Woolgar Hunter is an engineering company specialising in civil, structural, and geo-environmental engineering. Dunedin IT has worked with the company for six years, providing all its IT support including fibre internet service, cyber security updates, and mobile data for home workers. Every three years Dunedin IT also provides a full refresh of Woolgar Hunter’s entire infrastructure, with the next upgrade due in 2022. The company recently opened an office in Manchester and Dunedin IT installed all of the necessary hardware, software and connectivity.
The collaboration between architects, designers, and contractors is vital
Woolgar Hunter primarily conducts business face to face, as its work relies heavily on collaboration with architects, designers, and contractors. When the Covid-19 lockdown began, the company switched to remote working, but needed to maintain the same level of access to its systems and communications platforms. As staff were all previously in the office full time, the company had no infrastructure or strategy in place for remote work.
An additional challenge is that Woolgar Hunter often tenders for government contracts. As of 2014 it became a requirement that companies wishing to work with the public sector, must secure and hold a Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus certification to guarantee safe handling of sensitive information. While the company immediately obtained the Cyber Essentials certification, the process highlighted several areas in which their security processes were lacking. In order to retain the certification, this security level needed to be maintained even as the company reworked its systems to allow for remote work.
Pre-pandemic, Woolgar Hunter also preferred an on-site engineer at its Glasgow headquarters to provide immediate, in-person IT support as necessary. It will reinstate this preference as staff return to the office.
When lockdown became imminent, Dunedin IT installed Ninja Splashtop on every computer within Woolgar Hunter to provide secure and remote access for its team without requiring any downtime as the company adapted its working practices. In less than a week, the entire company was able to go remote and connect to their office desktops from home. Dunedin IT closely monitored the systems, having already upgraded the office’s fibre internet connectivity to allow for the rapid increase in virtual meetings. In addition, Dunedin IT provided a VOIP telephony platform to further connect employees to their usual office setup.
Regarding government contracts and security, Dunedin IT worked with Woolgar Hunter to enhance their cyber security strategy, helping them to go beyond Cyber Essentials and obtain the Cyber Essentials Plus certification in July 2018. This has allowed the engineering firm to tender for more public sector projects, as well as benefit from competitive advantage when tendering for private sector work.
Dunedin IT also arranged for one engineer to base themselves at Woolgar Hunter’s Glasgow office one day each week prior to lockdown; when the office reopened in September 2021, the engineer returned. This ensures rapid on-site presence for any IT support needed, in addition to the remote support provided throughout the rest of the week.
Ability to submit tenders for more public sector projects due to obtaining Cyber Essentials Plus certification.
On-site IT support from Dunedin IT one day a week ensures quick action, as well as improved integration into Woolgar Hunter’s business processes.