Case study title

Acorn Industrial Services - Network and Infrastructure

Client Name

Acorn Industrial Services



The Overview

Network and Infrastructure services in the Industrial Sector, reconfiguring Fortinet equipment to work in conjunction with new Cisco networking & security devices.

Acorn Industrial Services Limited are a leading, national, industrial equipment supplier of high quality engineering and maintenance products. Distributing from their centre in Rotherham, the company holds over 40,000 stocked items in outlets dispersed across the UK.

From technical help on product selection, right through to the on-time supply of an order, Acorn boasts a 99% on-time delivery rate and accurate product picking record alongside various accreditations.

Determined to deliver new and innovative products, they knew that they needed to adopt new technologies to ensure apt levels of security were protecting their network security data.

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The Challenge

Acorn had past purchased some Fortinet network security equipment and although it was already in place and configured to a basic level, the Acorn team knew there were much more capabilities within and they just weren’t getting the most out of the equipment. With no pro-active support from their incumbent provider, Acorn knew that they needed to enlist the help of professional product specialists to provide a fully managed pro-active level of support. Furthermore, Acorn required further education on what the range of Fortinet products could add to the company’s ICT strategy.

Not only did they need help configuring the kit, but Acorn also wanted to train their staff and work with a partner that would assist the overall management of their IT foundations. Eager to streamline their suppliers in the future, they needed an end-to-end solution so turned to GCI for advice.

On consultation, GCI Business Development Manager James Wood discovered that Acorn were running BT Secure Services at branch level which brought to light further issues as this was an end of life product. The company was about to lose support from their provider without a new upgrade available and as a result would have been left exposed to viruses and threats.

Taking everything into consideration GCI offered a solution, and as an approved Fortinet provider, Acorn trusted our team would finish the work to the high standards they desired.

The Solution

Due to remaining long term contract commitments with Acorn’s existing internet and data connection providers, GCI needed to approach this solution in a different manner to a typical managed WAN deployment. Therefore GCI placed separate kit at every branch and configured the equipment at head office to ensure it all worked in collaboration. In conjunction with including failover for added resilience, GCI were conscious that come renewal, Acorn may want to centralise their network security, as well as connectivity to streamline the Wide Area Network. The GCI team therefore ensured that the system could be easily redesigned at a later date to save on costs and future proof all services.

Once the agreement was made, GCIs engineers proceeded to re-configure the existing Fortinet equipment at head office, removing the legacy Secure Services at branch level and replacing with brand new Cisco and Fortinet networking and security devices. The distribution of the new solution required detailed project management and careful coordination by GCI operations departments due to the involvement of other third party suppliers in other aspects of the network.

Even in relatively unusual circumstances, GCI used initiative to deliver a streamlined and scalable WAN environment to suit Acorn’s requirements at current but also with the future in mind. With GCI now managing more complex equipment changes and up skilling Acorn’s own IT Manager to manage lower level day to day changes, the perfect combined solution has been reached to work well for all parties. GCI and Acorn have a strong working relationship, and we look forward to doing much more work with them in the future.

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