Case Study : Oktra

Oktra outsourced the management of all its IT systems to Zhero, to reduce overall IT costs, benefit from the latest technologies, and further improve operational efficiencies whilst optimising customer service.

Oktra Ltd is a leading office fit-out, office interior design, project management and office furniture supply specialist. Founded over 100 years ago, they have an outstanding delivery record.

Oktra’s first-class designers, sustainability consultants and an expert delivery team provide services that include; office space planning and pre-move consultancy, interior design and cost control and refurbishment and relocation. All these staff activities are underpinned by a range of robust, secure and leading-edge technology and communication systems that are critical to the smooth running of Oktra’s business.


In 2006, following a management buy-in, Oktra decided to outsource the management of all its 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 customer service. Since then, Zhero has managed, upgraded and supported Oktra’s entire IT infrastructure that has helped sustain the company’s rapid 90%, year on year growth, and a rise in staff from 10 to 60.

Zhero has created an entire IT, network and high speed fibre communications infrastructure for Oktra, with a single point of contact – delivered as a full range of cloud-based, outsourced, IT services. Overall, using Zhero, has significantly improved operational efficiencies and saved Oktra major IT costs of up to 60%, compared to running IT in-house.


IT management

Zhero use leading-edge tools to deliver 24×7 IT helpdesk, direct-to-engineer support, management and monitoring for Oktra user’s workstations, servers, firewalls and Cisco Wifi. This results in resource costs savings, improved IT performance and reliability. Zhero also manage Oktra’s hardware, software procurement and licences to deliver the best prices and optimal vendor support. By managing licences, removes the threat of non-compliance fines and ensures that all software is updated and renewed to prevent the damaging risk of business-critical technologies being inadvertently cancelled.

DR & Security

As a leading design company, Oktra understand that the smooth running, continuity and security of its IT systems are critical to ensuring good product and service delivery. Thankfully, Oktra benefit from the most secure and available IT system possible.

Zhero provide a disaster recovery (DR) platform consisting of VMware on SAN, with a standby server and hosted in a highly secure, Level 3 data centre. To provide extra continuity, there is a private link service between Oktra’s London office and the data centre for direct access to DR server and a dual Internet feed to cater for a communications outage.

Oktra’s business is also protected from the impact of a disaster. Zhero conduct daily, automated server imaging onto recovery servers to ensure, in the event of an outage, that Oktra’s business can continue by accessing its rescue IT systems.

Oktra’s data is also protected with a cloud-based backup system and a tamper free email archiving system that ensures email data is safely retained for compliance purposes.

Other security measures include a cloud-based email security system and the utilisation of Cisco’s adaptive security appliances.


To cater for increased staff mobility, Zhero is also deploying a Microsoft Terminal Server technology-based thin client computing at Oktra’s office. This enables staff to remotely access servers and critical systems, such as CRM applications, over the internet and corporate networks. The technology provides Oktra with secure, centralised files and application management capability.

Client-facing systems

Another area of Oktra’s client-facing, business operations where Zhero has helped generate major cost savings is 3D rendering, with the creation of a server farm. This consists of a number of networked servers that are combined to significantly reduce the time and cost of image rendering for client proposals.

Oktra now has the ability render its own in-house 3D office design proposal visuals, more cost effectively and faster – compared to outsourced 3D rendering. In fact, Oktra can deliver 3D Designs to tight deadlines and save on outsourcing costs of around £500 per image – which equates to over £100,000 per year.


Geoff Andrew, managing director at Oktra said, “Zhero is essentially our IT department and cover all areas of our technology and communication needs. Over the past 8 years they have provided a consistently stable, secure and evolving technology platform – enabling our team to focus 100% on running the business. We also have access to Zhero’s deep levels of IT expertise and advice – which is reassuring for our staff. To top it all, we are saving major costs compared to using an in-house IT department.”