CLOUD COMPUTING STEERS FIFTH WHEEL MANUFACTURER TOWARDS MAJOR COST SAVINGS

Global leader in fifth wheel manufacturing, Fontaine Fifth Wheel, has reported cost savings of thousands of pounds since using K3 Starcom to move its e-mail exchange data to a secure cloud environment.

Fontaine Fifth Wheel, the European division of Fontaine International, has significantly reduced its IT maintenance costs, cutting annual bills by up to £2,000, with further cost savings realised in on-site server infrastructure and user licenses.

After analysing the expenditure for maintaining and updating its on-site exchange server, Fontaine Fifth Wheel made the decision to use K3 Starcom to move its e-mail infrastructure to a full cloud network.

By switching to the secure K3 Starcom cloud environment, the company no longer has the expense and hassle of maintaining on site exchange servers, and instead receives regular maintenance and upkeep within its hosting provision.

Tony Hayes, Project Manager at Fontaine Fifth Wheel explains:

“When we looked at the amount of money we were spending on IT maintenance, we realised that it was becoming an expensive outlay. Annual maintenance costs for e-mail data alone were around £2,000 and on top of this, we were incurring additional costs for data storage and licensing. Migrating all of our e-mail data to the K3 Starcom cloud was a logical decision, because all these inherent costs were significantly reduced and are now included in our regular monthly hosting fees.”

E-mail data is a critical part of the business processes for Fontaine Fifth Wheel. The company works with five major OEM manufacturers and aftermarket organisations. And 80% of its overall orders are placed through e-mail or EDI. The progress of each order is often shared through internal e-mails and the majority of purchase orders and invoices are also transferred through e-mail.

As such, a large percentage of business operations are documented in this way, so it is important that Fontaine Fifth Wheel has a reliable and consistent data backup process, and that in the unlikely event of business disruption, data can be recovered quickly.

By relying on K3 Starcom for automated data backup and recovery, important e-mail information can be restored within 12 hours, with the previous backup always accessible. And because K3 Starcom monitors activity on the server, it can pre-empt any potential productivity threats and eliminate them before they can cause any disruption to the business.

As a company that only has one part time IT technician on site at any time, this feature is invaluable for Fontaine Europe. Tony Hayes says:

“Data backup was previously done manually, but only I am able to perform this, and IT is not my main duty, so this was often overlooked. Knowing that this process is now automated by K3 Starcom, and that they are holding our data securely in the K3 Starcom cloud, allows me to get on with other aspects of my job and has really helped us to develop the business.”

And Fontaine Fifth Wheel is a business that really is developing well.

The company has come through a difficult period during the recession, to report impressive growth figures, and is now a part of the world’s largest fifth wheel manufacturer.

With a Europe-wide customer base and new enquiries coming through every day, it is vital that the company has an IT system that it can rely on, working together with a team it can trust.

Tony Hayes concludes:

“We have experienced a number of benefits since transitioning our e-mail data to the K3 Starcom cloud, but something we have always found is that the K3 Starcom team is always there should we need it. We try to spend very little on IT because we rely on K3 Starcom for the bulk of our IT support. It means I don’t have to go through lots of training and we don’t have to spend thousands of pounds a year on IT maintenance, resulting in all round business benefits.”

“We rely on K3 Starcom for the bulk of our IT support. It means I don’t have to go through lots of training and we don’t have to spend thousands of pounds on IT maintenance“

“When we looked at the amount of money we were spending on IT maintenance, we realised that it was an expensive outlay. Migrating all of our email data to the K3 Starcom cloud was a logical decision, because all these inherent costs are significantly reduced.”

“When we looked at the amount of money we were spending on IT maintenance, we realised that it was an expensive outlay. Migrating all of our email data to the K3 Starcom cloud was a logical decision, because all these inherent costs are significantly reduced.”