Light as a Feather – Potion PR goes Virtual Desktop

August 9th, 2010 - Posted in News

“A Virtual Desktop Solution from Alchemy Systems which very quickly had us wondering how on earth we worked in any other way”

Written by Sue Rizello – Potion PR

Even a small PR agency can very quickly build up a heavyweight IT system, and over the past 3 years Potion PR has done just that. During the course of our work we have accumulated a library of images, a mass of research, a ton of client information, bucket-loads of press coverage scans and a real drag of a daily backup need. At various times we needed different PCs with different capabilities, printers in all shapes and sizes and mobiles of every description. Every time we moved anything around the Ethernet cables got longer. Nightmare cable tangles and 95-gang power adapters under every desk. The busier we got, the more we needed to be on the road, until our briefcases bulged with flash, zip and every other kind of portable storage medium or drive. We transferred files around always trying to manage versions at the same time and were still stuck on MS Office 2003 but upgrading to 2007 just seemed like a big hassle. Our broadband dongles, home WiFi and office networks were groaning under the load, and frankly so were we.

The answer? A virtual desktop solution from Alchemy Systems which very quickly, after the transition, has us wondering how on earth we worked in any other way

They have equipped us with a hosted desktop and environment with full-on MS Office, hosted MS Exchange server and a few other nifty tools, taken away our file server and been hugely responsive to our (inevitably stressy) emergency requests, changes of priority and shrinking budget. They had to be either mad or keen to keep us as a client to put up with it, especially as they must have bribed poor Carl who had to stay up all night doing the data transfer – not to mention Dan who had to fight through the snow to help it all happen on time. But hey, glamorous PR chicks (honestly) as clients, who could blame them?

We feel free to work flexibly in the way we have always tried to, in the knowledge that everything is accessible from wherever we happen to be or via any internet connection. It was an utterly painless way to move to Office 2007 licences, and we have coupled the change with transitioning over many of our professional and workflow tools to cloud-based software, enabling us not only to track our time and activities wherever we are but create client portals and share information seamlessly with whomever needs to know including our important suppliers and partners. We already keep much of our media info in the cloud through dedicated services, like many other agencies. We have shifted from fixed desk DDI phones to iPhones (hooray, we can all play ‘my App’s bigger than your App’ with our other halves!). We are all Skype-ing and staying in touch far better with each other. There does seem a certain reluctance to use the webcams in some quarters which makes me suspect that some of us may be working in pyjamas when not in the office or out at a client or press meeting – but we’ll get used to it!

Thanks from Potion to Nathan, Tim, Carl and Dan, a team which has given sterling support through thick and thin!