Following Smart Energy GB’s formation in 2013, Zhero was selected to create a new, hybrid cloud-based IT infrastructure as a platform, for all its operational activities. As well as managing the IT requirements of Smart Energy GB’s office move, Zhero now handle the on-going management, running and support of all the organisation’s IT systems. This Zhero partnership enables Smart Energy to benefit from lower overall IT costs and enjoy optimal operational efficiencies.
By 2020 all 26 million households and approximately 2 million small businesses in Great Britain will manage their energy use and cost with the help of Smart Meters. To ensure the successful nationwide roll-out of this radical technology, The Government and energy industry commissioned the creation of a new, independent body – Smart Energy GB – to design and deliver the major consumer engagement campaigns. The Smart Energy GB team is associated with the biggest programme of national infrastructure modernisation in recent memory.
Formed in 2013, Smart Energy GB required a highly efficient and modern technology infrastructure to run its daily operations. As Smart Energy GB was in start up phase, they needed a complete range of IT services and products – from data storage space to mailboxes, workstations and printers. IT services provider, Zhero, partnered with Energy GB to assist with addressing its IT challenges. This was a simple decision due to Zhero possessing a successful track record of delivering IT provision and support.
To underpin its daily operations, Smart Energy GB required the usual IT tools that included PC hardware, mailboxes and storage space. Zhero procured the necessary IT equipment and ensured that initial IT costs were kept at manageable levels.
To cater for Smart Energy GB’s rapid growth, the organisation decided to move into a larger London-based office. Zhero then migrated all Smart Energy GB’s IT systems from Energy UK’s services, onto a hybrid hosted platform. This solution combines the scalability, flexibility and cost benefits of the cloud with the security and performance of dedicated Zhero hosting.
This move, which was completed in only one weekend, also enabled Smart Energy GB to remove IT hardware costs and maintain a high level of service – whilst still growing in size, from 3 to 30 users in 1 year.
Alicia Walters, operations manager at Smart Energy GB said, “Zhero really helped us to choose the correct cloud options for our needs, with a focus on speed of IT services and low costs. The hybrid cloud-based IT infrastructure they created for us offers the best of both worlds – namely great performance and localised, fast access to our data.”
Zhero perform the running and management of all Smart Energy GB’s IT systems, including both Windows and Mac workstations – to a best practice level. Zhero use leading-edge tools to provide a 24×7 IT helpdesk, fast direct-to-engineer support, management and monitoring for user workstations, servers, firewalls and Wifi. As well as driving down potential IT costs, this delivers improved IT performance and reliability.
In addition to this, Zhero helps Smart Energy GB manage its remote workers’ IT requirements – with a new office set up in Scotland – whilst ensuring they can still access London-based systems too.
Smart Energy GB now have a highly efficient, low cost, IT infrastructure set up that allows for unlimited growth – without the hassle of having to upgrade expensive equipment at a high cost. The unique hybrid cloud set up created by Zhero, enables Smart Energy GB to benefit from fast, local access to IT systems and crucial data stores – without the expense of purchasing and maintaining hardware – such as servers.
Overall, organisational productivity is increased due to the fact that all Smart Energy GB users are able to access all data, at any point in time, as long as they are connected to the internet. Zhero was able to deliver a full range of IT services at a much lower cost due to the fact that virtually everything is hosted and managed in the Zhero data centre.
Alicia Walters added, “Working with Zhero is great, Zhero’ staff offer excellent technical expertise, and as well as managing our systems to an optimal level, they advise us on potential issues that we wouldn’t have considered in-house. Their service is very responsive – with remote support and trouble shooting usually dealt with within an hour – sometimes within minutes.”
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