In terms of its appointment, Network Alliance was mandated to design, deploy, and commission robust and scalable network infrastructure that would allow Pretor Group to execute its vision and fulfil its obligations to its stakeholders, while at the same time positioning the company for future growth.
Established in 1960, the Pretor Group has grown to be a multi-faceted company covering all spheres of the property market. It focuses on Sectional Title administration, residential communities administration, home rentals, commercial property management, and financial services.
The group administers approximately 80 residential and 450 sectional title communities. Its Home Rentals Division currently administers in excess of 1 000 homes while its Commercial Division manages shopping centres, warehouses, and office blocks as well as sectional title or non-profit companies managing office parks.
The Pretor Group uses a sophisticated financial and property management system that been developed using SAP Business One as the accounting platform. This enables it to provide its clients with accurate live information at any time and allows the group to proactively and effectively manage the property portfolios and funds of its clients. The system integrates into its banking network to automate many processes, freeing up staff to get on with the business of managing the affairs of its clients.
During the years preceding the appointment of Network Alliance, the Pretor Group had experienced exponential growth, which resulted in a significant increase in the number of personnel. This growth had exerted significant pressure on its network infrastructure, and it had become evident that the infrastructure required not only an upgrade, but also a complete redesign in order to meet current and future operational requirements.
“Technology evolves at a rapid rate and our network was definitely starting to feel its age. It was simply not compliant with the growth of the group. In 2013, we finally reached the stage where we had to implement a new system,” says Harm Potgieter, director at Pretor Group.
Potgieter adds that the group had engaged with multiple potential service providers in an attempt to make an informed decision. Following careful evaluation of both the capabilities and track record of all potential service providers, Pretor identified Network Alliance as the ICT service provider best positioned to deploy, commission, and manage a cost-effective yet best-of-breed solution that would meet its requirements.
“The Network Alliance value proposition for our network and managed services was ideal. The company really showed that they had an understanding of our business,” adds Potgieter.
The agreement included a number of critical elements, including the deployment of new hardware, a new Microsoft volume licensing agreement, and a migration to the cloud via Microsoft Office 365.
“While the implementation went very smoothly, the only challenge was that we were also in the process of moving to new offices. This could have potentially been problematic but the Network Alliance team took it in its stride and worked with us to make the process as smooth as possible,” he says.
In accordance with the agreement, Network Alliance deployed dedicated resources during the months following the deployment of the new solution to assist with the migration of all other network infrastructure elements.
“It is now almost two years down the line and I can say that the upgrade only had a positive impact on our business. With Network Alliance, we have a partner that is always there for us. They are only a phone call away and assist in a friendly and professional manner,” says Potgieter.
He says that one of the great things about the implementation was that the network is now able to evolve with the requirements of the business.
“Our network system is no longer a fixed piece of technology. With the assistance of Network Alliance, we are able to implement continuous improvements and upgrades as technology changes. This gives us even more flexibility than in the past and has resulted in significant cost savings for the group,” he concludes.