Centaris elevates the Security and Modern Workplace for Financial Freedom House

Center for Computer Resources, Centaris, was founded in 1981 with the purpose of helping solve business problems by leveraging technology. Our goal is to allow our clients to focus on running their business and strategically implement IT solutions to reduce costs, secure our clients environment, make them more efficient or to increase their revenue. When it came time for Financial Freedom House, FFH, to upgrade their systems, Centaris stepped in to put together a solution designed to help with their specific technology needs. By using the Microsoft 365 platform, Centaris was able to solve the client's problem by creating a user proficient and highly secure upgraded solution. By introducing this solution, Centaris was able to help FFH increase productivity amongst onsite and remote users throughout the organization and offer a higher level of security.

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At-a-glance:

Customer: Financial Freedom House (FFH)

Website: https://www.financialfreedomhouse.com

Customer Size: 10

Country: United States, Michigan

Industry: Financial Services

Products and Services: Microsoft 365 and Azure

Customer challenges

Financial Freedom House (FFH) is an independent Registered Investment Advisor that has been serving as a fiduciary for individual and institutional clients since 1983. As a family-owned business, FFH was built from the ground up as a non-elitist, fully transparent, and client-centered firm that does what others imply. FFH believes that everyone – not just the wealthy – is capable of making good financial decisions when presented with unbiased and understandable information about their finances.

Like many small businesses, FFH was facing the challenge of replacing and upgrading their network and server on a regular cycle. As more of their work was being done via SaaS applications, and with a recent migration of email and SharePoint to Office 365, it became a challenge to justify the need for an on-premise server. The inability to readily access client data unless they were in the office, as well as the need for enhanced security and business continuity, were other challenges faced by FFH.

Partner Solution

As an alternative to installing a new, replacement server for the office, Center for Computer Resources (Centaris) met with FFH to discuss the options of moving completely to the cloud. However, FFH had two legacy, non-cloud applications still in use. This meant that a move to the Modern Workplace using solely Microsoft 365 Business only wasn’t an option.

Fortunately Centaris had been working with the Microsoft Azure team on a preview of Windows Virtual Desktop and they came up with a solution to allow FFH to migrate to a new environment based in Azure and use SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams, and Windows Virtual Desktop to allow them safe and secure access to their legacy systems and company data anytime and from anywhere.

Customer Benefits

With Windows Virtual Desktop and Microsoft 365 Business, FFH is now using the Modern Workplace and all the benefits that come with it – secure access to their data anytime, anywhere. While previously using SharePoint in a limited fashion, FFH took the opportunity to migrate the balance of their data that resided in file shares to new SharePoint sites. Using OneDrive for Business gives them access to the data in SharePoint in a familiar Windows Explorer tool while Microsoft Teams is the gateway to collaboration features that simply didn’t exist in their old environment. The legacy applications are available via Windows Virtual Desktop as a published app and it’s seamless to their staff who needs to use those applications.

“Prior to this project, we had a hosted server that Centaris managed,” said Brain Lakkides, President of Financial Freedom House. “We needed something more modern and that’s when Centaris recommended the idea of migrating to the cloud.”

“This project allowed us to have enhanced backups, better up-time as well as better abilities for those of who are working remotely.” said Lakkides.

“This complete migration to using Microsoft Azure provided a cost friendly solution for our business and provided better security than we had before due to the fact we were on such an old system,” said Lakkides.

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