Thames Valley Housing

Overview:

Thames Valley Housing upgrades Network resulting in increased capacity at lower costs.

Solution:

Nine site Wide Area Network.

Thames Valley Housing (TVH) is a registered social landlord, based in Twickenham, South West London. The organisation owns, manages or administers loans for over 14,500 properties in London, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Sussex. It provides affordable rented homes, shared ownership, market rent, student and key worker accommodation, working with eight NHS Trusts. Since its launch, TVH has maintained a successful record of growth and now has over 220 employees spread across its headquarters in Twickenham and seven site offices.

Challenges

With a number of years of continuous growth, TVH’s existing Network had reached capacity and was unable to support the organisation’s requirements. It faced limited amounts of bandwidth at crucial points on its Network, hampering its ability to operate efficiently and provide good customer service.

TVH's ICT Infrastructure Manager, Gerard Brown explained: "We had reached a point where we had to restrict traffic during various times of the day. But this still wasn’t enough with all our remote offices coming in on one connection with very limited bandwidth"

After the organisation decided to relocate its headquarters temporarily for a year in order to undergo refurbishment, TVH quickly realised how restricted it was by the inflexible nature of legacy technology on which its current Network was based.

As a result, TVH decided to seek other options and sent out a tender for a new Network. Its new Network needed to support a wide range of large applications, be cost-effective and provide a high level of flexibility to cater for the temporary relocation of its headquarters.

Brown elaborated: "Our current Network wasn’t up to the job or flexible enough to allow us to move with it. Extending it would have been very expensive as we would have had to add a lot of extra components. Exponential-e has taken VPLS technology that bit further, making our whole Network feel like one big Network, even with our remote office sites - effectively making our remote sites appear as if they are part of the same building. Exponential-e was able to provide the glowing reference and the technical expertise we needed to manage the relocation of our headquarters - making our choice simple."

Solution

Exponential-e was selected to design and deploy a new fully converged nine site Network for TVH after being selected following a rigorous tender process. Deciding factors included proposed technology solution, level of technical expertise, housing association experience, company reputation, project management, quality of references, service level agreement and cost-effectiveness.

Exponential-e worked closely with TVH to design a flexible and cost-effective solution which would assist the move between TVH's existing headquarters and its temporary headquarters during the refurbishment, whilst providing a short-term solution to the organisation's traffic laden Internet circuit.

A nine site Wide Area Network (WAN) over Exponential-e's Layer 2 Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) Network was designed to connect the headquarters in Twickenham to three office sites and four remote sites. The robust WAN solution will ensure that TVH's services run smoothly during this period of transition and can cope with increasing capacity demand.

TVH also needed a Network versatile enough to support a range of large applications such as VoIP, Civica's Universal Housing system and Citrix's remote access suite, as well as being able to absorb any extra Network traffic generated.

The organisation’s new protocol-agnostic next generation Network designed by Exponential-e, easily accommodates for any additional large applications or changes in Network bandwidth demand.

Benefits

TVH now has a state-of-the-art network covering a much wider area and with increased capacity. With connections across all nine sites and improved overall connectivity, employees are able to be more efficient and TVH can now provide a higher level of customer service to tenants. The new Network is resilient and makes connecting to remote sites and making configurations simpler.

Results

01
Improved Network capacity and resilience. Network capacity and resilience.
02
Network topology designed to provide seamless connectivity between nine sites.
03
Room to scale for short-term and long-term Network requirements.
04
Increased capacity and reach at lower cost.

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