2 page Case Study - Posted 7/31/2012
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Business Process Services Firm Transforms Client Service with Private Cloud Platform
Business process services (BPS) and IT solutions provider Equiniti ICS needed to refresh its infrastructure to offer infrastructure as a service through the Microsoft private cloud. It deployed the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system with
Hyper-V technology and Microsoft System Center 2012 for improved virtual machine implementation, server management, and monitoring. Now, customers get online in one day rather than waiting up to two weeks.
Equiniti ICS, part of the Equiniti Group, is among the fastest-growing BPS and IT solutions companies in the United Kingdom (U.K.). It is a Microsoft Gold Partner with web and software development, independent software vendor (ISV), and portals and collaboration
competencies. Using cutting-edge Microsoft-based technologies, Equiniti ICS provides organizations with software and services that are innovative, reliable, and adaptable.
With 95 per cent year-on-year client retention, the Equiniti ICS offering includes infrastructure and hosting, customer relationship management, and human resources (HR) and payroll services. The Equiniti Group handles £2.7 billion in payments a year, supporting
2,200 clients, including 60 per cent of FTSE 100 firms.
Equiniti ICS was considering ways of making the business more agile in serving existing customers and attracting new clients. It wanted to offer hosted services through the Microsoft private cloud, including infrastructure as a service and Microsoft Dynamics
CRM. Nigel Farr, Director, Client and Infrastructure Services, Equiniti ICS, says: “The needs of the business and the desire to innovate in service delivery were the principal drivers for our technology refresh. We also wanted to improve reliability and flexibility
through virtualization of the server estate, while at the same time ensuring we had the best possible suite of management products.”
Equiniti ICS spent six months reviewing various options for virtualization of the existing physical servers, including VMware, Citrix XenServer, and Hyper-V. Pat McCorkell, Technical Manager, Equiniti ICS, says: “We wanted to get everything into a much smaller
footprint and run it as efficiently as possible using an out-of-the-box enterprise solution.”
Equiniti ICS chose Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center 2012 for the private cloud hosting service to reduce server footprint, and monitor and automate the virtualized environment. System Center 2012—a comprehensive IT infrastructure,
virtualization, and cloud management platform—took just 25 days to deploy and configure.
McCorkell says: “With System Center 2012, we can easily manage applications and services across multiple hypervisors as well as across public and private cloud infrastructures. It fully addresses the management challenge of virtualization and allows the
IT team to move a running virtual machine from one physical host to another without any disruption to service.”
With System Center 2012 and Hyper-V, Equiniti ICS has deployed around 400 virtual machines at the rate of about 40 a month. The company’s policy now is to virtualize all new applications on Hyper-V. Equiniti ICS has also committed to moving to Windows Server
2012 as soon as it is released.
The technical work carried out by the Equiniti ICS IT team in deploying System Center 2012 has helped it to earn recognition for the firm within the Microsoft Partner community.
Colin Cassidy, Small Medium Business & Partner Strategy Lead, Microsoft Ireland, says: “Equiniti ICS has invested in Microsoft software to help build cutting-edge business process services and IT solutions. We’re thrilled with its success and look forward
to developing the partnership.”
Through Hyper-V server virtualization and Microsoft System Center 2012 manageability tools, Equiniti ICS has transformed its IT infrastructure and enhanced business agility to offer customers a hosting service through the Microsoft private cloud. Most importantly,
the firm has lowered the risk of server failure or any interruption to round-the-clock service delivery, while speeding up the provision of hosted cloud services to new customers.
Customers get online in one day rather than two weeks. The virtualized environment supported by System Center 2012 is making Equiniti ICS more agile in serving customer needs. New customers go online in
a day or less instead of waiting two weeks for physical servers to be built.
Improved resilience gives peace of mind. McCorkell says: “Microsoft System Center 2012 with Hyper-V gives us incredible flexibility and resilience. It provides a consolidated view of all our virtual as well as physical servers and can monitor
and change them more efficiently. The workload is spread over multiple servers so there’s no single point of failure, which gives us peace of mind for critical hosted services with round-the-clock uptime.”
Reduced need for third-party tools cuts costs. Farr says: “We can now support business growth through better use of the IT budget. Using Microsoft System Center 2012, we can avoid the need for third-party tools and reduce long-term operational
costs while improving service levels.”
Low-cost Microsoft licensing helps Equiniti ICS customers. Equiniti ICS uses the Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement for low-cost licensing, giving customers access to the most up-to-date applications. With this licensing agreement,
service providers and ISVs can license Microsoft products on a monthly basis to host software services and applications to their customers. The Services Provider License Agreement supports a variety of hosting scenarios, helping to deliver highly-customized
and robust solutions to a wide range of customers.
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