Summers Inman

CASE STUDY

A Brief Introduction

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Construction consultancy Summers-Inman delivers a wide range of consultancy services to national and international clients, from its six offices across the UK, and a base in Qatar.

In 2007, following a successful period that saw ITPS handle the company’s UK-wide support arrangements, the decision was taken to transfer the support function in-house, based on the attraction of the potential cost and efficiency savings to be made, and a dedicated team of staff was put in place.

Will you cope if disaster strikes

The Challenge

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In 2009 it became evident that the anticipated savings were not being realised, and ITPS consultants were invited in for discussions.

The result was that the company was awarded a long term contract to provide full managed services, assuming responsibility for the ICT function and working alongside the one member of the in-house team who was retained to oversee Lotus Notes development and support.

One of ITPS’s senior consultants was assigned to the contract and is based on site. Highly experienced in managing complex IT environments and also a Lotus Notes expert, he has day to day responsibility for all IT matters, including both remote and on-site support, with a fully managed helpdesk function and the option to call in added expert resources from the ITPS team as required.

ITPS Approach

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Summers-Inman’s staff use 3D modelling and other data-heavy systems and software, making high speed communications a priority.

Through its status as one of only 10 UK Virgin Strategic Partners, ITPS was able to offer a 100Mb connection from remote sites, and a 1GB link to the head office, resulting in a network that is five times faster than its predecessor, and which has been implemented at no extra cost. Construction industry software platforms designed to handle estimating, bills of quantity and contracts management are delivered via desktop infrastructure, with the option to gradually move to a lower cost thin client model that can support the software.

With the communications upgrade in place, the 30-strong server estate was centralised and reduced to three virtualised machines supported with new switching and a VPN, all of which lowered hardware, maintenance and manpower costs at a stroke. Staff who work remotely and are often based on client sites connect to the infrastructure via web portals and VPNs to get real time access to central systems and project plans, allowing them to share information and manage workflow, and increasing overall functionality and efficiency.

Results

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NEW FUNCTIONALITY

A switch from an in-house de-duplication and backup system to using ITPS’s data centre-based solution sees data from outlying sites and head office load balanced and backed up direct to two of ITPS’s Tier 3, ISO27001-certified data centres, means the data is held securely in three locations.

A move from Lotus Notes to Outlook, and from a Virgin Nortel phone system to ShoreTel with its built in functions such as instant messaging has lowered costs and improved efficiency.

ShoreTel’s continuous product development and modular framework means new functionality, such as desktop and call conferencing, can quickly be added as required, and at nominal cost.

Will you cope if disaster strikes

The ITPS Difference

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Summers-Inman’s Managing Director David Taylor explains the benefits of the relationship: “For many years we managed our IT in house but as the business grew and IT developed our requirements became more varied. We didn’t feel we could continue to provide this service ourselves and preferred the idea of outsourcing and partnering with a company that brought with it up to date expertise and the benefit of learning from other clients in other fields of business.

I also knew that as IT continued to evolve at a rapid pace we needed a true expert with a high level of technical expertise and a broad span of experience, rather than an all-rounder who knew a little about a wide range of issues but was not expert in any field. We choose to work with ITPS initially on a short term contract with the opportunity to renew, and we were impressed with how the team quickly and smoothly handled the changeover from in house to an outsourced arrangement without any effect on the business, and at a time when we lost our own IT staff.

Since partnering with ITPS we have continued to diversify and add additional technical specialisms to our range of professional consultancy services. This in turn has increased the pressure on our IT infrastructure, and ITPS made sure it develops alongside the business.

“In a nutshell we have an ideal combination of on-site presence plus a pool of experts on standby, and a relationship of mutual trust and respect. I am confident we can rely on ITPS to make sure our IT supports our business in its current form, and in the future.”

David Taylor

Managing Director, Summers Inman

Get In Touch

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