Saving cash, serving customers.

Brett counters downturn with £1m IT investment

Published:  28 May, 2009

CANTERBURY: The Brett Group is to change its approach to doing business in the current economic climate. 

Its investment with IT specialists, Esteem Systems, will enable the independent construction and building materials specialist to reduce costs by a minimum of £2.6m over a five year period.

Jay Moyes, group head of IS at The Brett Group, instigated the project, explained: "In the current economic landscape, we must concentrate on improving customer service, winning new business and increasing our business agility, rather than spending time on day-to-day tasks to keep our current systems running such as fixing server errors.

"This is a significant investment to help meet our current and future business needs. It will improve productivity for our 600 IT users and provide a rapid return on investment."

Brett's IT infrastructure, with 13 server rooms located across 80 geographically dispersed sites, made it difficult for the IT department to meet existing service level agreements (SLAs).

"Some remote sites, such as our quarry locations, only have one or two users making support and maintenance costly and time-consuming," he stated.

"Esteem's centralised and virtualised approach will reduce the complexity of the IT system and lower the total cost of ownership for our 600 users."

Direct bottom line benefits will see Brett save £1m wide area network, server support and server room running costs.

Additional cost savings will be achieved from reductions in desktop replacements, upgrades and maintenance to achieve overall cost savings of more than £2.6m over the next five years.

The Brett system will utilise Citrix XenApp technology to deploy applications centrally for improved access, productivity and performance. The use of VMware technology to virtualise Brett's server environment will reduce the number of physical servers from 74 to approximately 30, cutting its carbon emissions and associated power consumption costs.

IT services specialist, Esteem, will upgrade Brett's operating system to Microsoft Windows 2008, provide Active Directory and email archiving as part of the core solution.

High availability, resilience and disaster recovery are all key requirements of this project and the Brett Group will introduce a secondary data centre for improved failover of the primary IT infrastructure.

Esteem will also consolidate Brett's storage requirements using NetApp technology into an effective storage area network (SAN) that can accommodate mission critical applications.

For details of the service, see the Esteem website

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