The Santon Group

The Santon Group

The Fifosys team delivering enhanced IT flexibility, resilience, availability and cost savings for major private developers The Santon Group

Our Client

The Santon Group is one of the largest private developers in the UK, having carried out in excess of £1 billion of developments. Their turnover for the year ended 30 April 2011 was £656 million. Established in 1992, the group's expertise lies in the identification, planning and development of residential, commercial and mixed use properties.  The Santon team is based in west London, with a satellite office in Scotland.

This solution is fast, efficient, secure and meets the business’s needs. Everyone from Fifosys was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and professional throughout the project.

Ravi Patel, Group Financial Controller

The Challenge

With an office relocation planned and IT availability central to running their business and facilitating communication with their clients, The Santon Group was keen to ensure the move would not affect their services and that there would not be any unnecessary system downtime.

From a hardware perspective, two of the Group’s servers were now out of warranty and another was coming up for renewal.  At that time, if one particular server had failed Santon would have been without email access for up to 3 days.

Business continuity and high levels of system availability were additional key requirements for Santon management. They wanted their servers to be maintained in a suitable environment with an advanced IT infrastructure offering multiple internet connections and 24/7 access.

Another important factor was Santon’s plans for expansion in the future.  As new users and office locations are added to the business it was important to provide a modular structure that could be expanded easily while maintaining the centralised IT infrastructure.

Our Solution

Once we had a detailed understanding of the Group’s requirements, Fifosys recommended a fully managed solution, enabling Santon to focus on their office move without having to worry about any IT implications.

As part of this solution, we delivered the following IT services:

  • Installed new equipment into the data centre
  • Built a Citrix server and virtualization of the Blackberry Enterprise Server
  • Migrated their Sage databases to the new server
  • Transferred all inbound internet services, such as email and domain names, to the data centre servers
  • Set up all offices for remote access to the data centre
  • Configured and installed firewalls.

All Santon’s severs are now located in the Fifosys Fortress data centre and their staff connect via Citrix to their virtual desktops. The Fifosys team completed this transition over the course of a single weekend.  As a result, the only downtime Santon experienced during the office move was the afternoon it took for them to move into the new office. The hosted solution implemented by Fifosys meant the team at Santon could literally pick up their computers and go to the new office; there was no need for a new communications room. Their satellite offices were equally unaffected by the move.

The Benefits

Some of the main benefits to The Santon Group from our solution include:

  • Cost savings: sharing some of the Fifosys IT infrastructure has meant reduced capital expenditure costs, while having centrally managed servers and desktops means that maintenance and upgrades can be done faster with less engineer time involved.
  • Flexibility: the scalable architecture within the new Santon IT infrastructure environment means new users can be added without large investment upfront in hardware and software licences.
  • Resilience: Fifosys can guarantee The Santon Group a high-availability solution with multiple, high bandwidth leased lines into the data centre, and failover redundancy of the hardware,
  • Disaster Recovery: data is now stored centrally, and back up is secure, minimising the risks of data loss, allowing business continuity and effective recovery in the event of a disaster.

“Work anywhere” availability: From the users’ point of view, the look and feel of a normal desktop is consistent whether they are working at an office location, at home or overseas over an ADSL line

James Moss

Technical Director

James Moss