London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed and professional network services, has helped international consultancy and construction firm Mace Group achieve massive reductions in the management time required for circuit provisioning and support of its BT data network estate. A managed services agreement between the two companies provides 24/7 monitoring and support for the networks of eleven UK sites and will incorporate a further eight locations over the coming months along with new installations as required.
In a construction management role, Mace partners with clients to manage every element of a project, from programme to cost; for most projects this includes the temporary installation of network and telecom circuits at construction sites for connectivity to the company’s central applications and for client communications, which in isolation would not be tricky to manage.
However, with multiple projects starting and finishing at different times, managing the provisioning, support and termination of circuits had become a challenging and time consuming process for the IT department.
“At one point, we had four members of staff having to deal with line provisioning and support queries on our BT estate,” said Alan Webb, IT operations and support manager for Mace Group.”I was often spending three days a week just talking to BT.”
Unable to commit such a high level of internal resource to managing one account, Mace approached BT for help.
“What we wanted was a consistent point of contact to deliver our BT services; a team of people that understands us as a company and knows our history,” said Alan.
BT suggested an introduction to SAS, a specialist in network management and a long serving partner in BT’s indirect sales channel.
“I was really hesitant about bringing in SAS; we’d already had a bad experience working with the services partner of a previous network carrier, so my first instinct was to say no and continue as we were,” said Alan.
In the months that followed, Mace continued to support its BT estate in-house until a major circuit outage left the company without Internet connectivity.
“We were struggling to get a resolution on our own when I just happened to take a call from one of the service relationship managers at SAS,” said Alan. “He took the time to listen to the problem and within a few hours, got it sorted with BT.”
“That experience made me realise that SAS had channels into other areas of BT and could influence the outcome of events in a way that we’ll never be able to do our own,” said Alan.
As a result the company signed up for SAS's managed services, including its comprehensive deliverables for reporting and network monitoring. SAS now acts as a single point of contact for all issues and requirements on Mace’s BT estate and provides 24/7 support from its network operating centre in West Sussex.
“Since SAS has been on-board, we’ve been able to refocus a lot of resource on Mace IT business rather than support; I now spend less than two hours a week on our BT account – about 90 percent less than before,” said Alan.
“Currently, SAS is looking at our voice estate and adding it into the overall service wrap,” said Alan. “We don’t have the final figures yet, but we’re anticipating some savings from this activity as well.”
“As more and more network resellers position themselves as managed services companies, in a bid to combat eroding margins from software and hardware sales, it is becoming increasingly difficult for enterprises to identify genuine managed service providers,” said Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications. “In our experience, most companies that claim to offer managed services are in fact only supporting the network up to the router; applications and devices within the physical infrastructure are not within their remit and not within the scope of their experience to support.”
“With first-hand experience of this dilemma, Mace was naturally cautious when it came to supporting a new network but fortunately for SAS, the strength of our relationship with BT gave us a real-time opportunity to demonstrate our all-round capabilities as a true managed services provider.”