Leading Edge WAN

CASE STUDY

A Brief Introduction

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A large regional Building Society in the West Midlands selected ITPS, in open tender, to provide and support its new and significantly upgraded primary and secondary (backup) Wide Area Network (WAN), linking its 40 branch locations, Head Office and Disaster Recovery facilities with a fast resilient network made up from 90 individual telecommunication circuits and the latest network switching infrastructure.

ITPS were awarded the contract on the basis of our competitive costs, the secure ITPS WAN design, the fault tolerant and comprehensive business continuity facilities, supported by the design, and the client’s acceptance of the risk-adverse plan to migrate the society away from the incumbent supplier.

Will you cope if disaster strikes

The Challenge

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The ITPS WAN offers a substantial increase in network communications speed for the Society and its 750 staff members, with most Branch sites seeing a 40x speed increase and some being 200x faster than previously.

Coupled with this massive increase in branch bandwidth, the new network delivers a Unified Communications-ready infrastructure, within a robust and resilient network, to ensure a branch cannot fail to access its head office core business systems.

The migration away from the then current WAN incumbent supplier stage was, from the outset, a significant part of the project and the ITPS plan and approach for this was submitted at tender stage and was one of the key differentiators between ITPS and competitors.

ITPS Approach

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The ITPS approach was based upon the definition of a comprehensive project plan, managed to the PRINCE2 project management standard, by a PRINCE2 qualified Practitioner, who led the project and managed the sub-contract suppliers.

The key deliverables included a WAN design that met with all customer requirements for an advanced WAN capable of supporting all of the society’s communications requirements for the next five years. This design also includes capabilities to support the society’s plans for all current business applications and future deployment of Voice over IP telephony services, Video Conferencing and rich multimedia content (training videos and materials). The WAN, whilst delivering substantial performance improvements for the business, was installed in an incremental manner that allowed each site to migrate away from the incumbent when it was ready. On the day of the planned migration the move itself only involved 3 individuals (two from ITPS and 1 from the clients’ local sites.
So the costs were reasonable.

Results

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THE SUB-CONTRACT SUPPLIERS

Virgin Media Business, BT and CISCO were tasked with delivering the infrastructure and upon circuit installation a team of ITPS engineers undertook router installation and testing. Circuit handover followed a further testing and stabilisation period. There then followed a stage where the client undertook final application testing and, supported by ITPS, a migration was completed.

With over 43 sites involved, receiving at least 2 new circuits each, ITPS and our sub-contract suppliers required multiple visits to each site. Planning attention was given to ensure zero negative impact upon the client’s business during a rollout/migration in 2012 and to meet the client’s migration targets.

At the peak of migration activity some 5 sites a week were migrated and all sites reported positively on the painless nature of the migration and enthusiastically comment on the sheer speed of the new WAN. Data that previously took several hours to move between sites now moves in seconds.

Will you cope if disaster strikes

The ITPS Difference

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Robust project management was a key to the success of this project with a ‘close knit’ project delivery team made up of the client’s staff, ITPS and ITPS sub-contractors.

The solution was a set of telecommunications products, deployed in a specific configuration and managed to a formal standard. Thus the deployment was a straight-forward implementation of a well-documented project plan. The client was delighted and the typical issues with any telecommunications infrastructure projects were minimised, their impacts controlled and mitigated by contingency planning.

The key return upon investment for the client is based upon access to resilient, future-proof networks, efficiency gains for 750 staff members and an infrastructure that can also deliver comprehensive Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery facilities.

“ITPS have successfully designed, build and installed a new Local Area Network for a new purpose build £multi-million headquarters, delivering leading edge ICT facilities for the organisation.”

Michael Strachan

Information Security Manager, ITPS

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