BH Live Case Study

Requirement: Cloud-based services

BH Live needed to migrate all services, applications and Wide Area Network to a fully-hosted platform, to deliver a virtual desktop via Citrix, plus associated Cloud-based services.

The Client

 BH Live is a leisure and cultural trust and social enterprise, operating leisure, event, sporting, cultural and entertainment venues across the south of England. Venues and attractions include Littledown and Mountbatten leisure centres, Bournemouth International Centre, Portsmouth Pyramids, and Bournemouth Pavilion. The company delivers services in partnership with organisations including Bournemouth Borough Council and Portsmouth City Council. With more than three million visits to its venues each year, BH Live is an extremely busy organisation.

BH Live was operating on a legacy IT infrastructure – including a “Dark Fibre” Network - with much of its hardware and software past the end of its lifecycle and no longer supported by the vendor. As the company continues to expand its business, so an agile, scalable and resilient IT platform was required. 

BH Live commissioned the migration of its services, applications and Wide Area Network to a fully-hosted platform. This included implementing a virtual desktop and transferring its email solution to the Cloud, alongside a new telephony system and solution to replace their core network links to each venue.

Technical Solution

GCI installed the full Microsoft Office 365 E3 plan for 500 users, ensuring a more secure and easily-accessible service. Additionally, virtual servers were built for the hosting of BH Live’s key business applications on GCI’s Infrastructure as a Service platform, with services delivered via Citrix XenApp hosted on HP Blades.

Other components included SecureVault Backup in case of an infrastructure-related crisis, plus a Network as a Service link to provide private connections for users back to GCI’s Uxbridge datacentre. BH Live opted to implement a new phone system across the full estate, selecting the Cisco Business Edition 6000 UC Telephone system. This provides each user with Cisco Jabber, IM, Presence and Call features, as well Xenith Wyse terminals and new PCs.

Success and Company Benefits

BH Live is pleased with the outcome of the project, the IaaS platform and the benefits of its private Network as a Service links to each venue. The solution is cost-effective and supports longer-term growth and venue development. BH Live benefits from the most up-to-date technologies, and upgrading to new PCs and Wyse terminals has both improved security and provides users with a better experience due to the Citrix virtual desktop. 

To complement the new infrastructure, a support contract has been implemented so the in-house IT team can call GCI’s 24/7 helpdesk if required.

Cee Chan, IT Manager at BH Live, said: “A project spanning several venues can be very complex, especially with a number of legacy systems. Supported by GCI’s project management and technical team, our brief was approached methodically and our core objective of migration from legacy networks was well managed. Most importantly, the new solutions have since enabled us to integrate additional venues onto our platforms in an efficient and cost-effective way.”

BH Live’s Account Manager at GCI, Katy Light, added: “Winning this contract via a tender process was no mean feat given the shared services BH Live held with its venue partners and the limited downtime available. The high calibre of consultants and engineers within GCI have helped to deliver a successful project and I am sure BH Live will continue to grow and flourish as a business.”

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