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Lend Lease is an international property developer and infrastructure group with over 18,000 employees worldwide. The group manages projects from development to construction of buildings and infrastructure, including hospitals, roads and bridges, residential and retail.
Lend Lease’s EMEA operation is headquarted in London. Its data centre in nearby Harrow was approaching ten years old, meaning an infrastructure renewal was just around the corner. For Lend Lease, this presented an opportunity to go beyond the usual refresh cycle, to better align IT with business needs. Chris Lemon, Regional Infrastructure Manager EMEA at Lend Lease explained:
“Strategically, our motivation was to look at how we, as an ICT team, would be more effective in delivering our services. We have a mantra ‘not managing tin or tape’, and we knew that approaching our data centre infrastructure, and its management, in a different way would enable us to achieve this.”
The compelling event was the decision to close their datacenter in Harrow in 2011.
“When we began assessing options for our data centre, we knew we didn’t want to build from scratch, the business case just didn’t stack up. Finding a building – even to co-lo the existing infrastructure – would have been inefficient. We chose to explore an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model, and spent considerable time in the discovery phase to understand what we wanted.”
With the goal to align ICT more closely to business strategy and refocus its IT team on supporting business needs rather than management and maintenance, Lend Lease sent out an RFP. Additionally, the RFP requested a platform that offered the agility and flexibility to expand or retract, according to their business needs.
“We wanted to focus on innovation and adding value in the business rather than keeping the lights on, so we sought to partner with an organisation that could enable us to do that. Rather than outsourcing the whole lot, we wanted a true partnership, where we could retain in-house what we needed to make our speed of delivery right and stay agile, and let the experts take care of the rest. Because of this, we were fairly open in our RFP process to enable us to really understand what design would be best for the business.”
Lend Lease received mixed architecture proposals; some shared, some private, however the key was the balance between experience and market strength, and bespoke design. Logicalis was the ideal candidate.
“We took it down to two preferred providers fairly quickly. Logicalis stayed because they got it, they best understood what we wanted in terms of infrastructure design as well as an optimum as-a-service model. Whilst the commercials were about the same, Logicalis’ was the only tender that got close to what we thought we would end up with. They had the design, experience and knowledge. It was clear that for many other providers it just would have been too difficult to take them on this journey.”
Logicalis proposed to migrate and transform Lend Lease’s infrastructure and services from their existing data centre into the Logicalis optimal managed service model. This included the re-platforming of legacy applications, implementation of a cloud model, co-location, and a range of managed services.
The task for Logicalis was to deliver a robust, low risk transition and service transfer plan, provision and manage a Tier III data centre facility, help to deliver cost reductions through a shared service model and all the while delivering the commercial and operational flexibility to meet the companies changing business requirements as it evolved.
Logicalis worked meticulously with the Lend Lease team on the design and migration methodology. Logicalis tailored the managed services proposition to match Lend Lease’s business plan, developing a bespoke solution. Logicalis provided:
• Managed Service
- Virtual Infrastructure management
- Monitoring services
• Data Centre Services
- Smart Hands service
The migration was successfully rolled out with minimal business disruption, in two phases:
• Transition; the moving of services on current platforms into the Logicalis managed service.
• Transformation; services being re-platformed into the Logicalis Infrastructure-as-a- Service managed services.
The final stage of migration was completed in April 2013. The Infrastructure-as-a-Service model is less than half of what it would cost Lend Lease to build a new data centre and, over the next three years, is expected to deliver further savings on IT resource, management and energy bills, says Lemon:
“Not only are we making a substantial saving on energy costs, we’ve also moved out of a costly refresh lifecycle. Logicalis has enabled us to repurpose IT resource on business innovation rather than just day-to-day maintenance. We already have plans in place to look at ways to optimise storage and back-up, collaboration and shared drive options.”
Logicalis worked closely with Lend Lease throughout the duration of the project, offering a consultative approach and completing the migration as a partnership. Already delivering benefits, the full ROI will be determined by the ability to support business expansion moving forward.
Lemon concludes, “During this project we got exactly what we were looking for; a long term relationship. It’s about how you work together in partnership to overcome any issues, which really counts. Logicalis is upfront and open with us, and we see its flexibility both commercially and technology-wise as critical to our goals of driving business value through IT.”