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Founded in 2005, Simply Business are now one of the UK's favourite business insurance brokers, providing protection for over 400,000 businesses and landlords, receiving multiple awards for the work that they do. Simply Business have two UK offices and a growing presence in the United States.
UK insurance broker
Simply Business needed a partner to assist them with an office move with extremely tight deadlines. Having outgrown their old office, Simply Business were in urgent need of a new, bigger site. Once they found a new location which met their needs, they had extremely tight deadlines to move their entire office to the new location. Realising that they did not have the resource in-house to do this they came to Softcat. Nathan Emmens, Infrastructure Lead at Simply Business explains, "As a small IT team we were not resourced to be able to move our office, including our in-house infrastructure on our own over one weekend."
As well as meeting the tight timescales, Simply Business also needed to ensure that their chosen partner could fulfil other specific requirements. This included ensuring that the office move resulted in only minimal downtime and that risk across the whole project was mitigated. Nathan recognised that these requirements would be hard to fulfil, especially as some of the hardware was 10 years old.
A further consideration for Simply Business is that, as a regulated company, security and data protection are very important for them. They needed to make sure that the selected partner could ensure that all information and data would be protected in line with regulations.
Simply Business decided to engage Softcat to provide support with the office move due to our existing relationship. They wanted to work with a partner who could provide reliability and efficiency and felt that Softcat were best placed to provide this. Simply Business brought Softcat on board to manage and carry out the infrastructure move, moving the kit from the old office to the new.
Once engaged, Softcat set about aligning the correct internal resource. This included Simply Business' dedicated Account Manager, Matt Brennan, and the skills and experience of John Gladstone, Technical Service Lead, as well as Softcat's Logistics Service Team. Once the Softcat team had a full understanding of Simply Business' requirements, they began creating a plan which would allow the entire infrastructure to be moved in a 24-hour period. Softcat undertook meticulous planning and full audits of the server racks and network patching were completed. Softcat's technical engineers undertook a wireless site survey at Simply Business' office prior to the move to scope out the Wi-Fi access required for the new building. Softcat's plan also ensured that the unique security requirements of Simply Business were catered for.
This internal resource and expertise was highly valued by Simply Business. Nathan explains, "The value became apparent very quickly as soon as we tapped into the expertise that Softcat had."
On the weekend of the move, Softcat followed the plan in place to the letter. Moving the legacy kit was achieved using a staged approach with detailed planning. This ensured that there was minimal effect on the business including only minimal downtime. The information obtained from the audit was used to ensure everything was de-racked, moved and re-racked properly. Following the wireless site survey, Softcat supplied and installed a Cisco Meraki network to provide wireless connectivity capabilities to the new office. Everything went smoothly and was up and running on schedule. This meant the business outage for core services was limited to 24 hours.
The office move was a great success and all staff are now settled into the new location. Nathan reports that everything is running well which is a testament to the expertise provided by the Logistics Service Team and the continued support provided by the Account Manager.
The strong relationship between Simply Business and Softcat was critical to the success of this project as Matt explains, "A key factor in the success of this project was that Simply Business trusted us to deliver this project successfully as we had worked on many other projects together in the past."
Simply Business have highlighted how the dedication and work of the Logistics Service Team was instrumental to a successful project. Nathan comments that the Logistics Service Team's experience and knowledge of which specialists and partners to engage meant that Softcat could commit to deadlines and manage the whole infrastructure move effectively.
Due to the close relationship between Softcat and Simply Business and the tight timescales, Simply Business didn't look to engage another partner here as they did not feel that there was another partner that they could trust to deliver this project successfully.
Simply Business continues to use Softcat to provide ongoing support in relation to the infrastructure move and for other products and services.