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Making virtual systems a reality

How Arden Group’s relationship with Eurocell evolved from support contractor to trusted partner

With four key sites in Alfreton combined with a network of 175 branches across the country, the UK’s leading manufacturer, distributor and recycler of UPVC products, Eurocell, was faced with a big challenge: how to connect each of its locations to benefit from effortless communications, alongside improved efficiencies and cost savings. As Stephen Henstock of Arden Group explains, the journey has always been geared for growth.

Initially enlisting the support of Arden Group more than ten years ago to manage the phone lines across its four sites in Alfreton, transferring them to a single provider for more reliable communications, Eurocell quickly saw the benefits of working with an experienced communications technology partner. After successfully managing the transition, Arden was challenged with installing a centralised communications system which would need to be: scalable to accommodate eventually all of Eurocell’s 175 locations; simple to integrate to minimise disruption; easy to manage to create greater efficiencies and; safe to ensure all business data remains secure.

The solution was to install a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telecommunications infrastructure – a high-tech solution which enables simple site-to-site communication while meeting all of Eurocell’s requirements. Arden Group then installed broadband to each branch location to create a fully managed, high-performance MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network, Arden is now in a position to run voice across Eurocell’s IT infrastructure. Complementing Eurocell’s growth ambitions, the fully-integrated and flexible solution meant the manufacturer could leverage the mobility of VoIP, a system which can evolve as the business grows.

Eight years into their partnership, with sustained high-growth and technology continuing to develop, Eurocell progressed further along the journey to a virtualised system. The Communications platform now sits as software on Eurocells servers rather than a physical infrastructure, day to day management is now much easier, and in the case of disaster recovery, another software instance can be quickly deployed in minutes rather than days.

Planning for the future

With a fully-managed communications infrastructure installed across the entire business, Eurocell has been able to grow quickly and sustainably throughout the past decade. And with a full understanding of Eurocell’s business and future growth strategy – which includes plans to open a further 125 branches by the end of 2018 – Arden is already looking to the future to ensure Eurocell’s ever-evolving infrastructure is fully-utilised to deliver the best results.

Building on the existing network and upgrading to an EoFTTC (Ethernet over Fibre To The Cabinet) connection to deliver superfast broadband to individual branches will mean faster and more reliable internet access, as well as increasing bandwidth and enabling more applications to be run to each location. Alongside video and alarms being run through the IT infrastructure, CCTV will also be deployed in new branches. Rather than requiring the old telephone network to transmit images, the newly-installed CCTV systems will sit on the MPLS network, avoiding the need for a telephone line and delivering HD-quality images.

Alongside Eurocell’s growth, Arden Group has continued to strengthen its expertise in the IT and telecoms arenas, enabling the delivery of greater value for customers. For Eurocell, as new branches become operational and technological solutions become increasingly sophisticated, Arden will look at their entire IT and Telecoms estate with a single viewpoint to deliver a complete managed service offering and continue a fruitful relationship which stretches back more than a decade.

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