Kingsfield Consulting is a well-established, UK Headquartered professional services consultancy for the international engineering and industrial plant building sectors. While it operates around the world, working on some of the world’s largest construction projects, Kingsfield Consulting is a small, growing business with just 30 staff. With significant ambitions to expand it recognised that its IT infrastructure was not able to support its virtual workforce. Indeed its dated legacy systems were a source of sleepless nights for one of Kingsfield Consulting’s Directors, Gabriele Burian.
“We have invested heavily in re-launching our brand as part of our expansion plans, however our existing IT system could not cope with the needs of a 24/7, globally dispersed workforce,” explained Burian. “Historically we had considered maintaining and upgrading our IT infrastructure in-house, but that had simply become too problematic. In CCE we found plain-speaking technology experts who were willing to invest time to fully understand our business and explain how Private Cloud could transform the way we operate. CCE’s Private Cloud solution has become critical to enabling greater collaboration among our workforce, because it provides a robust network allowing anytime anywhere access to our systems.”
CCE has invested £1m to offer a carrier class ISP network and hosting services, providing a highly robust platform across three Tier 3 UK data centres, delivering hosted voice and data solutions, as well as enterprise-class disaster recovery services. Specifically targeting the SME market with this offering, CCE’s clients benefit from a unique, scalable approach and back-up from the company’s first class 24/7 support network.
Prior to adopting CCE’s Private Cloud solution Kingsfield Consulting was evaluating the implementation of detailed collaboration platform such as a bespoke Microsoft SharePoint deployment. Once it began to consider the benefits of Private Cloud the company quickly understood that it could continue to run all its existing applications without installing any new software from the outset. As Kingsfield Consulting provides specialist services to some of the world’s leading construction and engineering companies on major projects, this was an important factor in the decision making process. The company’s consultants work with clients around the world on “mega” projects such as the world’s largest floating gas processing plant, which is currently under construction in a South Korean shipyard. Consequently, adopting Private Cloud minimised the impact on the workforce and allowed employees to retain applications that are integral to the business.
CCE’s Private Cloud approach removed the need for Kingsfield Consulting to maintain its own server infrastructure and ensured the company had a robust disaster recovery strategy thanks to CCE’s failover model. This has allowed Kingsfield Consulting to cancel an expensive disaster recovery standby service and enabled its in-house team to concentrate on the company’s device strategy, as well as delivering value-added projects to support the business. Importantly Private Cloud also means Kingsfield Consulting retains total control of its data and network in an exclusive environment. This gives it the assurance that Intellectual Property and customer data is secure.
“We work with some of the world’s most well-known brands, who expect their business partners to use the best and most up-to-date IT systems,” continued Gabriele Burian, Director, Kingsfield Consulting. “Our traditional infrastructure did not give us the flexibility and capability we needed. With Private Cloud we recognised that technology could support our business plans and we have been able to better serve our clients by operating more productively and efficiently. Ultimately CCE’s Private Cloud is supporting our growth strategy and helping to make us more profitable.”
During the first stage of the implementation CCE moved Kingsfield Consulting’s core applications to the Private Cloud, including a managed desktop solution, Microsoft Exchange, Sage and established a Citrix Virtual Private Network to ensure a highly secure infrastructure. This stage was completed in three months.
One of the significant challenges Kingsfield Consulting faced prior to its move to a private cloud environment was to ensure system availability. Typically, this was the responsibility of the IT Manager to ensure its servers were patched and running 24×7 but with a workforce located around the world, finding a suitable time for updates was often difficult. CCE’s Private Cloud has brought considerable benefits in this regard, because it now takes care of all of Kingsfield Consulting’s server maintenance including all security patching. The clever design of its Cloud environment ensures that the company is no longer reliant on a small number of servers and means it now encounters little or no downtime. Additionally nightly backup failures are also a thing of the past as CCE now provides daily ‘snap shots’ of its data enabling quick and easy information retrieval.
“We are delighted that Kingsfield Consulting has already seen such positive results. We strongly believe Private Cloud is ideally suited to ambitious small to medium sized businesses wanting to use technology to be agile and accelerate growth,” commented Giles Thorpe, Managing Director, CCE. “We took the decision to invest £1m in our Private Cloud infrastructure, because we are fully confident that our customers will see significant benefits from adopting a Cloud-based approach, that is both affordable and tailored to their business needs. Cloud was once the preserve of large enterprises, but through our investment, our expertise and the ever-decreasing cost of technology we believe 2015 will see significantly more businesses using Cloud Computing as a growth accelerator.”
CCE is currently working with Kingsfield Consulting on the second stage of the project, implementing its Microsoft Dynamics CRM application, as well as making their Project Management Tools available in a collaborative deployment. Interestingly Kingsfield Consulting hired an IT Manager after the decision to implement its Private Cloud Solution. By handing the maintenance of its server infrastructure to CCE, Kingsfield Consulting’s IT Manager is now involved in supporting future business strategy to further increase collaboration. For example, the third stage of the CCE Private Cloud implementation will see the adoption of a new hosted voice system, which will enable employees to be available via their telephone extensions from anywhere in the world via any device, ensuring customers are able to reach their team in a consistent highly professional manner.
About Kingsfield Consulting
Kingsfield works with contractors in the international engineering and construction industry to achieve strategic solutions for the profitable and timely delivery of complex projects and the development of their people, teams and systems. It provides its services through three complementary business streams – Kingsfield Consulting, Kingsfield Planning & Kingsfield Academy which together are able to add significant value to our clients’ business throughout the project lifecycle. For more details please visit www.kingsfieldconsulting.com