The Client

Woodcote Green Garden Centre and Nurseries is an award winning garden centre and nurseries in Wallington, providing a wide range of products from plants, shrubs and trees to indoor and outdoor furniture.

They also supply landscape and pond supplies as well as having a special area for animal care. Their customers can also purchase seasonal local food from their farm shop and enjoy homemade cooking in the café.

The client’s IT challenge

Woodcote Green’s IT infrastructure had grown over time and the most pressing issue were the 40 Windows XP desktops and Small Business Server 2003, which were no longer supported by Microsoft. This meant that security updates were no longer available, which made Woodcote Green extremely vulnerable.

The old server software had also reached some limitations, such as the email database size, and this led to users experiencing problems sending and receiving emails. The existing hardware posed a problem because a lot of the workstations were too old to be upgraded and had to be replaced completely. With roaming profiles being used incompatibility between Windows XP and the new operating system meant workstations could not be upgraded gradually, and had to be completed in one go.

One final challenge was thrown into this scenario. The garden centre is open for business 7 days a week. The upgrade to both software and hardware had to be done while they were open with minimal disruption to the general public and Woodcote Green’s 200 employees. It was paramount that the business was still able to operate adequately.

The solution recommended by TLP Technology

Several alternative plans were discussed, including upgrading the server first and then the desktops and vice versa. It was decided to upgrade the server and workstations at the same time. This was managed by TLP Technology with the assistance of a number of Woodcote Green employees.

In order to achieve the smooth transition both the new and the old servers were run on the network and as each workstation was replaced it was connected to both servers. Once all desktops had been replaced emails and data were migrated to the new server. Finally the old server was removed.

Benefits to Woodcote Green Garden Centre and Nurseries

Rod Bradbury, Technical Director at TLP says, “Woodcote Green now has an up to date IT infrastructure running current software and new standardised hardware across the company. They are experiencing improved system performance and reliability, whilst having peace of mind that they are not vulnerable to attack because of out of date software. Because all the workstations were replaced they have uniform hardware, which makes it easier to manage and maintain.”

Chris Milan, MD at Woodcote Green says, “We chose what we hoped would be a quiet month to make the upgrades. TLP really pulled the stops out to ensure that both our employees and our customers experienced as little disruption as possible to the business.”