Professional Advantage is pleased to announce another successful Microsoft cloud deployment, this time at gourmet Mexican food franchise Mad Mex. 


Mad Mex has over 60 stores across Australia. What began as a single store on Crown Street in Sydney in 2007 is now one of Australia’s fastest growing Mexican eateries.


With sales increasing every quarter, Mad Mex’s IT systems struggled to keep up with demand. Its Windows Small Business Server was reaching end of life. The server was increasingly unreliable leading to workflow delays and high repairs and maintenance costs. It had crashed multiple times in a few months, bringing business to a standstill.

Mad Mex’s information technology CIO general manager, John Boyd, said Mad Mex needed an infrastructure solution that would improve performance and guarantee stability.  


“One of the key things we were aiming for was a cloud-based system that would allow our business to grow both locally and internationally. We needed an environment that would support rapid growth,” he said.


“When you’re in a fast growing business, you need to find a cost effective solution that can be deployed quickly. It needs to be intuitive, and it needs to require minimal change management.


“We want our people to become decision makers, not administrative robots. Don’t fight the system, use the system.”


John and the Mad Mex team explored several different options, including ERP and data analytics products, before choosing a Microsoft solution.


“We identified the Microsoft ecosystem during our research, and it really was a sweet spot. It had the advantage of multi-faceted functionality across different business areas, without the need for complex interfaces,” John said.


“The thing is that everyone still needs Excel, Word and PowerPoint. What we liked about Microsoft is that we could use Office 365 licenses, rather than buying licenses outright and constantly needing to upgrade. With Office 365, a lot of the effort and patching is taken care for us.”


Professional Advantage was engaged to migrate Mad Mex’s servers and infrastructure to Azure, Office 365 and SharePoint.


“We wanted all of our data located in one place for one source of truth, and that’s the Azure cloud.


“We’re also using Azure with Microsoft Power BI to give franchisees the data insights they need to make smart business decisions, and investigating the CRM capability of Microsoft Dynamics,” John said.


Professional Advantage started work on the project in December 2015. The first phase of the solution, moving emails to Exchange, was completed in early January.


“We’ve found that our team has seamlessly changed over to the new systems, especially Gen Y. I’m quite amazed that so many team members are intuitively playing and exploring and sharing. That’s how things should work,” John said.


“Professional Advantage had a high level of patience, and was extremely professional. The consultants took the time to not only understand our business issues, but to understand our team and what we’re trying to achieve in the long term.”


Mad Mex aims to have Office 365, SharePoint, SQL and PowerBI fully functional within six months. 

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