How Neuways uses IT Strategy, Cyber Security and Managed IT as partners of 361 Degrees

With over 30 years in the industry, 361 Degrees is a specialist in the design and installation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Based in Luton, Bedfordshire, they work with buildings of all sizes, including schools, care homes, warehouses, and industrial environments and are hugely reliant on smooth-running logistics.

As a result, 361 Degrees required an IT function that helped source the right materials rapidly, support the installation team in the field, and go a degree further for their customers.

Neuways has supported 361 Degrees with their IT since 2012. So when a new server was required in 2019, it was Neuways whom they turned to.

Strategic IT

361 Degrees had previously relied on ad-hoc IT support, calling Neuways when they required a fix. However, following a successful server installation in 2012, Neuways began working more closely with the business as their strategic IT partner.

“Everything was communicated and clear. We went through all options available to us for our new environment, and we received advice and guidance on what would be best for our business based on our requirements and budgets.”

– Mark Penprase, 361 Degrees

Neuways conducted a business needs analysis, based on 361 Degrees’ current requirements and future growth plans, and provided a range of options for 361 Degrees to consider.

Neuways is proactive with its recommendations and monitors the age of its customers’ devices. This is to preempt any potential server failure due to aging hardware and to ensure that customers are benefitting from the productivity benefits that come with running on the latest devices.

An example of this proactive strategic IT support for 361 Degrees came when Neuways informed 361 Degrees that their previously reliable Small Business Server (provided by Neuways back in 2012) was aging.

And with Microsoft due to end update support in January 2020, a replacement was essential for the business to continue receiving critical security updates.

Balancing the budget, vision, and requirements of 361 Degrees, Neuways recommended and installed a brand-new server that would future-proof the business’s logistics and operations.

As experts in server implementations, Neuways planned the server installation around the needs of 361 Degrees to ensure that downtime remained minimal.

Datto BCDR products

Secure IT

IT security is another aspect of the service that Neuways provides for 361 Degrees. This began with a strategic conversation with the 361 Degrees Board of Directors who expressed a need to diminish downtime wherever possible.

Assessing the predominant areas of risk, Neuways constructed a network of enterprise-grade security solutions around the business.
A major part of this was the implementation of a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) Strategy.

In addition to installing and configuring a high-performance BCDR appliance, Neuways manages 361 Degrees’ entire Business Continuity Plan. This means that the business receives hourly backup as standard, regular testing, screenshot verification, and much more.

With one version of 361 Degrees’ server data backed up securely in the cloud and another stored on a local Datto BCDR appliance, the business’s data is secured from on-site disasters, cyber threats, and accidental data loss.

No matter the disaster, Neuways can retrieve the latest backed up version of 361 Degrees’ server data within the hour (typically within fifteen minutes of being notified). This means maximum uptime for the business.

Another area Neuways bolstered was email security. Phishing is now the number one weapon of choice for cyber criminals, so Neuways implemented an enhanced email security solution. This minimises risk significantly by regulating incoming emails and therefore protects staff from exposure to the latest phishing techniques.

Neuways also installed a next-generation firewall to ringfence the 361 Degrees corporate network from malware and prevents malicious access to the corporate network.

These measures have ensured the ongoing security of staff and decision makers in 361 Degrees, in addition to their customers and suppliers.

“The actual refresh itself went according to plan; there was next to no disruption for the changeover and the engineer was exceedingly professional, polite and well received by the staff.”

– Mark Penprase, 361 Degrees

Supporting IT

Prior to working in partnership with Neuways, 361 Degrees relied on a single person to manage their IT – a role they split with existing responsibilities in the company’s finance department.

This meant that, regardless of their commitment and skills, the individual could not focus entirely on 361 Degrees’ IT. There was no cover for sickness or holiday, meaning that if a disaster occurred in their absence, the business was at risk of grinding to a halt.

Neuways now works with 361 Degrees in a managed service capacity, meaning their IT is supported round-the-clock by 45+ professionals. With industry experts on tap, each one a specialist, 361 Degrees now benefits  from a wide breadth of knowledge, experience, and skills.

Underpinned by industry best-practice cyber security and IT strategy, Neuways’ IT support keeps 361 Degrees’ operations running smoothly in the face of increased cyber risk.