Case study title

IP Telephony and LAN - Charity Sector - Sparks

Client Name




The Overview

IP Telephony and LAN networking in the Charity Sector by GCI, implementing an infrastructure that provides secure data and business continuity.

Sparks is a children’s health charity, funding medical research projects across a breadth of serious childhood illnesses and disabilities. Since 1991, Sparks has funded more than 275 research projects in over 80 hospitals, universities and research institutions across the UK and overseas.

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  • Secure Data
  • Future Proof IT Infrastructure
  • Business Continuity

The Challenge

Sparks carries out a vast range of pioneering projects and groundbreaking research into childhood conditions. Demand for the charity’s research and development expertise was increasing and its team was expanding. As a result, Sparks needed to move its operation to a new, larger location in Westminster.

The office move presented the opportunity for Sparks to completely overhaul and update its IT and communications systems, to provide a secure and reliable, best-of-breed infrastructure that would support the charity’s current demands and growth plans.

The charity was using a number of servers, with equipment and applications from numerous suppliers that were unsupported, poorly maintained and out of date.

Sparks needed to build a sustainable IT infrastructure that could support its growing organisation and increasing demand on the network.

Sparks turned to GCI as its trusted partner for the complex relocation project, tasking the IT specialist with designing, deploying and managing the new IT infrastructure, whilst ensuring minimum impact on the day-to-day running of the organisation.

The Solution

GCI designed a complete restructuring of the IT and telephony infrastructure at Sparks, focusing on improving Sparks’ legacy technology systems and increasing data protection reliability. This included:

A new IP telephony system to make the internal and external phone infrastructure easier to synchronise and secure, while providing a platform for rich Unified Communications and Collaboration applications in the future.

An upgraded LAN network system and security Firewall that would improve internal online communications across a far more secure network, with a centre-point for wireless connectivity.

Full training on the new IT system to Sparks’ IT team, to demonstrate how to maximise the benefits of the new infrastructure and externally manage the desktops and IT infrastructure.

Following the deployment, GCI has been appointed by Sparks to provide a fully managed service for its desktops and IT infrastructure, which includes a complete remote back-up of all IT services to ensure business continuity in the event of a future office move, loss of data or damage to existing systems.

This IT transformation project and ongoing managed services is delivering a number of benefits to Sparks:

Secure Data – Sparks holds a large amount of highly valuable research data, alongside personal information. GCI has delivered total protection of this data, while enabling Sparks’ employees to securely access, organise and manage this information across the organisation.

Future Proof IT Infrastructure – The upgraded network and move to IT telephony has provided a fit for purpose IT and communications infrastructure that has been designed to grow with Sparks, offering a flexible platform to manage increasing bandwidth demand and the need for new applications and tools, such as Unified Communications.

Business Continuity – The remote back-up and managed services guarantees business continuity for Sparks. Existing data servers and systems don’t need to be changed or recovered as all files and applications are backed up remotely and secured, with ongoing support and management ensuring day-to-day IT issues do not manifest within the network.

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