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powerPerfector shows the way to the Cloud

THE CLIENT


powerPerfector is the world’s only Voltage Power Optimiser, giving energy, cost and carbon savings by efficiently optimising a site’s supply voltage. By optimising the voltage, electrical equipment runs more efficiently and consumes less energy. Thousands of sites in the UK have installed Voltage Power Optimisation (VPO) ® and, when fitted in a typical commercial building, it cuts an average 13% off the electricity bill instantly. It also improves business continuity, as equally important and intrinsic to the design, the technology improves power quality, reducing phase voltage imbalance, suppressing harmonics and protecting against spikes of up to 25kV.

THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE


powerPerfector is based in London and Manchester. The company's IT was struggling to keep up with growth – until they talked to Transputec. Growth, and with it, change. Growth is rarely about doing more of the same – it's usually about doing things in a new way; adapting to and profiting from new situations. This needs rock-solid IT that's as agile as the company it supports. powerPerfector didn't think it was getting this from its conventional 3rd party IT provider: problems and concerns were cropping up that made powerPerfector CEO Angus Robertson start to re-evaluate the company's approach. He particularly wanted to tackle three areas:

Challenge 1: Growth and Scalability
Data volumes were growing at 20% per annum. Growth and demand was difficult to forecast, but the number one priority for IT was to be able to support the business through growth and change. The IT systems just couldn't react quickly and be flexible enough to safely cope with increasing demands.

Challenge 2: Availability and Recovery
Everything about systems availability needed reappraisal: increasing data volume was leading to extended backup times, close to exceeding the backup windows, so recovery points and times were at risk. Server failure posed a significant risk to the business. Most potential disasters were not handled well by the disaster recovery plans dictated by existing infrastructure and service design. In short, if the business was to depend on its IT processes a significant re- design was needed.

Challenge 3: Mobility
powerPerfector has two offices and a mobile sales team – the trend is for more mobility, more flexibility, so the company wanted a 'fit for anything' approach that could adapt to any mobility or geographical demands in the future.

THE SOLUTION


The conventional rejected powerPerfector examined a conventional response to these challenges:
To replace and harden the existing infrastructure would have meant the purchase of multiple servers and storage devices. Disaster recovery was expensive and hard to implement – a separate DR site would be needed. Providing staff with out-of-office access – whether for disaster recovery or everyday mobility requirements – was complicated by the wealth of software installed on their workstations and the need to provide suitable workstations in other locations.

Too much complexity, too much uncertainty. Another approach was required, and Transputec provided it. After a requirements analysis study at the end of June 2010 they proposed a cloud-based solution running on Transputec's own cloud infrastructure. Providing a range of services using the Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription model, the proposal neatly addressed the business issues raised by powerPerfector. The proposal was accepted.

The cloud solution in a nutshell
The fundamentals of the solution: Take all applications and data, put them in a highly available datacenter, and provide them on-demand to powerPerfector staff wherever they are. Pricing for the service uses a simple per-user-per-month model. Service levels for capacity, backup, availability and disaster recovery are all agreed to meet business requirements, and as business requirements change it's simple to change service levels to suit. Transputec is one of the few organisations able to offer this as a proven solution.

Solution delivery

What's delivered to powerPerfector staff? All the IT they need, when and where they need it:

  • Hosted desktops. All applications, data and desktop settings reside in the datacenter. People access these securely, from anywhere, using VMware View virtual desktops.
  • Office tools and business applications. Microsoft Office and the complete range of business and technical applications are delivered on-demand to the right staff, wherever they are.
  • Email, calendar and collaboration tools. Provided via Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and managed by Transputec, these tools help powerPerfector staff work with customers and each other without regard for geography.

Service delivery
Transputec provide powerPerfector a complete range of professionally designed and delivered IT support services. They make sure the solution delivers exactly what the business needs, and continues to do so over time as requirements change. These services include:

  • Service Level Management & Reporting – managing day-to-day operations and making sure the service continues to meet business needs.
  • End User Computing Services – support of all end-user devices: PCs, printers, scanners etc.
  • Network Management Services – monitoring and support of powerProtectors on-premise network

These services are underpinned by a solid bedrock of industry best- practice ITIL processes such as:

  • Incident Management
  • Change Management
  • Release Management
  • Service Desk Services

Leaving powerPerfector to get on with its business without worrying about IT.

Why are professional support services so important?

Cheap 'one-shot' virtual desktop projects may offer attractive cost reductions, and even exhibit initial success, but without processes in place to manage change, organisations can, and do, find themselves locked into arrangements that no longer reflect their needs, and without a means of withdrawing without significant cost, and risk to business operations.

In contrast, well-managed virtual desktop projects can offer, as in the powerPerfector case, scope for huge flexibility and service improvement. If delivered with professional-grade IT services they deliver to expectations, and continue to deliver over time as needs change.

This is the Transputec approach, and one which is paying off for powerPerfector.

THE BENEFIT


What does powerPerfector get out of its new IT? Here are some of the benefits:

  • A flexible, professionally managed, scalable IT solution - can rapidly accommodate changes or growth in the business.
  • High-availability – reduced downtime, increased productivity for users.
  • Desktop flexibility – if a desktop computer fails people can log on elsewhere and be running again in seconds.
  • Simple end-user computing – Log on anywhere, and get your own environment, with your applications and data, ready to go.
  • Desktop simplicity – Hosted desktops don't need much computing power on the desk, so workstations don't need replacing so often. And when they are replaced, the new generation of quiet, low-power thin-client devices are brilliant replacements.
  • Business Continuity – powerPerfector is much more disaster- proof, so the business can keep going through server failure, transport disruption or power failure.
  • Mobility – location independence is now a reality, ready for whatever the business needs.
  • Security and safety – All data is held centrally, backed up and safe. All software is held centrally too, and kept up-to-date, virus- checked and patched as part of the service.
  • Budget-friendly costs – IT costs are now simple to estimate and plan for

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