Cryns Carrosserie Center (Cryns auto body center) no longer has to worry about its ICT. All applications for this SME now run in the cloud. Cryns replaced its obsolete ICT-infrastructure with an environment that is fully based on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
Cryns Carrosserie Center is a familiar name in the Antwerp region. The company’s history dates back to the 1940s. Since 2011, Johan Van Deursen has taken over the helm at the two branches of Cryns in Zwijndrecht and Mortsel. With over 5000 auto body repairs each year, Cryns is one of the larger companies in the sector in Belgium. “When I took over, I drew up a plan for improving the internal organization, with extra attention for ICT,” says Johan Van Deursen. Cryns works with classic Windows Office-applications and also uses a number of sector specific applications such as the ERP-package Carrman, Ciel for bookkeeping and Winformex for calculation. The two locations were working independently of one another: there used to be two networks, which were not connected. Only the mailserver was shared.
Not a secure environment
In addition, at Cryns Johan Van Deursen found a highly heterogeneous ICT-environment, with diverse types of hardware, different operating systems and software versions. “The environment had not grown along with the company. The server was constantly overloaded and there were problems with the PCs. ICT was clearly forming an obstacle for the proper functioning of the company.” Not only did the hardware urgently need to be replaced, Cryns also had to revise the approach to its ICT. For example, the existing backup procedure was not very transparent and offered little guarantee of business continuity. The environment was insufficient in terms of security as well. The company did not have a server room. What’s more, all of the business data was located on a single central server to which all employees had access.
Putting your trust in the cloud
Cryns needed a new infrastructure that would easily be able to evolve along with the company in the future. “Ultimately, we want to work as paperlessly as possible. That was one of the aspects driving the decision for new infrastructure. In the first place, we wanted an infrastructure that would offer stability and reliability,” explains the managing director. In the past, he had gained some personal experience with Citrix. He had never worked with cloud services however. “But I didn’t need any convincing. I instantly knew that the cloud would be the ideal solution for us,” claims Johan Van Deursen.
Cryns chose to house its entire ICT set-up with Belgacom: telephony, network and ICT. Partner Inca Networks installed a new business network at Cryns that guarantees the connectivity between the two locations. Johan Van Deursen: “We have a new server, but now it runs in the cloud, at the Belgacom datacenter in Machelen. It’s an approach that offers us nothing but advantages. For example, our ERP-supplier can carry out maintenance on the software remotely.” All the staff of Cryns now have access to the same versions of the software, which has made working together considerably easier. The use of the application takes place via the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure-solution from Citrix. “We opted for maximum flexibility. It doesn’t matter whether an employee is working on a PC or on a tablet or a smartphone. As soon as there’s a connection, he or she can start working with the applications.” Inca Networks acts as the external ICT-Department for Cryns. “We no longer have to concern ourselves at all with the entire ICT-set up. We are free to concentrate fully on our core business: making our customers happy with a professional car repair service,” concludes the managing director.
Cryns Carrosserie Center is an auto body repair business with locations in Zwijndrecht and Mortsel. The company performs some 5000 repairs each year. Cryns has a staff of 38 employees and books an annual turnover of 5.5 million euros.
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