|By RealWire News Distribution||
|January 8, 2013 09:01 PM EST||
In the UK, Cape employs 4,000 people and is the largest access and insulation employer in UK industrial services. It helps maintain over two-thirds of the UK's coal and oil-fired power generation facilities and 87 per cent of its nuclear capacity. As you would expect, IT plays a key role in its operations. When the company decided to relocate its UK headquarters, this was an opportunity to refresh and update the IT infrastructure: Cape's UK data centre was also located in its former Wakefield offices, from where the entire centralised infrastructure ran on 35 servers.
"IT is critical to how we operate as a business," says Dave Jones, Head of IT - UK Region, responsible for a user population of 700 across 60 sites. "It's absolutely essential in areas like payroll: we have to pay 4,000 people every week and it's critical we get it right. We can't risk people walking off-site because they haven't been paid!"
In his role, he says that IT has to be seen as a true enabler in delivering against business strategy and helping achieve corporate objectives: "The challenge for me, as Head of IT, is working closely with the business to ensure we're properly aligned - so I can prioritise IT projects and resources accordingly".
'Lift and shift' - or embrace the Cloud?
When the time came to move offices, Cape carefully reviewed the options available. "These included 'lifting and shifting' the whole IT Infrastructure to new purpose-built facilities at other UK sites - although there were no obvious sites and a significant cost would be involved," Jones says.
Jones continues "Second, we could lift and shift to a third party hosted data centre. But we needed around eight racks, so there'd also be a significant cost. The third option was a complete migration from on- premise physical infrastructures to a hosted Cloud solution.
Phoenix already had a relationship with Cape, providing Business Continuity services and hardware break/fix maintenance for a number of years. "However, we did go out with a formal tendering process, initially looking at seven suppliers," Jones says. "But we knew from the outset that Phoenix had the resources and infrastructure in place to provide what we wanted. We also knew Phoenix people had the right skills around our critical SAP environment - the only aspect of our previous set-up that we wanted to physically migrate into the new facility, including a HP server." From a shortlist of two, Phoenix was awarded a three-year contract to host and deliver Cape's IT, in no small part based on the quality of its people. "Only three of the original seven suppliers believed they had the technical ability to support our SAP environment," Jones says.
A smooth transition
Cape's fully hosted solution is, Jones says, "based on best-of-breed technologies that include VMware for virtualisation and NetApp data storage. It's located in Tier 3 data centres that provide us with far greater security, redundancy and resilience than we could ever have afforded in-house." Cape now has a future-proofed IT Infrastructure that's extremely flexible and can be easily expanded to meet changing demand: "We can easily flex up if we require additional computing resources," Jones adds. "The great thing is, we can do this on-demand and at a monthly incremental operational cost, so we don't need to worry about Cape ex constraints. I suppose we have more of a 'hybrid' Cloud approach. It's clear Cloud computing is working out for us, and was the right choice for Cape."
"Phoenix provided us with a highly competent team throughout, from initial bid through the Solution Architects who designed our solution to the Project Manager and technical teams who delivered it. As with any large and complex project, you run into a few difficulties and learn lessons. But I've been extremely happy with the collaboration between Phoenix and my teams in getting issues resolved quickly, with minimum disruption. In fact, I did set expectations with the business of some disruption and, to be honest, we experienced far less than you'd normally associate with a project of this nature." Critically, not one payroll deadline was missed, despite the added complications of migrating over the SAP legacy system.
"It's clear that Phoenix attached all the right resources to deliver the solution we wanted. And the project did not overspend." Another positive outcome, he says, is this project helped drive improved change control in Cape's own IT team. "I knew we needed to tighten this up, and working with Phoenix - with its ISO accreditations, governance and change control processes - really helped us improve our culture internally. That's another win."
We knew from the outset that Phoenix had the resources and infrastructure in place to provide what we wanted. We also knew Phoenix people had the right skills around our critical SAP environment.
Dave Jones, Head of IT Cape
- ENDS -
With 19,000 employees worldwide, Cape is an international leader providing industrial services to a wide range of clients, including access, insulation, fireproofing, coatings and cleanings.
Relocate, update and enhance - at controlled cost - business-critical centralised IT services in advance of an office move. This included migrating and retaining an essential SAP legacy system into any new environment.
Cloud-based IT infrastructure services designed by Phoenix and hosted/delivered from a secure Phoenix data centre, including VMware virtualisation technology and NetApp storage. Phoenix also monitors and manages the environment 24/7.
A more secure, resilient and flexible high performance IT infrastructure than Cape could have provisioned in-house, using the latest technology and delivering measurable technical and financial benefits. Phoenix expertise also guarantees support for a mission-critical SAP legacy platform, Cape's internal change control culture has improved significantly, and IT services can now flex on-demand.
We are UK leaders in providing IT infrastructure services to help businesses innovate and grow while cutting costs and risk. We can host your services in the cloud or in the data centre, simplify desktop management, and build secure, reliable networks. Our business availability services can keep you working at all times. Whatever your needs, our professional experts can advise, plan and deploy, while our nationwide network of engineers are easily available for your support. For more information, please see: http://www.phoenix.co.uk/
Spreckley Partners Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)207 388 9988
Email: [email protected]
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jul. 28, 2016 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,313
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jul. 28, 2016 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,636
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Jul. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,621
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Jul. 28, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,544
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Jul. 28, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,402
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Jul. 28, 2016 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,057
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Jul. 28, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,109
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
Jul. 28, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 855
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 28, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,627
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 27, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,412
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 27, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,676
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jul. 27, 2016 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,012
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 27, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,040
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
Jul. 27, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,120
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jul. 27, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,075
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Jul. 27, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,193
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jul. 27, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,886
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it ...
Jul. 27, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 228
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Jul. 27, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,155
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Jul. 27, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,747