Gateshead-based connectivity specialist Aspire Technology Solutions have been added to the Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) RM6095 agreement.

The DPS is accessible only to providers who can supply local and central government, as well as wider public sector buyers, with Gigabit Capable Connectivity Services.

Crown Commercial Service LogoGiven the ongoing drive to make government businesses ‘gigabit capable’, this is an important step for Aspire in their strategy to become one of the largest connectivity and hybrid cloud solution providers in the UK. In the past year, the business has invested £3.2m in it’s full fibre network across the region.

Crown Commercial Service supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2018/19, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits worth £945m – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.

Steven Maddison, Head of Quality & Compliance at Aspire commented:

“Being appointed as a Crown Commercial Service supplier is very important to Aspire and something we are extremely proud of. Like our ISO accreditations for Quality Management and Information Security, the appointment demonstrates Aspire’s commitment to the highest security standards.”

Being added to the DPS is also quite a coup for the North East with Aspire being one of only 8 appointed suppliers nationwide for the new Gigabit Capable Connectivity DPS (dynamic purchasing system).

Steven concludes:

“The scheme has been developed by the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) as a system to deliver secure and competitively priced gigabit capable fibre optic infrastructure (including both dark & lit fibre) and broadband services for all Public, Health and Social care organisation’s with programmes to upgrade their technology.”

Aspire is one of the fastest-growing IT companies in the North of England. It is a dynamic technology business which uses innovation to drive unbeatable customer service performance, as evidenced by a world class Net Promoter Score (NPS). Services include network infrastructure, managed services, connectivity and voice, and IT support.

For all your Gigabit Capable Connectivity Services, call Aspire today on 0330 124 2700

The Customs House has benefited from a generous donation in kind from award-winning North East company Aspire Technology Solutions.

The Gateshead based company, which was established in 2006 supported a recent IT upgrade at the South Shields arts venue, donating equipment and expertise worth around £20,000.

The Customs House is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and fundraising has been a major focus as it looks to the future, with the replacement of ageing infrastructure having been identified as a priority.

Ray Spencer, Executive Director of The Customs House, said:

“Companies can help organisations like The Customs House in several different ways. We have been very lucky that a number of companies have given us gifts in kind.

“The most significant of these has come from Aspire Technology Solutions, who helped us by making a sizeable contribution in hardware and technical expertise to upgrade our internal computer systems and customer-facing telephonic equipment.

“We are very grateful that this award-winning local company that we have had a long-standing relationship with, has chosen to support us in our 25th year.”

Aspire is one of the fastest-growing business technology companies in the North of England specialising in communications, cloud solutions, infrastructure and IT support, employing more than 150 highly-trained staff. They excel in service, best illustrated by their NPS score of +82, which is deemed world-class.

James Branch, Service Account Manager from Aspire commented: “The Customs House is an excellent cultural venue located not far from our head office. As Aspire grows year on year it enables us to be able to support the local community and were delighted to be able to assist with this project.”

Call Aspire today on: 0330 124 2700

North-East based Connectivity experts Aspire Technology Solutions have announced a £1.2m investment in their UK core network in the Tees Valley.

The new infrastructure will enable businesses access leased line speeds of up to a phenomenal 100 gigabit per second (Gb/s), some of the fastest internet speeds available outside of London.

Having just hit the £20m turnover milestone, Aspire’s rapid growth shows no signs of letting up. The 100Gbps product, which they’ve aptly named: Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity (UDC), enables businesses to push more of their technical services into the cloud; a growing trend offering greater flexibility, scalability and cost savings.

Ben Upton, Head of Solutions at Aspire, commented:

“UDC is going to help put Aspire on the map as a national managed service provider. We rolled out the product in Tyneside earlier in the year and the take up has been excellent. Extending the network into the Tees Valley is the next logical step for Aspire. Being from the area myself I am really proud of the investment we have made here.”

Justin Godfrey, Sales Manager at Aspire, and another Teesside native, continues: “The beauty of UDC is the scalability. Lines are not fixed, which means the speeds can be dialed up and down depending on usage. Often times when business users are experiencing latency and slow speeds with their cloud based IT services, it is due to poor connectivity.

Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity

“As for Teesside, there is a real positive vibe around the area at the moment, with a lot of inward investment and innovation. This service can only help with the economic growth in the area.”

UDC, as well as all other Aspire technology services, is supported by a 24/7 helpdesk and monitoring team. Service levels are measured using the global Net Promoter Score (NPS) framework, which determines the likelihood of a customer recommending a business based on service. Scores range from -100 to +100, with anything over +70 being deemed world-class. Aspire currently has an NPS score of +83.

Learn more about Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity by clicking here or call Aspire today on: 0330 124 2700

TENANTS of a new business centre will be the first in Newcastle to get broadband speeds of up to 100Gbps, thanks to the growing partnership between workplace specialists Hyhubs and Aspire Technology Solutions.

