Case Studies

Rainbows Children Hospice – Local Charity in Loughborough
Support / Supply / Virtual IT Dept / Projects

Bramatt Computing Ltd work very closely with Rainbows Children’s Hospice and are in effect their virtual IT Dept. Working closely with the CEO and facilities officer, we are heavily involved in all aspects of their on-going IT development. Rainbows regularly purchase their IT equipment from us and have an unlimited on-going monthly support contract to ensure their systems operate efficiently and reliably.

The Rainbows new building project was undertaken last year, this involved a tender process which we successfully won against National UK companies.  Naturally being a charity, price was extremely important. The project involved the following products and technologies:

Cinema Room / Projectors / Audio System / Large Whiteboard Screens / Cat5e Network Cabling / Fibre Backbone / Windows Servers. The CCTV and Paxton Door Access Control systems had to be integrated into the existing system, this involved a detailed project plan in order to maintain staff and user privacy. Adding new doors to a system which has multiple users with multiple access levels, all on shift patterns required a good deal of planning in order to maintain a good working schedule. This was seamlessly achieved with no issues to the privacy of staff and more importantly to the security of the Hospice.  The CCTV system required an additional 8 cameras adding to the current 12 cameras already on site; again due to privacy issues, great detail was required on the planning and installation process.

The Boardroom was required to have a dual role; a boardroom to take care of the day to day fundraising activities of the charity and also a cinema room so the children and young people could experience a “cinema experience” while staying at Rainbows.  As the room can be split into two areas via a sliding divider, the audio system had to have the ability of controlling between a single and dual room setup; this was split across the 10 speakers system throughout the room.  In addition an induction loop and dual PA system had to operate independently when the room was divided. Cinema Projectors were installed, combined with electric drop down screens to complete the feel of the room; the screens dropped down over whiteboards that were used throughout the day. The main challenge was to create a dual purpose room that could cross over in look and feel from corporate to a relaxed cinema environment.

Multiple Fibre rings were installed in order to connect the three buildings infrastructure together; Cat5e structured cabling was flood wired throughout the whole building as required. The existing estate currently houses approx. 10 servers and over 100 Desktop/Laptop machines. On top of this large project last year, Bramatt have an ongoing supply agreement with Rainbows Children Hospice along with a helpdesk support contract. The support contract covers everything from Microsoft Windows Servers, Exchange, SQL, right down to the desktop and associated network infrastructure.

 


Action Homeless - Leicester based Charity
Support / Supply / Virtual IT Dept.

Action Homeless work from a central HQ with approx 12 remote sites all linking back via dedicated VPN tunnels. At the time of installation AH had 3 computers within the entire organisation; at the end of the project 2 x servers, 50 desktops with multiple printers and communication equipment had been deployed. This in itself gave the site a massive learning curve. On top of the e-mail, shared calendars and network shares for the main AH staff to use, residential PC’s were installed for the residents to use. The installation was undertaken within a two week window with all sites going live within this timeframe.
Class room was training was undertaken for all staff at the HQ over a four day period; this training was delivered in half days sessions to groups of no more than 8 staff members at a time. The course was ran by Bramatt Computing being personally tailored exclusively around the infrastructure and systems that had just been installed at Action homeless, thus giving a real hands on training approach for all Action Homeless employees.

 


When you wish upon a Star - Nottingham based Charity
Support / Supply / Virtual IT Dept.

When you wish upon a star have two servers and 15 users across a head office, secondary site and remote workers.  Communication is a vital ingredient for this contract; acting as their virtual IT department, the charity relies on daily communication for on-going support, future projects and the general well being of the IT systems in place. Microsoft Exchange, SQL and Windows file servers are used throughout the organisation along with VPN Tunnels and VPN Client links for remote connectivity.  Mobile phone access is extensively used for email and calendaring.
A NAS solution has been deployed at the secondary office for the purpose of secure data storage; this is used predominantly to house marketing and fundraising data which is continually growing.  Replication between the 2 sites is configured to data protection and disaster recovery.

 


Get Connected –
SCIE Government Grant Scheme

Bramatt Computing have been involved in the governments “get connected” scheme from day one. This £12 million project saw the introduction of ICT into Care Homes, Residential homes and organisations with adult care at the centre of their business. This was a UK national scheme requiring a lot of time and energy, wokring within the care sector that typically have never used ICT in any real format before. In fact the majority of care homes we spoke to had a single PC and most didn’t even have internet access!
Currently £700,000 worth of IT equipment, support and services has been sold direct or through our partners linked with this scheme. This is a massive percentage of the grant total for a Leicester based company, particularly in comparison to the other UK resellers authorised to provide to this scheme.

