When three energy trade bodies merged to form Energy UK, the organisation outsourced its IT to Zhero to cut costs and modernise legacy systems.The creation of trade body Energy UK merged three separate organisations and outsourced IT to cut costs and modernise legacy systems. The Association of Electricity Producers, the Energy Retail Association and the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy merged to become Energy UK in 2012. The organisation’s members generate more than 90% of the UK’s total electricity output, supplying more than 26 million homes. Lesley McLeod, head of public affairs at Energy UK, said the biggest challenge was to bring the separate organisations together in one place. She said the organisations’ IT comprised a number of legacy systems, which were not easy to replace because of their business criticality“Every organisation had its own systems. It might have appeared that the best thing to do would be to start again – but there was too much important information in the systems we had,” said McLeod. This included membership information, she said.
She said the organisation decided to outsource its IT, to cut costs and update the infrastructure. She said the organisation did not have a large IT team, so the decision to outsource was simple.
The company selected IT services supplier Zhero to run IT. McLeod said the supplier’s existing relationship with the Association of Electricity Producers (AEP) was key to its choice.
The merged organisations’ IT systems were migrated onto AEP’s IT platform. Zhero helped the merging organisations migrate their separate IT systems onto the single platform, which included unifying all communication systems.
Zhero which provides Energy UK with a 24-hour IT helpdesk, direct-to-engineer support, management and monitoring for Energy UK users’ workstations, servers, firewalls and WiFi. Zhero manages the hardware, software procurement and licences.
Zhero made front page news with customer Energy UK. Take a look here
click to enlarge
Moving your business and all the associated IT services, equipment and facilities to a new location is very stressful – as getting it right is critical. Get it wrong and you reduce productivity and cause long-term problems for your business. Here is a checklist of all the tasks required to ensure that your company’s IT relocation is successful.
The Times Newspaper asked three company executives why they chose to outsource a core business function.
Managing director of office designers Oktra
We are an award-winning design and build company in London, delivering sustainable office interior design to help businesses enhance their brand and working environments.
In 2006, following a management buy-in, we decided to outsource the management of all our IT systems to IT services provider Zhero.
The key drivers for this move were to reduce overall IT costs, remove the need for expensive in-house resources and benefit from the latest technologies to further improve operational efficiencies and ultimately service delivery.
Since then, Zhero has managed, upgraded and supported our entire IT infrastructure that has helped sustain our rapid 90 per cent, year-on-year growth and a rise in staff from ten to seventy four. Outsourcing has also helped us utilise the latest technologies, including server virtualisation and mobile computing capabilities.
The benefit of having an expert third party running our entire IT systems was perfectly illustrated when we experienced the Cryptolocker virus. Zhero used some clever recovery systems that enabled our business operations to swiftly resume in several hours rather than many days.
Overall, using Zhero has significantly enhanced our working efficiencies and saved us IT costs of up to 60 per cent, compared with running IT in-house. Critically, outsourcing IT has also helped us to focus on and optimise our customer service delivery.
Zhero is essentially our IT department, and cover all areas of our technology and communication needs. Over the past eight years they have provided a consistently stable, secure and evolving technology platform, enabling our team to focus 100 per cent on running the business. We also have access to Zhero’s deep levels of IT expertise, support and advice which is reassuring for our staff.
Zhero Managing director Izak Oosthuizen was asked to comment for an article by Elite Franchise Magazine; the article was published in their blog and online magazine.
Two years ago, the world had generated roughly 3.5 zettabytes of data – this monumental amount is the equivalent to 600 billion DVDs of data. By 2020, it is estimated that we will be generating over ten times that amount of data. However, predictions have also shown that by 2016, we will produce data faster than we can store it. We are consuming and creating more data than ever before and if we want to prevent an overload, we need to become data diligent.
We need to look at data like we would food in our own diet. Is excess and unnecessary data making your business sluggish? Is your business guilty of hoarding countless e-mails and large media files? If you feel that your business is overloaded by excess data, maybe you need a data detox. With help from our data savvy friends at Seagate, we have hatched a plan to help fight excess data and kick your business into shape.
Smart Energy GB created a hybrid cloud-based IT infrastructure and outsourced IT to enable it to set up quickly and give it flexible IT that can grow as its business grows.
With a planned 53 million smart meters installed in homes and businesses across the UK, the GB Smart Meter Implementation Plan (SMIP) allows gas and electricity consumption to be monitored to provide information that will help consumers and businesses use energy more efficiently. This promises to lower bills, reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and help energy firms improve provision and prevent shortages.
Once energy meters have been installed in homes, businesses will collect information on usage and send all the data to a central hub that will process it and forward it to the energy suppliers.