Andrews Sykes
Andrews Sykes

Andrews Sykes

Andrews Sykes is the UK’s largest independent Hire Company of Portable Air Conditioning, Chillers, Boilers, Heaters and Pumps. They deliver to any location in the UK and their priority is to ensure their customers receive excellent service with the best equipment, at the most competitive price.

Andrews Sykes pride themselves on customer satisfaction and their nationwide depot network is manned by expert engineers, planners and sales staff available, on call, 24/7, 365 days a year.

With their current hardware coming to its end of life, Richard Pardoe, Technical Architect, had a requirement for new servers. He had been thinking about virtualisation as an alternative to ‘like for like’ replacement. A large part of the IT budget was spent on just maintaining his existing infrastructure. If he virtualised, he could make savings on the overall IT running costs and deliver resources, applications, and even servers, instantly, when and where they were needed.

APSU had already completed several projects for Andrews Sykes, including the provision of their latest IBM Power i box, and as a consequence of this existing relationship, they had a strong understanding of the Andrews Sykes IT environment.

Richard said “I was already interested in virtualisation and APSU provided me with several customer references in order that I could discuss the benefits of the solution. After reviewing several options we decided to work with APSU and implement a virtualised solution using IBM Global Financing to help us balance the capital outlay”.

The Solution

Richard chose to implement VMware vSphere 4.1, since it offered scalability and the ability for the business to leverage storage and other system resources, as and when they are required. It incorporated the utilisation of some of the “higher end” existing servers to provide a new DR solution. This would provide further cost savings while increasing system availability.

Richard didn’t want to be reliant on a third party resource once the solution was installed; he wanted to maintain capability and skills in-house. He was therefore thankful to have APSU as a partner to facilitate the transfer of knowledge on a day by day basis.

“Implementation was excellent and really straightforward,” he says. “I learnt a lot during this phase as I was on-site and worked on the pre-build and test demonstrations. I felt that APSU were an extension of the IT team. They shared their knowledge and technical expertise with me and really added a lot of value.”

The outcome

“All of our applications are now stored centrally which offers flexibility to the user base meaning we can now truly offer IT as a service. Our Marketing department requires specialist software and, prior to the installation, it could take us up to two days to install this, but now it takes us no time at all”. He says. “Now we can spend more time on other things and this has opened the door for investigating future projects. The solution allows us to trial new software and applications with no capital expense. Trials are set up on the new hardware; in essence, they perform as they would in production. These trials can then be quickly converted to live servers or deleted instantly”

“APSU was not only brilliant when it came to helping us design and configure our vSphere solution, their consultative process and breadth of services and expertise also allowed us to explore and identify how we could align our IT systems more closely to our business strategy and operational expenditure. The new system allows us to quickly provision new servers without impacting service or performance. In addition to this, using IBM Global Financing allowed us to spread the cost of the project over a 12 month period.”

When we appointed APSU as our IT partner, we tasked them with demonstrating ROI on the entire project. They have without doubt achieved this as we are already seeing the financial benefit.

The future

Richard is currently looking at implementing desktop virtualisation and will continue to involve the APSU specialists in future projects as Andrews Sykes seek to expand and add new IT systems and processes.
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