The Enquire Learning Trust is an academy trust, with 30 schools based around the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside.

The Trust works collaboratively with other academies and the schools local to them, striving to provide “extraordinary learning experiences” to the children attending their academies. Their goal is to create a vibrant learning culture for students to excel in.

The Challenge
Enquire Learning TrustThe Trust wanted to save money by leveraging economies of scale. They required a a contract that provided internet connectivity and telephony services trust-wide.

As well as cost savings, this would also ensure that the trust was run as one large network, with telephony that ensured the academies could contact each other efficiently. In addition, they also required storage space in a data facility to host their applications.

Solution Delivered
Enquire Learning TrustAspire provided colocation in their tier 3, ISO27001 datacentre at Heworth Hall, hosted firewalls, and leased lines for a 30-site Wireless Area Network. The company also set up hosted telephony on the industry leading Mitel platform and utilised their own bespoke SIP trunking. This enabled free calls between multiple academies and Enquire Learning Trust sites.

Through this, Enquire Learning Trust realised a 6 figure cost saving. Up to date, market-leading technology was also installed across the trust.

What the client says:
Brett Webster, Director of Information Technology at Enquire Learning Trust, said, “Enquire Learning Trust partnered with Aspire Technology Solutions to deliver telephony and Internet services across all our academies. We required Aspire to provide them with interconnectivity between each academy, over a high-speed network. We also required state of the art communications in each academy too.

“The project management of both aspects of our solution has been superb. It has met and exceeded all expectations thus far. Support and technical expertise has been available when required, and any issue has been resolved speedily. We’re half way in our roll out schedule and if the second half of the work goes as smoothly as the first half, then I will be very happy.”

To discuss your IT project, call Aspire on 0330 124 2700

The px group is a fully-integrated infrastructure solutions business.

It delivers improved operating performance of commercial and industrial facilities in three key areas: engineering consultancy; operations and maintenance and energy trading. The company has more than 20 years of history in managing, operating and maintaining some of Europe’s largest industrial facilities. These include the 1875MW Teesside Power Station and one of the UK’s largest and most strategic gas processing facilities.

px now delivers services across the UK and has gained experience in other regions such as the UAE, Abu Dhabi, Tanzania, Europe and South America. Expanding overseas work became a key driver which prompted the opening of a Dubai office in order to better serve the growing Middle East market.

The company has about 300 direct employees and about 500 contractors.

What the client says:
Mark Willis, ICT Service Delivery Manager at px group, said: “We first worked with Aspire when they took over our Mitel support in 2011. Since then we have been steadily increasing the number of services Aspire provide for us.

“Aspire are a great company with fantastic staff that give the personal approach that a business like px needs. We deal with high-risk, high-hazard sites on a 24/7 basis and need a support network that is flexible, highly reactive, knows our business and our exact requirements.”

The Challenge
px faced various IT challenges, including diverse sites that needed to share data, but slow connections. They also had no online monitoring of traffic, multiple suppliers, and poor customer service, all working within their 24/7/365 environment – meaning very high availability requirements.

The Solution
A new px Wide MPLS solution was installed, serving the sites with upgraded WAN links ranging from 10 to 1000mb/s. Scalable automated DR links – both physical and wireless – were also installed.

To discuss your IT project, call Aspire on 0330 124 2700

McNicholas Construction is a service provider with wide experience of working in the utilities, communications, renewables and rail markets.

The company has been helping develop and maintain the UK’s infrastructure since the late 1940s.

It deploys a range of professional disciplines in civil engineering, construction, mechanical and electrical engineering, information technology and general management. The company has a proven track record of effectively delivering diverse projects and services to a broad base of clients. It works closely with its clients, handling projects either on a traditional contract basis or through full partnering agreements.

The Challenge
McNicholas Construction has major bases in London, Southampton, Glasgow and Belfast. It also has 15-20 smaller project offices in the UK at any one time, as well as 1000 direct staff and 600 IT users.

