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Case Study

The sky’s the limit with support from Softcat

UKCloud is the service provider of choice for Assured Cloud Services to the UK Public Sector. Offering a truly scalable service, their multi-tenanted cloud solutions help lower UK Public Sector costs and enable the government’s Digital by Default agenda. Following the Government Procurement Service’s announcement of the G-Cloud framework to enable more competitiveness between service providers and foster new market entrants, UKCloud has established itself as a prominent player in the market, through best-in-class services at the most affordable prices.

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The Challenge

  • these services requires a massive investment in technology and an ability to respond to requirements fast.

  • Tight timescales required to build and deploy new solutions

  • Targeted to achieve a better discount

Built on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) best practice, UKCloud delivers solutions based upon three cloud service models: Infrastructure-as-a-Service, consisting of compute and storage on-demand; Platform-as-a-Service, enabling rapid scalability of applications; and Software-as- a-Service, consisting of web based applications like email. Using best of breed vBlock technology from Cisco, EMC and VMware purpose - built for cloud-based service provision – and wrapped in a layer of protection and monitoring from MOD spin-off Qinetiq, UKCloud has built a state-of-the-art environment to provide highly secure multitenanted solutions.

To deliver these services requires a massive investment in technology and an ability to respond to customer requirements fast. Whilst still an emerging business, UKCloud quickly realised that they would need a seasoned IT partner able to support them in the acquisition and deployment of the technology they would need. With proven experience of working with Softcat, Chief Executive Phil Dawson drafted in their skills to provide the project by project support UKCloud would require. “Whilst we conduct most of the design work in conjunction with our major vendors, we needed the help of an expert partner for advice and recommendations on the specific products to use to get the performance, availability and capacity characteristics we look for on any given project,” explains David Booton, Product Marketing Manager at UKCloud.

Similarly, the typically tight timescales required to build and deploy new solutions for Skyscape’s customers meant their chosen partner needed to possess some important attributes. Crucially, they needed to understand what UKCloud were trying to achieve with their business and secondly they had to have the respect of UKCloud’s vendors to get the best possible results and achieve everything from better discount to improved delivery terms.

The Solution

  • Provided robust designs to ensure best products recommended for the design requirements and lead times

  • Provided complex software licensing schemes and periphery technology and services surrounding the network layer

Realising the importance of the task being asked of them, Softcat took time to understand the UKCloud business model, objectives and projects anticipated to tailor a service that would meet all their technology sourcing needs plus provide the other support required to deploy the cloud infrastructure they envisaged.

Charged with the significant remit of technology sourcing Michael Walker, Account Director at Softcat, explains their role, “We work with UKCloud on an on-going basis and have supported them on a number of important projects including migrating a host of public sector websites to the UKCloud fabric. Our primary role has been to scrutinise designs and challenge assumptions, before recommending the best products to meet the design based on requirements but also taking into account equipment lead times; all without compromising on functionality”.

As such, Softcat has played a very influential role in helping UKCloud build their cloud infrastructure, sourcing and delivering a range of compute, network and storage technologies plus navigating complex software licensing schemes and providing periphery technology and services especially surrounding the network layer.

The Benefits

Softcat worked hard to negotiate favourable commercial terms from UKCloud’s vendors ensuring they always get best value when acquiring the technology needed. This saves the business considerably when investing - something particularly important to a growing business, made possible only by the standing Softcat has with the stakeholders involved. This also helps turn-around times for new equipment which can be as little as one week. The deep links Softcat has with UKCloud vendors pays major dividends in speeding up the processes required to obtain the equipment and resources needed.

  • Rapid response and timing is essential to allow UKCloud to meet their contracts

  • Delivering flexible on-demand services

    Content

  • Secure the best value from their licensing arrangements

  • Critical sourcing to secure data centre sites

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David Booton

Product Marketing Manager

“"Softcat is a key partner for us and has been very supportive in everything we have sought to achieve. Few partners have the passion, knowledge and responsiveness"”

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