Delivery to numerous sites of over 500 Lenovo all-in-one touch screen PC’s was undertaken by us. Currently with over 250 customers across the UK, project management was paramount to the on-going running of this project. Orders were placed on a daily basis; full logistics information was required for both our client, Simply Unite and the end user delivery locations. In addition to this contract, individual sites required full wireless connectivity, desktops, laptops, software, routers and printers along with installation by our on-site engineering teams.
Both prior and when installed, each Site needed educating in terms of what the grant could be used for, what equipment could be provided and how it was to be used. The average grant award value was around £12k per care home, so there was a heavy emphasis on project management to ensure we could handle so many orders in such a small space of time both efficiently and delivering the solution on time.

 

 

Ken Wilkins Print
Virtualisation Solution

Ken Wilkins Print had a multitude of aged servers, running a mixture of operating systems and applications. The business requirements were to investigate the advantages / disadvantages of replacing the servers with traditional physical servers or moving to a SAN based virtual infrastructure.  Bramatt Computing were chosen to partner with Ken Wilkins Print and work in partnership to explore the available solutions.  Due to the site often running 24-7, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions were a key requirement from the chosen platform.  The total was 15 Microsoft windows server with a mixture of standard and enterprise operating systems along with MS Exchange, Multiple SQL servers and ERP systems.

The Task
To replace / upgrade the existing server infrastructure with the most recent and stable operating systems and applications.  Due to the site not having a refresh of servers over the last 5yrs+, the systems were in need of urgent attention.  After a lengthy analysis of Physical vs Virtual solutions, a VMware based virtual infrastructure solution was chosen.  The virtual solution was not the cheapest initial purchase price, however the additional flexibility due to the simple increase of server count, cloning of servers for R&D / testing purposes and Disaster Recovery made this an incredibly cost effective solution over a 5yr growth plan.

Three manufacturers were investigated and presented to Ken Wilkins’s; their advantages were mapped to the current business and future requirements.  From this a NetApp / VMware / IBM solution was chosen due to the maximum return of investment and also the management platform it delivered for the site.  Due to the site regularly operating at 24-7, the implementation from Physical to virtual had to be carefully project managed in order to minimise any downtime and make crucial parts of the business aware of any potential downtimes that could disturb production.  Due to the existing server’s age, server applications such as exchange 2000 were in place, the site also had corruption on file servers and active directory due to the unrecoverable loss of a domain controller.  This made physical to virtual conversion in most cases, very much impractical.  After a short consultancy period, a project plan was created and the installation was delivered 3 days under our initial timescales.  More importantly the business suffered no unplanned down time, no data loss and experienced no negative business effective during this entire migration process.

The installation process also took into account for onsite training for the IT staff; once installed further handover documentation and training were delivered by our installation engineers.  This ensured that Ken Wilkins had a complete understanding of the new system and were competent in its continued running and support.

 

 

Burnley College –
Large Netapp SAN Storage Solution

Burnley College required additional storage on an urgent basis as their current Hitachi HDS system had actually ran out of physical storage space within 3 months of being installed. The option of removing the existing HDS system was not an option; this presented a challenge as most vendors don’t work together. A Netapp Storage Solution would allow collaboration between the 2 and was installed as a front end to the existing storage. The main benefits this brought to the college were that all existing storage could remain as is and be controlled via the new Netapp system. By using NetApp’s software solution suite, the college reclaimed back 87% of the existing storage space from the Hitachi arrays; this was achieved predominantly through the use of deduplication.
This proved a great success to the college as it provided assurance and massive cost savings, this also meant that there was no longer a requirement to purchase further additional storage at great expense. The college also benefited from a replicated disaster recovery solution as part of the upgrade. The contract rollout period was approx. 14 days to complete the engineering installation with around 2 hrs. of downtime for the college throughout this entire installation period.

This project proved to be such as success, that NetApp decided to use our installation with Burnley College for a case study.  Please click on the icon below to download the case study.

