• Data Centre
  • Cloud
  • Connectivity
  • Unified Comms
  • Mobility
  • Managed Services

Six Degrees provision the digital transformation journey for Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd (CCG) - When an office relocation prompted the Welsh housing association, CCG, to undergo a digital transformation, it needed a supplier who fully understood its business needs and could deliver a complete and fully integrated solution.

CCG is the largest housing association in North Wales, providing quality, affordable homes and services to its 12,000 tenants in 6,300 homes across Gwynedd. As well as managing and maintaining properties in the county’s main towns and rural villages, the organisation provides 400 sheltered units for older and more vulnerable individuals. Considering the responsibility that CCG carries to ensure all 6,300 homes are well maintained and tenants accounted for, the ability to not only store but also access data quickly is of the utmost importance. Furthermore, due to the crucial and sensitive nature of the work carried out by CCG, it is vital that the organisation’s IT systems run efficiently and without any latency issues.

An office move offered the IT team at CCG the opportunity to embark on a digital transformation project. CCG had considered implementing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) technology, but couldn’t quite justify the move financially. Richard Nightingale, ICT Infrastructure and Operations Manager at CCG commented: “Whilst we knew the benefits in terms of added resilience and the ability to create movement away from one central head office, the financial implications and CCG business model at the time meant it wasn’t a viable option.” Relocation gave CCG the financial justification required to transform and streamline its IT systems.

Challenge

The team at CCG were faced with the task of moving all systems out of a single on-site server room, while maintaining the organisation’s IT uptime.
CCG also needed secure high-speed access to a tier four data centre to house their VOIP phone system and the ability to leverage cloud IaaS, all on net with the MPLS connection.

“We needed high-speed MPLS connectivity at all our offices and the ability to move these connections as and when needed,” explained Nightingale. “This enabled us to rationalise office accommodation, create an agile organisation and workforce whilst also adding resilience to the business.”

In order to achieve all this, CCG needed to simultaneously migrate its on-premises virtualised environment into a cloud infrastructure and transfer from one provider to another during office hours, without any loss of connectivity or disruption. Apart from the risk factors involved in doing this, it was important that the business moved to a service that would perform and not leave stakeholders underwhelmed.

As Nightingale summarises, “We needed a partner that could understand our specific needs for migrating away from a PSBA MPLS connection, design a solution and work with us to ensure a seamless transition without loss of connectivity.”

Geraint Jones Head of ICT

What we were struggling to find was a provider that had expertise in all of the areas we needed, and could therefore help deliver a synergised offering. That’s when we found Six Degrees - they covered all of the elements we were looking for in both telecommunications and cloud applications.

Solution

IT-led business transformation has created a more connected workforce throughout the entire CCG organisation, resulting in greater collaboration and productivity. As a result of CCG’s partnership with Six Degrees, the organisation now experiences the following benefits:
• Comprehensive IT services with no unexpected additional costs
• Elimination of unexpected IT downtime and loss of data, with no single point of failure
• Greater collaboration and productivity through an entirely connected workforce, with the capability for expansion
• Constant support from an expert external IT team

Geraint Jones, Head of ICT at CCG, commended the installation process, adding: “We experienced no unplanned downtime through the migration process. It was critical for CCG that the contact centre was up and running on Monday morning and Six Degrees did not disappoint – this was where they truly shone through as an expert managed service provider.”

The future

Looking ahead, CCG is currently working with Six Degrees to bring general internet access to CCG’s tenants who live in their sheltered housing schemes. They are also looking at a more robust and cohesive method of providing CCTV connectivity through the business using their current MPLS technology.

Jones commented: “We cannot fault the service and support offered by Six Degrees. No request was too much trouble and there was no such thing as a silly question. We would absolutely recommend their services and consider them for any future IT requirements.”