The historic Deuchar’s Breweries stables on St Thomas Street, near Haymarket, have been added to the Hyhubs portfolio, which includes business village Hoults Yard, and will be rebranded Haylofts.

Hyhubs Managing Director Charlie Hoults explained: “We’ve spent about £1.5m on acquiring and redeveloping the site and Haylofts will become a key part of our mission to create business hubs across the region. All of our spaces are properties with personality and Haylofts will be no exception.

“Being a city centre location, the tech capability of the space was high on the agenda and Aspire was able to offer us their Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity (UDC) product. This will make Haylofts the first business centre in Newcastle to offer tenants broadband speeds of up to 100Gbps.”

Hyhubs’ acquisition followed other recent additions Hypoint (formerly Gear House) in Gateshead and StationH (formerly the Gilbridge Police Station) in Sunderland, giving the company almost 500,000 sq ft of real estate – with further sites to follow. All the branding features a play on the H and Y of Hoults Yard.

Hyhubs logoAspire Account Manager Oliver Birleson added: “Our UDC solution is ideal for Hayloft in that tenants will be able to choose their bandwidth depending upon their needs without additional installation or upgrade costs and long contracts. Aside from the sheer speed and capacities, what makes UDC particularly useful to businesses is that it can be easily scaled up and down for short-term projects.”

The new product is the latest in a line of innovative solutions which is helping Aspire set itself apart from its competitors. The company recently hit the £20m turnover mark and continues to grow, adding to its already impressive roster of clients both regionally and nationally.

Oliver continued: “These are exciting times for Aspire. As more businesses move towards ‘the cloud’, or managed services models – it gives companies like Aspire the opportunity to develop ever more innovative, efficient and economical technology solutions for them.”

Learn more about Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity by clicking here or call Aspire today on: 0330 124 2700

Gateshead-based Aspire Technology Solutions has achieved it’s ‘Mission: 2020 plan’ a year early, having exceeded a turnover of £20m.

The business set the ambitious plan in motion in 2015 and key to the success has been the implementation of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system which is used to measure customer experience and predict business growth. Aspire’s NPS score currently averages +82, which is deemed world class for customer service.

Chris Fraser, Aspire Managing Director commented:

“The past few years have been an incredible journey. Our original projection was to have 100 staff by this stage but we are now at 150. We completed the new wing at our HQ in Heworth Hall, Gateshead last year which is now at capacity so we will be looking at further expansion in the near future”.

North East data centreThe business has been boosted by an increasing number of contract wins outside of the region, including south-coast based St Barnabas Hospice and Lookers Plc, the national car dealership. This coupled with the growing channel business, which sees a number of UK-wide technology partners resell and white label Aspire services, provides a solid foundation for the future of the business.

Fraser concludes: “The growth shows no sign of letting up and is a real testament to the people we have in the business. We have invested heavily in the past few years both in our staff and our core network, particularly here in the region with our new Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity (UDC) product, which offers businesses Internet speeds of 100 Gigabits per second.

“To celebrate our success we are working on a giveaway for North East charities, which will see us give charities from the NE, SR & TS areas a free leased line. We will be promoting this in due course but would like to take this opportunity to invite charities to put their name forward by getting in touch with us about this.”

Call Aspire today on 0330 124 2700

Fast-growing, Gateshead based Aspire Technology Solutions have started the year with a £2m infrastructure investment in their North East operation which will allow them to offer Ultrafast Dedicated Connections (UDC) to businesses across the North East.

These new connections will offer regional businesses access to the fastest Internet connections outside of London, taking a huge leap forward in communications, future proofing them for decades to come.

Chris Ellaby, Head of Channel at Aspire explains: “We are proud to be able to offer this level of connectivity to businesses in the North East. The region has an ever increasing focus on tech business and we hope that our network can help underpin this by offering them speeds of up to 100Gb which can be scaled depending upon usage. The connections are dedicated, meaning that there is no shared bandwidth.”

North East Futures UTC is an early adopter of the new service. Dan Sydes, Principal of NE Futures UTC, said: “We are a college for the digital age, and as such our internet connectivity is critical. Our students expect us to be up to speed in delivering the modern education they crave, and part of that is having super-reliable and ultra-fast connectivity to the world through the internet.

“We deliver superb technical education to 14 to 19-year-olds, who will be the new generation of digital specialists. Therefore, we must deliver the tools they need to advance their careers. Internet connectivity is crucial to affording our students the best possible chance of learning about and understanding their place in the modern world of work. From my perspective, UDC is an absolute game changer for businesses and colleges.”

UDC connectivity is accessible to companies eligible for Government Broadband Connection Vouchers.

Chris Ellaby concludes: “This investment is further evidence of our continued reinvestment in the business. The focus at Aspire is to continue to upskill our people and improve our infrastructure. Our mission here is to develop increasingly innovative ICT solutions for businesses whilst continually improving our service provision to our customers, which is reflected in our current Net Promoter Score of 85+.”

Learn more about Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity by clicking here or call Aspire today on: 0330 124 2700

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