When the Port of Darwin was privatised in 2015, this massive change affected their entire business operations from top to bottom. Craig O’Connor, the Head Of Technology & Information Systems at Port of Darwin, selected Grassroots IT to assist with four main areas for the Port: Managed IT Support, Microsoft Office 365, Azure, and Security.
Having worked in IT for 20 years – 95% of those in a managed service environment – Craig said he has been impressed with the level of customer service from Grassroots IT. “When you ask for something done, you know it will be done,” he said. “They never respond with ‘that’s not in scope’ – instead, they work to understand the problem and figure out a way to make it work.” Craig said Grassroots IT’s proactivity also impressed him.
“The Grassroots team don’t just do what they’re asked to. If they can figure out a better way to achieve the outcome than what we’ve asked for, they will say so,” Craig said. “We find that very valuable.”
As part of the privatisation process, the Port of Darwin needed to migrate from the Government’s internal exchange email to Microsoft Office 365. Craig said this was one of the smoothest transitions he had ever experienced. Grassroots IT set up the 365 environment, synced it with their AD – a complicated process since the new email addresses and usernames were different – as well as planning the data migration with the Port and actioning PST exports and imports. Craig said the process felt deceptively simple. “At first, because Grassroots IT made things so simple, I was asking ‘What am I not getting here?’ or not seeing here,” he said. “Now that I’m used to their very really high standards, I realise this is simply the Grassroots IT experience.” The Port of Darwin now has a consistent email experience with Office 365, allowing them to take advantage of other elements of the Microsoft Office 365 platform. The Microsoft 365 platform helps the Port defend against advanced cyberthreats and simplify their IT management with a single solution. It provides access to information for those who need it, and keeps out those who don’t, while enabling seamless collaboration.
Craig said that being confident in their IT supplier was invaluable to his work in a management role. “Because your eyes don’t get dragged down into the weeds, you can think more strategically,” he said.
Commercial & Industrial real estate agency Madsen Property have relied on Grassroots IT for Managed IT Support for many years, also recently working with Grassroots IT to migrate from legacy in-house systems to Microsoft 365. Madsen Property Principal Ken Madsen said Grassroots IT made sure that Madsen Partners’ IT works all the time, when they need it.
“In our business, IT is crucial, since a lost opportunity can be very costly,” he said. “We’ve worked with Grassroots IT since 2009. They handle everything to do with our IT, I don’t have to worry about it.”
“You could say that technology and I are ‘difficult friends’,” Ken laughed. “But Grassroots are serious about making it easy for humans to have seamless reliable IT.”
“Ben has cut through the nonsense and he and his team look at the problem, and tell me ‘This is what you need’. That’s very valuable,” Ken said.
With their ageing in-house servers approaching end-of-life, Grassroots IT recommended making the move into the Microsoft 365 cloud platform. Not only would this move save money by not having to replace the ageing servers, but it would enable a whole new way of working.
“We weren’t in the cloud, so we needed to change,” Ken said. “Grassroots IT helped us with a migration to Office 365.”
The move to Microsoft 365 would prove timely, allowing Ken and his team to embrace a remote working model that enabled them to continue working without disruption through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The last two years of the pandemic with Madsen Partners working as a distributed team has reinforced that everything Ben said was correct,” Ken said. “Very rarely are we down. Actually in the last few years, we’ve had no problems whatsoever.”
“Partnerships are important to us, and Grassroots IT have given us absolutely no reason to change,” Ken said. “I’ve met some of the team personally, and they all feel reliable and trustworthy.”
“I’d definitely recommend Grassroots IT. It all just works smoothly.”