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Large Public Sector Network Simplification

25th January 2018 | In Business Transformation
 

Having recently exited from a major 10 year IT outsource contract, a large government organisation had identified that they had inherited a complex infrastructure which was largely end of support – having suffered from years of under-investment.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

As a priority, they put plans in place for a full infrastructure refresh, the goal of which was to build a resilient platform capable of supporting automated services in the future and helping them to drive down their operational cost and complexity. The first phase of this project was to replace their legacy Avaya campus core, DC and distribution architecture, along with securing their internet facing links.

We received the first phase order earlier this year for almost $2m of product and service. Our solution consolidated and simplified the core, DC networks and secured their internet facing links. It provided them with their critical reliability and resilience, along with reducing their operational complexity, one of their key aims.

BUSINESS SOLUTIONS

We designed our client a new network including core network and data centre network architecture. Our design approaches were based on our client’s inputs and requirements shared through meetings and gathered documents. Together we looked at specific data centre network aspects in terms of underlying protocols, technologies and services deployed. We provided configuration templates for reference during the implementation phase.

Our client’s legacy network architecture was constructed of two main networks – data centre network and core network. Our designs which included the latest technologies were proposed to operate both networks as well as integrate them.

SOLUTION PROPOSAL AND BENEFITS

We delivered to our client a new network operating the cutting edge technology of EVPN – VXLAN. VXLAN is combined with EVPN (Ethernet Virtual Private Network). EVPN advantages includes faster convergence in link failures, improved network efficiency by solving flood-and-learn problems, scalability by relying on BGP scalable and robust Internet protocol, as well as flexibility through BGP fine-grained policies and easy integration with existing infrastructure using data centre interconnect technologies.

This method allowed our client to transform their legacy environment into a cloud ready, SDN capable data centre which allowed them to create a more flexible, scalable and resilient design using overlay technologies.

Our engineers were able to help with both high and low level design of the new data centre, and also aided implementation with a field testing plan, migration planning and integration support.

Following a successful tender to supply and support hardware for a large data centre refresh, we were further engaged in a Professional Services contract to design the new network (high and low level), provide testing plans, support integration and implementation, document and provide training on the overall solution providing a next generation data centre platform.

SUPPORT SERVICES

As part of this engagement we also delivered a number of services including hardware support, 24/7 IT support, incident management, returns process, case monitoring, escalation, replacement and dispatch case management.

Hardware Services has a well-established helpdesk with long-standing engineers and operatives. As part of the enablement phase, a summary of the customer and hardware footprint was provided to this team, allowing the helpdesk team to understand more regarding the pressures and priorities of our customers. During the Support Handover phase, the portals were updated with customer provided contacts, serial numbers, device locations etc. in order to expedite issue resolution at source.

Our client wanted us to have an intimate understanding of the support contract process in order to provide 24×7 support to expedite the flow of support calls through the system. As part of the support package provided by Hardware Services, all supported devices for our client are uploaded to the Hardware Services Support Portal. This will allow the client organisation to access a list of their assets down to serial number level and grant access to internal representatives as necessary. We also created a Returned Materials Authorisation (RMA) process to identify hardware faults and dispatch replacements. The Support Portal also serves to systematically manage and update the client estate in the instance where devices are replaced.

Hardware Services’ first line engineers were on hand to handle and proactively manage all support calls as outlined in the agreed process flow. This will be supplemented by the UK support team who will periodically monitor all support calls to ensure SLA’s are being met. Our client is also provided with the relevant escalation paths in the event that a call has been deemed to not meet satisfactory levels of support.

Hardware Services’ engineers actively monitor open cases to ensure replacement devices and deployed engineers arrive on site within the allotted SLA time-frame. Throughout this process, the client is periodically updated via appropriate means (depending on case priority) with all pertinent information regarding the case. These engineers ensure any potential issues with the replacement device and/or engineer are rectified as soon as they arise.

If there was a case that could not be easily dealt with, we provided systematic escalation management to our client. The Hardware Services escalation process notifies levels of management throughout the life cycle of the technical issue. This ensures that the appropriate resources resolve outstanding technical problems as efficiently as possible. Our engineers only proceed with closing a case once the relevant client representative(s) have confirmed that the technical issue experienced is fully rectified and the replacement device is performing at a satisfactory level. Hardware Services’ engineers will then ensure that the client’s supported assets are updated to serial number level on the support portal to reflect any replaced devices.

VALUE ADD

We provided a dedicated Account Manager and a Solutions Architect to act as the primary technical knowledge repository within Hardware Group around the client’s systems and requirements. All our Solutions Architects are recognised experts within their field holding some of the highest industry accreditations, and have access to subject matter experts both within the company and within the wider vendor community where those skills are required. In addition, the Service Delivery Manager will be attached to the account to specifically monitor the support process and conformance to agreed SLA terms.

We were awarded the 2015 Juniper Service Partner of the Year award for both the UK & Ireland region and the overall EMEA region and our second line support engineers are accredited to the highest levels within the Juniper certification programme. We have Juniper Networks Certified Internet working Experts (JNCIE) across all 3 available disciplines so our client could be reassured that our engineers are an expert within the field.


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