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MetroRod needed to migrate from their existing IT provider and needed a provider to help the business review and recreate their entire IT infrastructure, including designing an Azure environment, migrating business systems, replacing core systems and legacy technology among a plethora of other needs. Successfully delivering the project in the time frame, BCN continues to support the business’s digital transformation journey.
As a leading provider of drain clearance, repair and maintenance, Metro Rod is a franchise business with 42 depots and more than 400 engineers around the UK. In 2017, Metro Rod was acquired by Franchise Brands plc, and joined a portfolio of specialist franchise businesses that includes Willow Pumps, ChipsAway, Ovenclean and Barking Mad.
BCN’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution provides a solid, secure and flexible basis for bringing entire IT environments into the cloud. Once there, we are able to design and build a bespoke system within Microsoft Azure, which can include everything from SharePoint Online and Office 365 for a large and distributed workforce, to firewalling, data archiving, business continuity and legacy application support for full functionality.
Prior to 2017, Metro Rod had been outsourcing its entire IT infrastructure and support to EnServe, which carried responsibility for the franchise business’s datacentre. Following the acquisition by Franchise Brands plc, Metro Rod needed to vacate EnServe’s systems within a relatively short timeframe of six months. Rather than build its own datacentre and acquire new hardware, Metro Rod decided to move to a cloud-based infrastructure with a dedicated solution, and began looking for a provider with the necessary skills and capability to support them on a core legacy platform while spearheading a larger digital transformation. BCN positioned itself as an IT partner who could getting them up and running with a new, future-proofed infrastructure within a strict six–month timeframe.
Metro Rod’s legacy system and processes were inefficient and clunky. The shared on-premise infrastructure meant the environment was complex, with information stored across several systems and bespoke applications delivered via other legacy systems. To complicate matters, the legacy systems contained unreliable data, and many of the applications, including SharePoint 2007 and 2010 and Exchange on Premise for Email, required additional investment. The legacy system was also expensive to run, requiring large servers.
After reviewing Metro Rod’s entire environment and taking time to understand the business’s needs, BCN recommended migrating to a cloud-based Azure environment that would offer flexibility, scalability and cost-efficiency. We road-mapped the entire project, then set about building a new environment that included migrating the whole business to Microsoft Office 365, migrating more than 300 mailboxes to Exchange Online, updating coding, designing and optimising bespoke applications for the Azure environment, updating all Microsoft Office apps, building a SharePoint and SQL reporting environment and migrating the bespoke core system to a cloud platform. Working closely with the central team at Metro Rod, we migrated more than 5 terabytes of crucial data, and were able to complete the initial project in just six months.
Migrating to Azure has made a massive difference to Metro Rod, reducing IT complexity and allowing for better oversight and management of the entire environment and data estate. It has also enabled the business to speed digital transformation while maximising their investment, through the addition of further cloud-based solutions and bespoke applications. The entire IT environment, both centrally and for individual franchises, is now much easier to see, manage and maintain, and all the data, security and business continuity benefits of the cloud are being felt across the business on a daily basis.
Metro Rod found the IT partner they were looking for in BCN, and we are proud to continue supporting them along their digital transformation journey. Since completing the initial migration project, we have developed a number of additional bespoke applications to further streamline workloads and processes, integrating them seamlessly with new software and an evolving environment. We have also rolled out Azure Data Factory across the business, and have supported the deployment of a cloud-based telephony, communications and collaboration platform to speed up customer contacts, drive service efficiencies across franchises and reduce TCO. We look forward to supporting Metro Rod for many years to come.
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