Codestone takes Virgin Management on journey to the cloud; Virgin Management Ltd. migrates to cloud IaaS platform, increasing flexibility, reducing costs and providing 200 users with remote access via any device
(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Codestone, a provider of SAP Business One, infrastructure and cloud solutions, today announced that it has successfully migrated Virgin Management Limited's IT infrastructure to its Codestone Cloud IaaS platform. The new cloud offering provides the organisation's 200 users with a with a new centralised, resilient and scalable platform via Citrix XenDesktop, with a full failover disaster recovery (DR) plan, deliverable to any device or user, expanding flexibility whilst reducing management costs.
"Right from the start Codestone understood our challenges and requirements and displayed a pragmatic and experienced approach to designing and building a suitable solution. They understood our key areas of risk and had the experience and knowledge to be open to options and exploit opportunities," explained Terrie Kennedy, IT Director, Virgin Management Limited. "Codestone has a structured approach to project delivery including a provision of a detailed Project Definition Document, which provided us with a clear scope and delivery objectives and level of expectation."
A decision to relocate its UK Head Office in Brook Green, London, to a new corporate HQ situated in the Battleship building near Paddington, prompted Virgin Management Limited, a subsidiary of Virgin Group Ltd., to evaluate its IT requirements. Virgin Management Limited users are extremely mobile and need to access the network from both company and personal devices, ranging from laptops, PC's and Macs, to thin clients and tablets from locations around the globe. Therefore, it needed a fully flexible solution that allowed for expansion and contraction with limited upfront costs and maximum agility - ideally, an 'Anywhere Office' solution.
Following in-depth consultation with Codestone, Virgin Management Limited decided that a cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform would provide the best value and performance to the business and its users. Built on best of breed technologies, including Dell servers, EMC SAN's and VMware vSphere hypervisor technology, the Codestone Cloud IaaS platform provides high performance, reserved compute power on a shared or dedicated basis. A 99.99% uptime SLA is provided and supported by the platforms ability to sustain multiple points of simultaneous failure - without causing system downtime to Virgin Management Limited.
To enable users of any supported device to use instant messaging, video conferencing and IP telephony, Codestone designed and implemented a new Microsoft Lync server platform. It also migrated the existing Blackberry Enterprise Server to the new system for on-going Blackberry device management. Virgin Management Limited data is now replicated to a resilient data centre and key workloads are protected by VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM).
Codestone also replaced the existing Dropbox solution with Citrix ShareFile, allowing users to access their files from anywhere and work on or offline. It additionally provides file sharing capabilities for group collaboration and enables offline caching of files and helps with auditing and reporting, which is essential to the organisation. As an additional security layer, Codestone decided to integrate a two-factor authentication solution. This ensures that any compromise of a user's password does not result in a compromise of security.
As support and managed services were of high priority on all central systems in the cloud, and also to Virgin Management Limited users based in London, Geneva, New York and British Virgins Islands, Codestone mapped out a comprehensive support solution for all IT assets and end users including on site Codestone support running in parallel with Codestone's round the clock UK-based IT service desk - SystemSure 24/7/365.
"Our approach was designed to mitigate risk with the office move to Battleship, as the platform could be built in parallel to the office refurbishment and so minimise disruption to the business by keeping all legacy systems in service during the build phase," explained Jeremy Bucknell, Managing Director, Codestone. "We carried out a staged approach to the cloud migration project, making it achievable in manageable steps and using a single 'Gold Build' Citrix desktop image to deliver all user applications and services."
With a stable and robust platform in place, the Codestone solution has enabled the management team to focus more on strategy and business rather than worrying about IT operations.
"We received a high standard of service on the project in terms of development work and flexibility. The 'can do' attitude meant that we achieved our transition in a very timely manner and with minimal business disruption. The transition fully supported our strategy to move to a flexible working environment," said Kennedy. "There were no major disruptions to our systems during the migration of our mailboxes and enterprise vault, or during the implementation of new services such as MS Lync for our telephone systems, which was essential for the business to continue operating at the required level."
About Virgin Management Limited
Virgin Management Limited operates as a management services company providing corporate services and general management services to all of the Virgin companies across the whole of the Virgin Group, with representatives and offices in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and The Americas. Based in London, the company was incorporated in 1981 and operates as a subsidiary of Virgin Group Ltd.
Established in 1997, Codestone is a leading provider of IT application, infrastructure and cloud solutions, for organisations ranging from SMEs to major PLCs, national and international. With offices in Poole, London, Midlands and Cheshire, Codestone provides turnkey solutions from leading industry vendors including SAP, Microsoft, Citrix, EMC and VMware.
Codestone is a global leader in SAP Business One, SAP Gold Partner, SAP Master VAR and Member of the EMEA Partner Executive Committee. In contrast to many of its competitors, it also combines its UK domestic and international experience in SAP Business One with extensive Infrastructure and cloud solutions expertise.
The head office, in Poole, Dorset, is a state-of-the-art, custom designed technology centre that houses a professional, experienced and passionate team of over 70 IT specialists. It has delivered hundreds of solutions across numerous disciplines and sectors, and has a proven track record of providing full life-cycle projects from concept through to implementation. For more information, please visit: http://www.codestone.net or follow us on Twitter: @CodestoneGroup
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