Tenpin Ltd, based in Blisworth, Northamptonshire, operates the biggest chain of tenpin bowling centres in the UK.
It has 38 bowling centres ranging from Edinburgh down to Plymouth. All have fully computerised lanes, ramps and bumpers, and offer bowling to groups and teams, as well as corporate packages and birthday parties.
Sites also include food diners, fully licensed bars, amusement arcades, pool tables, televised Sky Sports and Quasar, a computerised team building adventure game.
All sites have websites giving details of their facilities, where customers can also book games online.
Tenpin sites rely on computerised bowling systems provided by QubicaAMF, including the Conqueror POS system and the Conqueror Web Reservation system.
Tenpin wanted to upgrade 36 of its site servers to Microsoft Windows Server 2008 operating system and Conqueror v7 that runs on this platform, enabling it to offer more customer options such as airline-style booking, and to do more sophisticated marketing.
“We needed to upgrade 36 servers, but without having an impact on the business, so that meant doing the job overnight,” said Roy Whitmore, Tenpin Senior Support Analyst. “We already bought products and services from Transputec so we asked for their help. It meant we could fit 48 hours of work into 24.”
The upgrade had to be completed in six weeks in time for half term, when Tenpin’s centres are very busy.
“The servers had to be taken to Transputec’s Wembley office during the day ready for the upgrades to be installed overnight,’ said Roy. ‘We were particularly glad that Transputec could handle all the logistics, so we did not need to deal with couriers.”
Transputec organised the collection of servers from the 36 Tenpin sites and ensured they arrived at Transputec’s Wembley office in time for the new system to be installed overnight.
Transputec initially worked on the servers, installing an image of the system supplied by Tenpin, to save time for Roy and Ian Barrett, Tenpin’s Service Delivery Manager. Both worked on installing the new system via Remote Access from home.
Sanjay Lakhani, Business Development Manager at Transputec said: “We made the used servers presentable, obtained and installed any new components required and added extra hardware. Deadlines were tight so we had to manage the couriers to give us fast turnaround, and had to have the image ready to put on to each server, as well as having any spares required as soon as the server arrived.
“Some servers came in damaged so we and the Tenpin team had to work fast to remedy this. I had to ensure that the project managers and engineers were ready to go, and ensure that the the team assigned to this at Transputec pulled together on the project.”
Roy stated: “The project took place in January 2009, which saw some of the worst snowfalls in the UK for years.”
“But with Transputec’s help, we managed to keep the project rolling and completed it in 18 nights over six weeks, handling two sites per night, whilst the business remained unaffected.”
The new system is now installed. “The new applications available on the 2008 software will mean we can take our services to a new level,” said Roy. “If we want, we can offer customers airline-style booking, where the price of a game is lower if you book in advance, so customers can save money. “It also means we can build a better customer database, so our marketing can be more closely targeted to what customers tell us they want.”
Transputec worked closely with the Tenpin team, through regular catch-up and conference calls, to discuss any issues that arose as the project progressed. “Transputec was very professional and took away the burden of managing the process and logistics – we could not afford to spend the time and resources doing that,” said Roy.