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Flood-hit creative firm back on track after £300,000 of damage

An IT solutions provider has helped a Yorkshire creative firm get back on its feet again after a major flood threatened to wash away the viability of the business.

Leeds-based Vermillion, which provides reprographics, pre-press, design and data services to some of Europe’s best-known FMCG and home shopping brands, was hit by £300,000 of damage caused by a five-foot flood that swept through its premises.

Four Epson proofers, several Apple Macs, a physical server which contained three terabytes of data, and other hardware and software were completely destroyed – leaving the firm with the very real prospect of having to close its doors.

But salvation was at hand when Vermillion teamed up with Opal IT, a multi-platform IT solutions provider, to replace vital hardware and develop a more robust IT infrastructure that could better withstand threats posed by natural disasters such as a fire or flood.

Opal, which specialises in the integration of Apple and Microsoft products, built and reconfigured a new server for Vermillion within a matter of days – a major challenge given the three terabytes of data that needed to be transferred across from the existing back-up server in a short timescale.

Opal also sourced and installed replacement hardware, replaced firewalls and created a fully redundant and replicated virtualised environment that could protect Vermillion against future natural disasters and threats to security.

Now Vermillion is looking to grow its £1.2m turnover instead of having to worry about the threat of closure.

Chris Milner, who co-founded the business in 2004, said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that the floods could have ended the business that I’ve worked so hard to build up over the last 12 years. Opal did what was necessary to get our business back up and running again and now we’re looking forward to the future with confidence.

“I suppose it’s a lesson to other businesses to make sure their IT infrastructure is robust enough to withstand a natural disaster. One incident can ruin everything.”

Opal provides a wide variety of services and specialises in the creation, integration and maintenance of multi-functional, multi-site virtual networks. An Authorised Apple Premium service provider, approved Microsoft partner and a part of the Apple Consultants Network, the Newcastle-headquartered company works with local, national and international companies and its biggest client has more than 50 global sites and 25,000 employees worldwide.

Andrew Metcalfe, managing director of Opal, said: “Having a robust disaster recovery plan in place is vital for business continuity in the event of a fire, flood or theft. Thankfully we managed to get Chris and his team up and running again within a matter of days to keep lost downtime and revenue to a minimum.

“Our deep understanding and experience of creative production environments meant we could get Vermillion running again quickly. We’ll continue to provide ongoing support to Chris and his team and we’re confident that Vermillion will now go from strength to strength.”

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