McNicholas had several goals when choosing to work with Aspire. These were:

  • Realising incremental cost savings
  • Improving resilience across the existing infrastructure
  • Introducing a defined set of managed and monitored SLAs
  • Implementing best practice across the organisation
  • Providing IT strategy and recommending business-enhancing technologies

Solution Delivered
Aspire designed a unique service agreement for McNicholas Construction which took into account the company objectives and put in place measures to ensure they were successfully achieved.

The Results
Over the two years the project specification changed but Aspire proved themselves to be more than able to adapt to the new requirements, proving to the client their willingness and flexibility.

Aspire delivered significant cost savings, both from within the IT budget and from other areas of the business. They also identified supplier relationships where additional savings could be made. The company negotiated new and improved contracts which provided the same or greater service levels at a reduced cost.

An inventive approach to making savings was also identified by the Aspire team. This approach, at the same time, provided an improved and expanded IT solution. The firm’s day-to-day IT provision was completely outsourced to Aspire and a number of McNicholas Construction employees were then transferred to their London office.

This strategy resulted in a 30 per cent reduction in IT costs and a 50 per cent reduction in head count for the company.

McNicholas Construction recognised its IT services were a growing and crucial part of their overall business. They knew out-sourcing the delivery would result in a deeper breadth of knowledge and greater cover than trying to build this specialism in-house.

Aspire are viewed as partners and an extension of the McNicholas IT team; they ensured this approach worked by designing a tailored and flexible solution focused on right sizing, fit, quality and price.

Further improvements
When Aspire became involved, IT services at the firm were typically available and reliable for 75% of the time. This figure has increased to 99.99%.

By ensuring McNicholas Construction is client led, process driven and IT enabled Aspire has transformed how the company approached its IT strategy. From a backdrop of small computer rooms across multiple sites it has developed a highly resilient business application platform delivered on demand in a private cloud-based environment.

The remaining members of the IT team at McNicholas Construction have benefitted as they are no longer involved in day to day IT activities. They’re instead able to focus on business improvement projects, streamlining and adding value.

The organisation has benefitted from a radical transformation of its IT infrastructure and services. This is without any business disruption and with the risks managed by Aspire.

The company is now able to mobilise large contracts very quickly using a high bandwidth network and in an applications on demand environment. The infrastructure also enables McNicholas Construction to deploy industry leading Causeway applications across the business with ease.

The aims and objectives of the two year partnership were achieved ahead of time and on cost neutral basis. Because of this, the client then signed a further three year contract before the previous one had expired.

To discuss your IT project, call Aspire on 0330 124 2700

The Lakes Distillery opened in the summer of 2014 on the banks of Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria, with a head office at Gosforth, Newcastle.

Water for the distillery is sourced directly from the River Derwent. It is the only distillery in Cumbria to produce and distil its spirits on site.

The company began production of its The Lakes Single Malt in September 2014, and the £5m distillery is projected to produce 150,000 bottles of spirit in its first year. The first bottles of the malt will be available this year (2017). However, the distillery is already producing an award-winning, special British Isles blended whisky called The On, and its own gin and vodka. The company was set up by managing director Currie, in old buildings at a converted Victorian model farm. The Lakes Distillery employs about 40 people who work on production of the whisky, gin and vodka, in the bistro, on distillery tours and in the distillery shop.

What the client says:
Mike Hodgson, administrator at The Lakes Distillery said:

“Aspire was appointed to deliver its RealCARE support service. The service offers desktop and server support, regular system health checks, disaster recovery, backup monitoring and network support depending on business requirements for The Lakes Distillery head office, The Trout Hotel and the distillery in Cumbria.

“All three sites benefit from a state-of-the-art Mitel® IP telephony platform. It provides service users with cutting-edge communications and the greatest functionality available in the market. Meanwhile, a tailored lines and calls package from Aspire provides all three sites with low cost communications. All three sites also have state of the art Wi-Fi, installed and maintained by Aspire, for staff and guest use.

“The infrastructure project was managed by Aspire, including telephony, PCs and server and Wi-Fi install. The Trout Hotel and head office have also both recently benefited from a Desktop PC refresh. We are very happy with the service and support provided by Aspire to date and look forward to continued progress over the coming years to keep up to date on all IT developments.”

To discuss your IT project, call Aspire on 0330 124 2700