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

Grafton Group future proofs its operations

Grafton Group plc is one of the UK’s largest independent building materials group, owning brands including Selco, Buildbase and Plumbase. With operations primarily in the UK and Ireland, the Group has strong national and regional positions in the merchanting, DIY retailing and mortar markets.

As a large organisation with over 500 branch and head office locations in mainland UK, Grafton Group needed a new network solution that could underpin its increasingly complex IT needs.

Challenge

Grafton Group was continuing its strategic IT investment program, replacing legacy systems, updating productivity and collaboration services, and modernising its infrastructure. The company knew it needed to upgrade the whole network to support the rollout of new technology.

Nathan Bishop, Group IT Services Director at Grafton Group, explains: “As our company had grown, our IT needs had become increasingly complex and our reliance on high levels of network bandwidth and resilience had increased. We knew we needed to update our network and find the right provider to help us do this.”

Solution

Grafton Group had run the majority of its UK data centre operations from Six Degrees’ Birmingham facilities since 2010. Due to the quality and stability of the service that it had experienced during this time, and following a competitive tender process, Grafton Group chose Six Degrees to provision its new group-wide Managed Network Solution.

The Six Degrees solution includes three key elements; Core MPLS Network, Managed Internet Access, and delivery of a Branch Network across Grafton Group’s entire UK mainland business.

Grafton Group’s network is made up of a ‘Core’ that provides connectivity from Group networks in UK, ROI, and Belgium with shared data centres and managed internet access, and ‘Branch’ sites, that are the merchant offices serving customers in the UK mainland. Six Degrees has created a private MPLS Network linking all of these ‘Core’ and ‘Branch’ locations together.

The service was rolled out to the 500 branch and head office locations in the UK, with Managed Internet access provided to all Grafton Group companies in UK and Ireland.

Outcome

Six Degrees work very closely in partnership with the Grafton IT team to ensure the network continues to grow and scale in an appropriate fashion to meet their present and future requirements.

Bishop explains; “We have a long standing, strong and positive relationship with Six Degrees that has developed since we started using their data centre facilities. Now they also provide us with a managed solution that is bringing our network up to date and future proofing it to adapt to and enable our continued growth.”

Results

Following the successful implementation, the Six Degrees experts manage the services ensuring that Grafton Group’s network is reliable and secure. Bishop concludes: “Using the Six Degrees infrastructure allows our businesses to stay connected with no fear of overloading the systems or unwelcome downtime”.