Managed services from SAS Global Communications deliver improved SLAs and support costs

London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed and professional network services, has announced details of a collaborative agreement with Leica Geosystems Ltd to provide network monitoring and support services for the Ordnance Survey’s OS Net, a system which delivers precise global positioning data to commercial partners in Great Britain.

Leica Geosystems is a world-leading organisation in the development of measurement technology. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, the company employs more than 3,500 staff in over 120 countries. With nearly 200 years of heritage, Leica Geosystems holds more than 1000 patents and is best known for its broad array of products that capture, model and analyse spatial information.

One of Leica Geosystems principle clients is Ordnance Survey, for whom it has been providing GPS equipment since 2001. Ordnance Survey operates a global positioning system in Great Britain featuring 110 GPS reference stations, all of which deliver precise information for mapping and construction purposes.

Since extending its services to the commercial sector in 2006, Ordnance Survey has been continually striving to provide increased robustness and quality of service to its 24/7 data delivery. It was therefore no surprise when in 2008, a decision was made to upgrade the OS Net reference station sites and improve the 24/7 network support system.

Leica Geosystems was one of several companies invited to tender for the business. However, as a specialist manufacturer in geomatics technology the company was not able to provide network support services, i.e. 24/7 IT infrastructure services and monitoring router components that connect the sensors to the internet, so needed to identify a suitable partner to work with on the account.

“SAS is leading the field in the provision of IT infrastructure so it was with no hesitation that we approached them to partner with,” commented Mark Burbidge, ESA Smartnet Manager for Leica Geosystems Ltd. “The synergies between our organisations are perfectly suited to deliver innovative and reliable solutions and SAS was able to understand and realise our requirements perfectly from the outset.”

Before making the final decision to partner with SAS, Leica Geosystems ran a pilot programme using its own sites to simulate the Ordnance Survey network and giving SAS access to demonstrate its managed services capabilities.

“We replicated outages on the network so we could make a thorough evaluation of the network monitoring and support services SAS would be providing. It was clear the technology would work well”,” said Mark.

With SAS’s support, Leica Geosystems was awarded the contract and over the course of the next 12 months, the three organisations put the new system in place.

SAS now provides managed services to Ordnance Survey on an ongoing basis, including 24/7 monitoring of the remote GPS sites for performance and availability. It also acts as a single point of contact for the organisation’s MPLS network and Cisco routers, all of which were supplied by Cable & Wireless.

“Before working with SAS, any overnight station outages on the network couldn’t be addressed immediately so we can all see improvements in the service levels OS Net partners are getting,” said Mark. “Now, if a site is down for more than five minutes an alert is automatically triggered at SAS, and SAS will immediately contact the ISP and site owner to verify the cause of the problem, then restart the sensor.”

The new service has also enabled Ordnance Survey to reduce the cost of its network support and allowed it to refocus IT staff on projects that help to drive the development of its operations.

“A lot of technology companies feel they are leaving money on the table by engaging with third party organisations when bidding for accounts,” said Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications. “Leica Geosystems understood its strengths and recognised that by partnering with a specialist in infrastructure management it could not only win the business but could also deliver the best possible solution to its client.”

“In addition, by piloting the services of potential partners, Leica Geosystems was able to protect its relationship with Ordnance Survey and guarantee the quality of the services it received,” said Davis. “A good managed services provider will always be willing to provide a live demonstration of its network management capabilities.”

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