Click here to close now.


Containers Expo Blog Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Yakov Fain, XebiaLabs Blog, AppDynamics Blog

Blog Feed Post

Hosted Cloud infrastructure from Phoenix helps global leader Cape work even more industriously

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.

Why Phoenix?
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.

About Phoenix
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:

Press contacts:
Nick Bird,
Spreckley Partners Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)207 388 9988
Email: [email protected]

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

@ThingsExpo Stories
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line loads.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...