NetApp


Southport College
Installation, Training and Support

Our initial contact with Southport College was for the implementation of a full server backup solution. The college’s timeframe window for backup simply wasn’t big enough, currently it was taking over 24 hours to perform a daily backup which made it technically impossible to rely on.  They were exploring a solution to backup off site; after scoping the requirements it was determined that due to the data size involved this solution simply wouldn’t work. A disk to disk – disk to tape solution was installed in order to bring down the backup windows and make it more manageable, this was based on Symantec’s backup exec software installed on Dell server Hardware, along with a large Dell LTO Auto-loader.
We were then invited to bid on the tender for the college’s summer ICT refresh; this consisted of 232 desktops, 69 Laptops and 2 charging trolleys. The tender also included the desktop rollout on-site, plus full envirionmental disposal and removal of all packaging. We successfully won the contract with a Dell solution for all of the hardware; recycling was managed by ourselves with the waste put through a local charity facility for recycling.

 


Central London Based College
Hardware procurement, installation and deployment

The college had a requirement for a multitude of desktops, laptops, Interactive whiteboards, Projector installations, Laptop Charging trollies, Storage Solution, Network Switches and numerous cabling equipment.
They had taken the decision to undertake a tender process as the overall project was of sizable outlay. One of the key deciding factors was they needed to purchase from a single supplier for the entire project. Another key factor was due to the new building construction running over its completion date; the time scales to purchase and install on-site were getting smaller and smaller.  Our tender response included a project management plan fully detailing the ordering, installation and any post support issues.  This based with competitive pricing and attention to the colleges requirements awarded Bramatt the order.  On top of this, the college is located in central London and wanted everything supplied and installed during the exact period that Britain held the London Olympics. This naturally presented a massive challenge as nobody had experienced such a constant high level of chaos around central london before.  The equipment was delivered and installed on time and in accordance with the colleges timeframe.

The desktops requirements were for several chassis types for the appropriate rooms around the college, all in one touch screens, towers, desktop and all in one chassis models were required. Our partnership with dell delivered the solution from a single manufacturer.  All desktop and laptops required a ghost image build before deployment to site, with 5 different models several images for the different departments along with asset tagging and testing of the 350 PC’s and Laptops was completed at the Bramatt offices within a 72 hour window.  Deployment on site of the 350 units was completed within 4 days, this also included removal and recycling of all waste. Local waste recycling centres are always used as part of supporting the local community where possible. Installation for the Interactive whiteboards, Projectors, Speakers and screens were completed alongside the deployment of the main IT infrastructure; this ensured any final adjustments could be made on the fly by the college, as some work in progress was required to work around the final construction.

 


Baker Street Clothing –
Hardware Procurement / Consultancy

Bakerstreet clothing are a relatively small business that operate just outside Cheshire.  We provide general IT consultancy services, keeping their IT Manager aware of emerging technologies and advising on best practise methods.  Baker Street Clothing purchases the majority of their IT equipment from us.  We also have an ad-hoc support contract in place to provide cover for when their IT Manager is on vacation.

 


Speedy Lifting Group (Headquarters) - Support Contract / Infrastructure

Bramatt Computing deliver a unique support contract to Speedy Lifting Plc.
Speedy hire group have a UK wide support contract with Computer centre PLC for its 480 branches.  However Speedy lifting’s headquarters in Derby have a support contract placed with Bramatt on top of this agreement; the main reason for this support contract is due to the flexibility and fast response times we are able to offer to speedy hire.  This support contract has been proven to keep their IT infrastructure running at Speedy on a number of occasions.

 


Longlane JFC -
"Bramatt were exceptional with everything from advice on a product to fit our needs right through to after sales help and the value for money is outstanding. Our advisor Lee was really helpful and went out of his way to help with placing the order after hours! Lee also chased and sorted out several problems for us which had not arisen through Bramatt but through the manufacturers. I couldn't recommend them more highly and we will definitely be using Bramatt for all our future IT."
Kind regards,
James Cato
Long Lane JFC Admin

 

London Legal Support Trust
"Bramatt came to our attention through an email they sent with what seemed an excellent deal for a new desktop (right at the time we were looking for one!). I contacted them and was relieved to hear that there was no minimum purchase number, compulsory support contracts or other catch. They were very prompt and helpful, kept me well informed throughout the ordering, payment and delivery process and  even reminded me about how to register my warranty. Overall we were really pleased with the service and products they offered and would happily recommend them to other small charities looking for a good deal, even in small quantities."
Thanks,
Natalia Rymaszewska
Deputy Chief Executive, London Legal Support Trust