Phoenix designs a single-vendor, high performance virtualised IT infrastructure to give YPO the capacity and capability to determine its own solution and future architectural approach
YPO is one of the largest public sector buying organisations in the UK, supplying over 30,000 products and 100 frameworks to a wide range of customers including schools, local authorities, charities, emergency services, public sector and other businesses such as nurseries and care homes.
YPO proactively monitors its IT infrastructure and technology estate, to not only maintain resilience and stability, but to also ensure it has the ability to serve its current customers as well as the future capacity to meet its ambitious growth goals. Kevin Field, YPO’s IT Manager is always keen to explore the very latest technology solutions available to achieve the best solution at the right cost, and values both his internal team’s knowledge and external expertise when reaching any decision.
Kevin commented, “Phoenix has supported YPO on many technology initiatives for over 15 years – including the implementation of our most recent hardware refresh, which saw the company migrate from a traditional to a virtualised data centre in 2013. With the virtualised infrastructure naturally reaching the end of its useful life, we engaged Phoenix and other suppliers throughout a lengthy assessment and options process, which resulted in Phoenix being the partner of choice once again.” Given the growing prevalence of cloud computing since the last hardware refresh, Kevin was particularly keen to see if YPO’s current systems could utilise the numerous flexibility, agility and cost-efficiency benefits of such an infrastructure. At the same time, YPO had some broader business goals that IT needed to support:
- Introduce IT capabilities across core systems to enable a broader 24-hour service offering, should this be required in the future.
- Further enhance their disaster recovery and business continuity operating capabilities to reduce the risk to service delivery, mitigate against system loss and maintain customer service level expectations.
- Reduce IT technical management time: Although their existing infrastructure was best of-breed when implemented and had provided the best experience for end-users, it had become more difficult to manage. Kevin was keen to adopt a more “light touch” infrastructure and reduce the requirement for internal resource activities where possible.
- Improve security: Given the ever-growing security threats facing organisations of all sizes, it was important to have the strongest security available on the market today.
More broadly, the overall objective of the project was to support YPO’s business objectives to move into new markets without compromising its existing commitments with its existing national customers. With such ambitious growth plans, the new IT solution needed to be agile enough to react quickly to any changes in the business as it grew.