|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]
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 30, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 561
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.
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 380
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 466
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 30, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 386
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 30, 2015 05:30 AM EST Reads: 493
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 607
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 30, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 347
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
Nov. 30, 2015 03:45 AM EST Reads: 437
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, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 447
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 449
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
Nov. 30, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 450
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....
Nov. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 488
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 358
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 423
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:30 PM EST Reads: 428
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 532
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 29, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 335
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, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 455
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 29, 2015 09:15 AM EST Reads: 347
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 29, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 234