TVision celebrate 15 years of partnership with their client Gallowglass
We recently spoke with Darren Thorley the Head of IT at Gallowglass to celebrate their 15th anniversary of joining TVision as a client, way back in June 2003.
Danusia Jolliffe: Darren, thanks for taking the time to speak with us – we’re delighted that you are still one of our valued clients, 15 years on. Can you tell me a bit about life before NAV at Gallowglass, although it must seem like such a long time ago….
Darren Thorley: We previously had an Access database, and I was glad to bin it to be honest. It had so many limitations…. It was difficult to use, so un-user friendly. It was hard coded so very difficult to make changes. You had to log in to a certain server and use a certain hard disk – if the building had gone up in flames we’d have lost everything!
DJ: What did you want from the new system? And how hard was it to convince the team to change to NAV?
DT: The business knew it needed changing. We wanted a scalable solution. One with financial management and job management – together in one platform. The due diligence research was carried out, and we knew from day one that NAV was the right solution. We had buy in from the very beginning across all areas of the business.
DJ: That’s great to hear. Did everyone adapt quickly?
DT: We realised very early on that change management was an important element of moving to a new system. That and training for the users. We all learned the new ways of working really quickly.
DJ: How often has the system needed changing, modifying or upgrading?
DT: Well, I always look at what functionality will be useful in an upgrade version and then plan a project accordingly. I always use a test environment and do some bug testing/hunting. Then I ask everyone else to try and break the system too! Because we can’t have any downtime, any upgrades are done over the Christmas period which is the best time for us to do an upgrade. We keep the database static for 2 days with no-one allowed to log in. TVision does all the work on the back end and then we have go live. There is no parallel run as doubling up on data isn’t an option.
DJ: It sounds like you take time to consider when an upgrade is beneficial to the business.
DT: I know that we will lose Microsoft support if the solution is out of the standard 5 year Microsoft enhancement period. Needing patches or fixes for any software problems would quickly escalate and become a massive problem for my business.
DJ: So do you spend the whole day in NAV then when you’re at work?
DT: A typical day for me is an early start. I make sure everything is up and running smoothly in NAV, then start working on various projects, for example designing queries and reports. Then I run into general IT desktop and server support for the business, software and hardware issues too. Most of our end users live in NAV as it is used for quote generation, worker allocation, invoicing, client management, financial management – it is used at every level of the business.
DJ: Why have you kept going with TVision as your NAV partner for so long?
DT: The main reason we have had a continuous partnership with TVision for 15 years is that you know our business, you know our system and you know how to fix any problems that come up. I’m sure there are cheaper options out there, but for me a stable system is the most important thing. And I know you’ll do it right!
DJ: What do you see coming up in the next 15 years in your business?
DT: Much as we’ve been a client for 15 years, I see the biggest changes will take place in the next 15 years. The way we do business will change – more will be done online, pretty much everything will be done online. For me speed and agility of development is important, as is integrating Dynamics NAV with other systems which I know you can do.
DJ: Thanks for your time Darren, and here’s to the next 15 years!
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