TEPE Group Case Study
Requirement: Cloud, Security and Support Services
GCI implemented a number of Cloud-based services and a managed support service for The Environmental & Process Engineering (TEPE) Group to ensure business agility and continuity, as well as increased security.
The Environmental & Process Engineering (TEPE) Group specialise in building services, such as mechanical and electrical services, air conditioning, fire and security systems and integrated facilities maintenance from its Head Office in Southampton, Hampshire, which is home to the Group subsidiaries; Working Environments, Maintaining Environments and Protective Environments.
With over 100 IT users based on the Head Office and in project site locations, the TEPE Group needed robust, reliable, scalable and fast IT services to ensure business agility, capacity for growth, and a strong platform for the implementation of new ERP and Document Management Systems.
TEPE’s server infrastructure had reached the end of its natural life. Historically, the Group’s IT had been based on a CAPEX model, which involved a large financial outlay every five years, however the Board desired a different model which would enable the Group’s IT to grow with the business without significant and regular capital outlay. It desired a modern and secure solution which would accommodate changing technology and protect the business against the increasing risk of cyber-attacks.
GCI carried out a Strategic IT Infrastructure Review, in which existing infrastructure was surveyed and mapped against industry best practice, highlighting any risks to TEPE and detailing effective solutions to deal with them.
GCI recommended a hosted solution, with a combination of their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Blade as a Service (BaaS) solutions, both of which utilise best-of-breed software and whose underlying infrastructure is based in Vodafone’s Tier 3 datacentres for ultimate security and resilience. Moving to these hosted services would put an end to TEPE Group’s cycle of heavy upfront investment in refreshing their infrastructure and move the management of IT to GCI. The Group also leveraged GCI’s preferred pricing to deploy Microsoft Office 365 to their users.
As a security-conscious firm, TEPE Group also looked to GCI for guidance on protecting their IT systems. GCI installed Kaspersky Endpoint Security - comprehensive antivirus and anti-malware software for mobile devices – as well as SecureAccess Two Factor Authentication Software which requires the user to provide two types of identification information, verified at the point of login. The details the user must proffer typically combine “what you know” (generally a username and password) with “what you have” (usually a device that generates a One-Time Passcode), resulting in a highly-secure method of logging in to web-based software. To further increase the Group’s IT security, GCI deployed a Gold FortiGate Unified Threat Management (UTM) Firewall from Fortinet. Backup is delivered via GCI’s own hosted backup solution, SecureVault. Powered by EVault, provides offsite copies of the data stored in GCI’s own, highly-secure and resilient datacentres.
TEPE Group also instructed GCI to provide a Fully-Managed Support Service. Not only does this include true 24/7 support for a fixed cost, so that in the unlikely event an issue occurs the Group would be protected round-the-clock, but also affords them access to over 225 technical experts and continuous Security Monitoring. The service also includes many other features, such as regular server patching and systems maintenance, meaning that TEPE Group’s in-house IT team could focus on delivering more strategic projects and leave the day-to-day running to GCI. GCI’s Fully-Managed Service also includes Proactive Watchpoints - pre-emptive scheduled System Maintenance tasks designed to decrease downtime and flag any issues for resolution before they have a chance to negatively impact on business, with automated tasks to further reduce the cost of the service.
Success and Company Benefits
TEPE Group now have a virtualised environment that has moved them from CAPEX to OPEX, as the responsibility for the running and maintenance of the underlying hardware belongs to GCI, using the latest technologies. The additional security features not only provides robust protection against viruses and intrusion, and their Fully-Managed Support Service removes the need for their own IT team to worry about any problems as they are safe in the knowledge that, in the unlikely event there is an issue, GCI’s expert team is on hand to solve it before there is any disruption for the Group.
ebbie Beaven, Group Finance Director at TEPE Group, commented: “Our hardware had served us well for with many years but when the time came to upgrade, GCI were able to offer us not only the required solutions but also additional Cloud-based benefits that allowed us to move to our desired Operational Expenditure model. The security services which are now a core feature of our IT platform give us confidence that our systems are well-protected, and the Fully-Managed Support Service keeps us safe in the knowledge that should there be any issues, GCI can identify and resolve them quickly. We now have a future proof, secure and scalable solution.”