Middlesbrough Council

Middlesbrough, a city of close to 184,000 people in north-east England, is quickly becoming an innovation hub, attracting startups and digital talent.

Middlesbrough Council plays an integral role in the city’s digital transformation and aims to take advantage of technology that can enhance the delivery of services to internal clients and the public.

The challenge

As its managed services contract came to an end, Middlesbrough Council’s IT team took the opportunity to introduce modern technology and improve the performance, reliability and efficiency of IT services serving the council and the public.

With funding for local authorities becoming more restrictive, the council’s IT department had to manage more than 300 applications and support the work of the council with increasingly constrained resources.

Recent organisational changes coupled with servers and hardware nearing end of life provided the IT team with the perfect opportunity to review a managed services contract that had been in place for more than a decade.

Key Benefits

  • Frees up engineers to support innovative council initiatives
  • Enhances backup performance, reduces backup times by 30% and eliminates application slowdowns
  • Improves citizens’ access to digital resources
  • Enables uses productivity with anytime, anywhere system access
Our great relationship with Phoenix, means that we haven’t had to call on the Dell EMC ProSupport Enterprise service yet. But it’s comforting to know it’s there if we need it.
Andy Evans Head of ICT Services, Middlesbrough Council

The solution

The first step for Middlesbourgh Council, in partnership with Phoenix, was to evaluate different solutions to establish which would be the best fit for the organisaton. Following this discussion Phoenix organised a workshop with Dell EMC and VMware to demonstrate how the technology would fit within the council. It soon became clear that this solution ticked all of the right boxes with scalability, performance and resilience.

The imminent end of the current services contract meant the timeline was tight to roll out the new solution. Together with Dell EMC, VMware and Phoenix, Middlesbourgh Council completed the implementation in less than three months, replacing hardware from several suppliers with a Dell EMC vSAN solution comprising 24 Dell EMC PowerEdge rack servers, as well as two Dell PowerVault TL4000 tape libraries to support backups. At the end of the project, the second data centre went live with pre-configured technology.

Following on from the initial implementation, Phoenix, Dell EMC and Middlesbrough Council drafted a roadmap that allows incremental upgrades instead of costly, comprehensive technology replacements, saving the council close to £80,000 and helping to speed up citizen access to council resources.

The results

With the Dell EMC solution in place, the council has enhanced data protection and instant replication, not just of the most critical systems, but of all the 300+ applications used by the council helping to guarantee availability. This solution has also improved backup performance and reduced backup times by nearly 30%, with users no longer complaining that backups were absorbing computing power.

As was proved during a winter storm, any number of council users can dependably access their cloud-based or on-premise systems from anywhere with an internet connection enabling the council to adopt a more flexible, consistent and productive user experience and working culture.