London - SAS Global Communications, an international provider of managed and professional network services, has announced the completion of a project to upgrade and relocate the network infrastructure of private equity firm, BC Partners. The new office infrastructure will deliver enhanced performance and availability for the company’s converged voice, video and data network whilst, at the same time, providing accommodation for the recent expansion of its workforce and offering scalability for the future. As part of the project, BC Partners has also increased its utilisation of SAS’s managed services.
BC Partners is a private equity firm specialising in large buy-out transactions in Europe and North America. From its offices in London, Paris, Milan, Hamburg, Geneva, Luxembourg and New York, the company is currently responsible for managing funds in excess of 10 billion Euros.
Over the last few years BC Partners has achieved significant success, internationally and in the UK, culminating, amongst other things, in the opening of a US operation in New York. At its London headquarters, where most of the company’s computer systems are hosted, success had taken BC Partners to full capacity; both its network infrastructure and its office accommodation were in desperate need of an upgrade.
BC Partners had been a long-standing customer of SAS, having worked with the company to install most of its global infrastructure, including its converged network and unified communications, so SAS was an obvious choice for the office relocation.
The project itself comprised of several key elements; the decommissioning of existing network equipment and the provision of the new communications estate, the installation of a new physical infrastructure, project management of all new systems to be installed along with a number of third party applications, and, lastly, the physical transfer and testing of data at the new location.
To ensure optimum performance and security for BC Partners’ voice and video conferencing traffic, SAS took the opportunity to design a new infrastructure for the company using multiple VLANs; the VLANs give priority to video and voice traffic over other traffic over the network and provider a higher level of security.
It was also worked closely with BC Partners’ construction team to ensure maximum space utilization and provide future proofing for further expansion. This included planning the location of services into the building such as power and communications as well as collaborating on the physical layout of the space.
The design and installation of much of the infrastructure of the new office was also provided by SAS's physical infrastructure division , including cabling, switches, WLAN, CCTV, a new comms room and new video conferencing equipment.
“In general the project was not dissimilar to many other office relocations we’ve carried out,” said Steve Grant, director of project management for SAS Global Communications. “The only key difference was that BC Partners could only allow a 48 hour window of downtime for the physical transfer and testing of its data.”
“People are always working in this business,” said Mike Pritchard, group financial controller for BC Partners. “So the fact that all of our email, messaging systems and telephony are managed in London dictated that the systems could not be down for long – in fact the email system had to be accessible for our international offices throughout the move.”
Whilst most of the planning, provisioning and installation of physical network components was carried out over a period of months in advance, coordinating the final stages of the move was always going to be a little daunting but thanks to the experience and technical competence of SAS Global Communications’s project team, it went without a hitch.
“At 6pm on Friday, we shut down the old system and by 6pm on Saturday, we were back in action,” said Steve Grant. “We used the addition time on Sunday to ensure that everything was fully tested and, by noon, BC Partners was able to resume normal operations.”
Since successfully completing BC Partners’ office move, SAS has resumed provisioning of its managed services for the company’s network estate, including 24/7 helpdesk and the continuous monitoring of all servers, switches and routers globally. It also acts as a single point of contact for support issues relating to the BC Partners’ phone system, carrier networks and all hardware and software, including the provision of a dedicated on-site support specialist located at BC Partners’ UK offices.
“For BC Partners, it makes complete financial sense to use SAS’s network services, rather than recruit our own staff,” said Mike Pritchard. “The breadth of experience we can draw on is key, as is the flexibility; we don’t have to worry about staff holidays, sickness or training, we know we will always have an SAS resource available to us.”