Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) detached from their partnership with Somerset County Council (SCC) and Avon & Somerset Police in December 2015. TDBC had historically relied on SCC for all of their IT support, so they had an urgent requirement to independently rebuild their IT infrastructure.  TDBC are now in a shared partnership with Somerset County Council.

TDBC not only needed a service provider who fully understood their IT requirements, but also one who had the experience and expertise to best optimise their current infrastructure, on a limited budget.  They chose Centreprise International (CI) to support and guide them through the many changes they faced.

IT infrastructure development

All of TDBC’s data was backed up by SCC, who also managed their data storage.  When they detached from SCC, they were placed in a vulnerable position, having been heavily reliant on SCC for all of their IT support.  It quickly became apparent that they needed their own independent data storage solution and backup strategy.

In addition, TDBC had been using SCC’s network. Once they were on their own, TDBC required their own network infrastructure and VPN, so that remote workers could log on seamlessly, with no need for passwords or time-consuming log on.  Contractors also needed temporary but secure access on a regular basis.

Multiple managed solutions

TDBC were looking for an IT provider who took a more consultative approach to finding the right IT solution, as well as offering a full range of support services.

CI proposed the most suitable solution in the tender process, and was awarded the contract.  They provided TDBC with an in-depth IT audit of the current infrastructure, to understand the challenges that they were facing: how to integrate a new VPN and reduce operational risk with a cost-effective backup and data storage solution.

CI recommended and deployed a Dell backup solution, after a proof of concept, which is now fully operational across two council buildings.  TDBC cannot afford any downtime so it’s business-critical that their servers are backed up efficiently.

CI reviewed the amount of data TDBC were using, then supplied a data storage solution and hardware break-fix 24/7 support service, within TDBC’s budgetary constraints. They implemented a Dell storage solution with far more storage capacity than TDBC currently need, but they are now future proofed for at least three to four years, allowing for growth and expansion.

CI has designed a Virtual Private Network through their in-house services, to give TDBC maximum security, reliability and independence, ensuring that all of the data they’re sending and receiving is encrypted and secure.

The final phase of the project is CI’s ongoing provision of 24/7 hardware maintenance support for the council.


Ongoing partnership

The IT implementation by CI has given TDBC greater confidence in their network, by improving resilience and minimising downtime.

CI’s IT solutions and support services make everyday interactions so much easier. The VPN solution with backup and data storage has ensured that the council has everything they need for future-proofed growth, in a secure environment. CI has also provided software licensing for TDBC.

Positive results

Andy Donaghue, Business Development Manager for Regional Government & Emergency Services at CI, has many years’ experience deploying technology solutions within local councils. He commented,

“The aim of the projects at TDBC was for CI to assist the council as a technology partner, to help them drive their business forward. For an operation like TDBC, which is reliant on a secure and resilient network, a robust IT infrastructure is an essential part of their working environment.

CI was able to help them achieve their goals, providing a full range of IT services: a backup strategy, data storage, VPN and hardware support. CI has proved themselves as an agile partner to TDBC and we hope to continue working with them into the future.”

Alistair Flower-Smith, Technical Architect and Infrastructure Manager at Taunton Deane Borough Council, added,

“It’s great that Taunton Deane Borough Council now has such robust and reliable technology in place. We have the added assurance that CI has the technical expertise to support our IT infrastructure, so it’s a win-win partnership.”

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