Monday, April 4th, 2011
Wayne Fowler’s Milton business premises went more than two metres under water during the Brisbane floods in January, but that did not stop the managing director of Gilkatho Coffee from servicing his clients.

“Our business precinct was inundated with about 2.6metres of water – it washed out our showroom and warehouse,” Mr Fowler said. “But from the Wednesday morning we had staff working from home to provide assistance to our affected customers.”

The busy coffee and equipment distribution company runs off Netsuite - a Cloud-based business management software system that enables users to log on from any location with internet access.

During the seven days his office was closed, Mr Fowler and his team worked remotely from their home computers offering advice to flood-affected customers, completing orders from clients outside flood affected areas, taking calls for technical advice and communicating with clients and vendors.

“We evacuated our offices on the Tuesday night and on the Wednesday morning we sent 5,000 emails through the Netsuite system to let our clients and vendors know what was going on,” he said.

Mr Fowler implemented Netsuite through Brisbane-based provider Applejack in 2010, with this one ‘powerful package’ making five other business software programs redundant.

“Netsuite has made a big difference in the business. During the January floods with so much on our minds, it really reduced our stress levels knowing all our data was safe,” he said. “If we did not have Netsuite, we would have been out of action until we got our own server up and running, which would have taken at least three days and perhaps longer.”

Across town at Newstead, Adam Rockett and his team at Strike, an automotive accessory distributor, were also logging in from home during the Brisbane floods.

“While our business wasn’t affected by the flood we did have to evacuate due to road closures and so our staff logged into Netsuite from home and worked as per normal,” Adam said.

“Since we’ve had Netsuite we haven’t looked back – businesses definitely need an integrated system that allows for growth and, in this case, unforeseen circumstances.”

Applejack Managing Director Stuart Mallet said more businesses were turning to cloud-based business software systems such as Netsuite.

“Using a cloud-based business software solution gives businesses so much flexibility,” Stuart said. “Not only does it mean they can operate from several locations, it gives businesses a single point of truth because it eliminates the need for separate servers.’

And because Netsuite is an integrated system that includes finance processes, client relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), businesses no longer need multiple business management software programs.

“We have now also seen the benefits to having data stored offsite and being able to access this data wherever you are - rain, hail or shine,” Stuart said.

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business, cloud computing, technology, Milton floods, Brisbane floods



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