Case Studies

De Vere on cloud nine with Claranet's managed application hosting and networks

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The challenge: IT playing catch-up A number of strategic acquisitions and brand mergers form what is today known as the De Vere Group. With acquisitions however, come a plethora of IT challenges – and De Vere was no exception. Jo Stanford, Group IT Director, commented: "Initial Style Conferences Ltd and De Vere Group plc were acquired in quick succession. Both companies had separate WAN providers, which meant we ended up operating and maintaining two large WANs using an interconnect to join the businesses. We knew this was a costly and inefficient way of working and wanted to remedy the situation as quickly as possible." With the two separate WAN contracts coming to an end almost simultaneously, Stanford began planning for a new networking solution that would unify the Group and provide a higher performing and more reliable platform. "As we operate thin technology with all applications published via Citrix, the WAN network is absolutely critical to our business," said Stanford. "If it fails, our properties lose visibility of essential applications and have to revert back to manual processes. This could quickly lead to dissatisfied customers and loss of revenue. Therefore, to put the best 'fit for our' purpose solution in place, we put out a tender to find the right provider. Networks: finding the right solution and provider At the time of De Vere's tender, Claranet had an existing relationship with the business through one of De Vere's acquired companies. As part of the tender process, Claranet designed a new WAN network that would connect over 60 De Vere properties to a single platform. To ensure performance and uptime, Claranet's solution was underpinned by a secondary circuit that had an automatic failover to guarantee availability. The network also included connection points out to Frankfurt, to enable De Vere access to its hosted reservation system based there. Stanford commented on Claranet's proposed solution: "We invited Claranet to pitch, but were unsure how they would compare to some of the larger players. Yet, without a doubt, they gave us the most confidence, and proved that they had the right team in place to deliver a better performing WAN that would unify our business. De Vere on cloud nine with Claranet's managed application hosting & networks Case study De Vere Managed application hosting & networks The De Vere Group is the UK's leading independent hotel and hospitality group. With a portfolio of over 65 locations, the company operates brands dedicated to offering impeccable service and expertise in the business and leisure sectors. The Group has an annual turnover of over £360 million and 10,000 employees and boasts six key brands - De Vere Hotels, De Vere Venues, De Vere Luxury Lodges, De Vere VILLAGE, De Vere Golf, De Vere Academy of Hospitality. Implementation: pulling the rabbit out of the hat "I've run many similar projects and have been in IT for a long time, and what's really important to me is honesty and transparency. That's exactly what I got with Claranet. No IT project runs smoothly; issues arise and not being told about them by your IT provider won't make them go away. With Claranet, the project and technical teams got a big tick from me for being open and honest, and notifying us about issues so we could plan contingency, avoid downtime for the business and work out how to overcome them as quickly as possible," said Stanford. Delivering De Vere's new WAN infrastructure was a large-scale and intricate project. And as such, there were a few challenging moments, Stanford commented however that "thanks to the strength of their relations, expertise and experience, Claranet pulled the rabbit out of the hat – more than once – to make sure our WAN was delivered smoothly and on time." Benefits: cost-savings and uptime Stanford vouches that De Vere experienced immediate benefits when the WAN went live. "We started saving money from day one - no more unnecessary management of separate networks and providers. What's more, we benefit from incredible reliability now. With our business, any network issue will begin to cost us money, so this is an incredibly important thing for De Vere. The WAN has now been live for over 12 months and we haven't had a single outage. Claranet's WAN has been the most reliable network I have personally worked with in over ten years." " I'm not normally prone to placing all my eggs in one basket, so to speak, but Claranet has been the exception to this rule, and deservedly so. Jo Stanford - Group IT Director - De Vere Group

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