Muir Group Housing Association (Muir Group) was founded in 1968 and was formally registered as a housing association with the Housing Corporation in 1976. Muir Group's head office is in Chester with four offices in Blackpool, Burnley, Winsford and Huntingdon.
Muir Group was consolidating two of its main offices into one new head office located in Chester. The move into a new head office presented Muir Group with a number of challenges:
- The new head office needed a data centre building to house the ICT infrastructure;
- Muir Group needed to replace their old virtualised server and SAN infrastructure;
- Muir Group needed to upgrade their Cisco IP telephony and contact centre solution, and extend that to all of their other office locations;
- The new head office required full data cabling, a new LAN switching infrastructure and full wireless network coverage;
- With the loss of the other main office their ICT infrastructure resilience was lost, so a solution was required to address the risk.
Shaw worked with Muir Group to identify solutions and providers who could enable them to move to the new head office and facilitate the upgrade of the ageing ICT infrastructure. Shaw developed three detailed specification requirements. These developed to cover the following areas:
- Data centre build and implementation.
- Replacement server and SAN infrastructure that is resiliently provided across the new head office and a hosting location.
- LAN and telephony infrastructure upgrade/extension.
Shaw managed the procurements from start to finish, providing a bid assessment methodology and developing the assessment spreadsheets. We assisted with the supplier presentations, challenging and providing technical validation throughout the tender process and financially evaluating the bids.
Reports were then produced that detailed the process followed, the analysis performed and provided a recommendation on which supplier solutions best met the needs of Muir Group.
The new data centre and ICT Infrastructure has provided a solid and resilient foundation upon which the business applications can operate. The new head office has full wireless coverage that enables staff to work from any location easily.
The power usage efficiency (PUE) of the new data centre and ICT infrastructure can be easily monitored through the integrated monitoring software.