A cost-effective route to resilience and improved performance with room to grow. Perfect!

Bristol-based legal expenses insurance provider DAS was facing some major technology decisions. The company’s existing platform, was going end-of-life. DAS’ excellent customer service and professionalism has seen the firm win a host of major awards, so
any change that could potentially impact the day-to-day operations
of DAS staff – or worse – needed to be taken very seriously.

“We knew we were heading into a significant project that had some risks, so we went to market to find the right technology partner,” explains Steve Maxwell, IT Services Manager, DAS Group UK.

Partner selection

DAS initiated a tender for a three-year preferred supplier agreement, looking for a company to work with them to develop and deliver a new platform strategy.

ComputerWorld was selected from a field of 30 providers. ComputerWorld’s
technical expertise, proximity and ability to understand exactly what the DAS business required were the deciding factors.

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Weighing the options

Working closely with the DAS IT team, ComputerWorld evaluated two options: a replacement and upgrade route, versus implementing a virtualised VMware enduser solution. ComputerWorld then built a proof-of-concept demo and also worked closely with the senior team at DAS to create a detailed business case, which modelled the long-term benefits of the VMware option.

Convinced of the benefits, DAS elected to go forward with ComputerWorld’s recommended approach, and the project was set in motion.

Managing the change

It was clear that all users at DAS, from senior management through to call-centre staff, would be affected by the change, so the ComputerWorld team and DAS project team worked closely to handle the migration and quickly address any issues.

“Even during complex upgrades, it’s critical staff are kept informed and problems are swiftly addressed – people just want their systems to work, no matter what you’re trying to achieve in the background. It’s our job to make that happen smoothly, without any fuss,”

Barry Coombs, Operations Director

The ComputerWorld team managed the whole roll-out, which was critical to the success of the project.

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The technical solution

  • VMware Horizon Suite
  • Dell servers
  • Nimble Storage
  • jetNEXUS Load Balancers
  • Microsoft Group Policy

The benefits

  • Reduced power consumption costs
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Fewer support calls
  • Scalable infrastructure
  • Faster updates and roll-outs
  • Opportunity to expand to remote offices
  • Security improved
  • More resilience/less downtime
  • Lower upgrade costs in future

Enjoying the benefits

“The new system is much, much better,”says Steve Maxwell, DAS IT Services
Manager. All DAS staff now benefit from a fully-managed VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). This means from an operational point of view, rolling out new software updates and patches is much faster; security across the whole IT piece is better; and users have fewer issues – support calls have been radically reduced.

Financially, the move is already benefiting DAS, thanks to lower power consumption and reduced maintenance. Expansion and upgrades will be more cost effective, too.

“The quality of the ComputerWorld team’s technical knowledge impressed me,” adds Steve. “The solution as implemented does what the team promised – it’s fit for purpose and gives us room for growth.”

Freedom!

One final benefit for DAS staff is that their new system enables them to work remotely, with full access to their data.

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