London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed network and professional services, today announced details of a managed services agreement with construction firm, BAM Construct UK, to deliver provisioning, project management and support services for the company’s regional office and construction networks. The agreement which forms part of a three year deal will also see SAS consolidate BAM’s 130-site network estate into a single BT cloud.
The construction industry is a sector that has always been commercially challenged during periods of economic downturn and for BAM’s head of IT services, Phil Smith, staying on top of the game in recent years has meant being constantly vigilant where costs are concerned.
“It’s essential for BAM to continue to be competitive. We need all of our suppliers to do more for less,” said Phil.
Subsequently, when BAM’s voice provider made a competitive bid for the company’s network business, Phil saw an opportunity to open up negotiations with his existing carrier, BT.
“We went back to BT and asked what they could do in response,” said Phil. “What we liked about BT was that it has a solid and reliable network.”
“Where we’ve had frustration with BT is in getting the level of focus we need in order to run our business,” said Phil. “We want a really efficient management service with flexibility for ordering and delivery.”
To allay BAM’s concerns, BT suggested an introduction to SAS, a specialist in the provision of managed services, and an organisation with a number of years experience in the construction sector.
“Our first reaction was ‘that’s disappointing that you can’t provide the service yourself’,” said Phil. “But once we got over that and got introduced to SAS we could see it offered the best of both worlds – reliability of the network coupled with better bespoke management and business relationship management.”
“In the end, the real differentiator for BT was SAS,” said Phil. “We could port the network to 21CN which would give us cost savings and we could also improve the management wrap, improve the provisioning process, monitor the network and have better visibility.”
Since completing the initial project to upgrade BAM’s regional offices to BT’s MPLS network IP Clear, SAS has now assumed responsibility for managing and monitoring the new WAN from its network operations centre in West Sussex.
“Working with SAS gives us much greater visibility into our network and a much improved management interface,” said Phil. “We feel like we’re a proper customer of BT’s and we’ve been able to use the (SAS) relationship on a strategic level to plan how we can move forward and port our network into one BT cloud. The relationship for me has pointed us in this direction.”
Currently, SAS is working on a second project with BAM to port the company’s existing construction network over to BT. This latest project sees SAS take responsibility for all BT circuit provisioning, along with project management and network engineering to migrate the remaining locations on BAM’s 130-site estate.
“One of the biggest networking challenges in any construction project is time-to-deliver,” said Phil. “We need the communications to be available very quickly. Our communications have vastly improved with SAS; SAS understands BT and OpenReach processes better than any other provider we’ve used so we’re comfortable we’ve got the right people talking to the right people.”
“Having SAS onboard has also really helped our resource in the field because the setup of each site is so much simpler than before,” said Phil. “We’re now able to use less resource and less technically specialised resource – it’s almost a plug and play solution.”
Another benefit Phil cites as an outcome of BAM’s relationship with SAS is an improvement in circuit delivery times.
“We’re ahead of the curve compared with most other BT customers, and as a result all of our customers have seen some form of improvement in terms of us being able to pass on cost reductions,” said Phil.
“What makes SAS stand out for me is that you can have a pretty honest cards-on-the-table conversation with them. That’s their approach. I don’t like being sold to and I never feel that with SAS,” said Phil. “On a personal level, they’re very good at what they do. They’re a down to earth bunch of people and I put my trust in them to do what they do.”
“Businesses in construction have some unique challenges when it comes to managing and provisioning communications,” said Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications. “With projects starting and finishing all the time a construction network is never static and those supporting it can’t be either. What helped to set SAS apart from other managed service providers with BAM was not only the bespoke nature of our service-wrap but also our ability to understand and respond to BAM’s unique networking requirements.”