

We worked with Clik Software and facilitated the installation of the Clik Service & NICEIC products and were able to quickly deploy the applications to each of the user’s PCs.    

We configured the backup of the database and the data which is used by the company.   As the systems contain critical client data, we also configured the security on the files to ensure the were only accessible by the staff who needed access.

Training & Support

The staff were provided with some initial training for the new system, and we offer remote/telephone support or onsite assistance where needed.  

Clik Software provide support for their applications however we can assist by providing day to day remote support and monitor the server to ensure the databases are running and users can work.  We also provide the support for the clients Microsoft office suite and resolve any support issues that occur. 

If you are considering using an application from Clik Software or Sage accounts and you need assistance with your equipment to ensure if meets the requirements, then talk to us. 

 

Published:
August 11, 2021
Category:
Meeting Application Requirements
Client:
Electrical Contractor

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