Truis brings Nutanix to remote QLD council

Truis brings Nutanix to remote QLD council

Former Computer Merchants overhauls IT "sandbag” for Central Highlands Regional Council.

Norm Jefferies (Truis)

Norm Jefferies (Truis)

Credit: ARN

Brisbane-based IT service provider Truis has overhauled the infrastructure for the Central Highlands Regional Council in the remote outback of Queensland. 

The business formerly known as Computer Merchants deployed Nutanix's cloud platform as a replacement for the council’s legacy IT infrastructure, which had become the organisation’s “sandbag”. 

Located in central Queensland, the council oversees 30,000 residents across an area of around 60,000 square kilometres – roughly the size of Tasmania. 

The council tapped Truis to transform its IT infrastructure and support its hybrid cloud journey, allowing multiple systems to sit alongside its existing Microsoft Azure tenant. 

Deployed within two months, the implementation leveraged Nutanix’s AHV hypervisor, Prism Central centralised management platform and files software-defined storage for data management and analytics. 

“The goal was to lift IT from being the organisation’s sandbag and actually demand more from it,” said Clinton Nicol-Dickson, the council’s IT manager.  

“We have a fairly well-established Azure tenant – particularly around backup – but we’re continuing to evaluate cloud services when replacing existing solutions as part of our strategy. That was another appeal of Nutanix, it could interact with those cloud environments and make the process of migrating a VM seamless and less resource-intensive.” 

As a result of the deployment, the council’s IT team has made “significant progress” in improving its roll-out of signal boosters for vehicle connectivity and a shared device scheme on iOS tablets.  

 “While the tablets grant easy access to work emails, intranet and ERP [enterprise resource planning] systems, the strategy also supports the welfare of our 150 field workers, side-stepping issues of isolation with access to personal applications, including online banking and communications platforms to stay in touch with friends and family,” Nicol-Dickson said. 

The IT manager said the deployment had allowed the council to cut down administrative tasks by 25 per cent, “giving staff the bandwidth for more strategic projects”, while slashing data centre footprint by 50 per cent. 

“Streamlining the many processes involved with property development is just one example of how we’re digitalising services to improve touch-points and our residents’ way of life,” Dickson-Nicol added. 

The project follows Truis’ efforts to reassert itself as a digital business of the future, having abandoned its 40-year-old name of Computer Merchants. 

The company now boasts partnerships with the likes of Dell, Cisco, IBM, Veeam and Fortinet, among others, and offers services including managed, cloud, artificial intelligence and data analytics, as well as security. 

In an interview with ARN in 2019, managing director Norm Jefferies explained that a “fear of hardship and the fear of becoming irrelevant” spurred the business on its own digital transformation push. 

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