Selective sourcing for medium-sized companies

Berendsen focuses on holistic service levels for operation of applications and network

(PresseBox) ( Köln, )
Following its decision to build its own IT environment, Berendsen Textilservice GmbH opted for a selective sourcing strategy. The company, which is active across Germany and is one of Europe's leading service providers for the provision of workwear clothing and facility management, now procures central components for its application infrastructure, as well as the wide area network (WAN) and services for local area networks (LAN), from the ICT service provider Pironet NDH Datacenter. The application operation, which is spread across two high-security data centres belonging to the medium-sized outsourcing specialist, ensures the necessary availability and security of the systems.

Comprehensive service quality from the data centre to the devices

"Even with selective sourcing, comprehensive service levels for all IT systems down to the workstation of each individual employee are the essential prerequisite for a consistently high level of IT quality. For this reason, from the beginning we sought a partner that could offer a one-stop shop for holistic data center and network services," explains Peter Bodino, managing director of the consultancy firm Trigonum, which assisted with the outsourcing project for Berendsen.

Virtualised application operation

The backbone of the outsourced application environment is formed by a virtualised environment, which spans both data centres of Pironet NDH. The service provider uses this technology to make available virtual instances for Microsoft Office, Exchange, databases and document filing. This is supplemented by integrated e-mail archiving, which ensures, that all incoming and outgoing e-mail traffic is stored in the data centre - in a way that is standardised across the company, as well as being audit-proof and in compliance with legislation.

Use computing power and storage services on a project-by-project basis

On a temporary basis for specific projects, the virtual application environment allows Berendsen Textilservice to access computing power and storage capacity beyond secured quotas. Pironet NDH produces these in its business cloud. As part of a hybrid data centre infrastructure it also offers business customers temporary access to virtual IT resources for dedicatedly hosted applications and to software as a service solutions as well.

Provide high levels of availability - economically

Berendsen Textilservice has particularly demanding requirements for safeguarding its ERP system against outages. Any interruption would mean that production would come to a halt after only a few hours. To prevent this, Pironet NDH has redundantly configured the operation infrastructure of the ERP system on virtual instances in both data centres, which are in separate locations. Permanent data mirroring synchronises the instances continuously. "As a result of Pironet NDH's virtualisation approach, we were able to implement an effective business continuity concept at a fraction of the usual price," said Jörg Naegeli, a member of the management team at Berendsen Textilservice.

Low-maintenance network computers for all employees

The decision to outsource also brings with it improvements for employees. The previous desktop computers disappeared from desks and from production. These were replaced by low-maintenance network computers known as "thin clients". The 380 employees now have online access to their office applications, which are run from the Pironet NDH data centre. "By using network computers, there is a double benefit to us in accessing our applications online," explains Jörg Naegeli. "We save ourselves the administrative cost of numerous software products, for example installing updates, as well as the cost associated with maintaining the desktop computers, for example for virus protection and data storage. In addition, the required IT equipment can be provided to the new workstations a lot more quickly."

A one-stop shop for application infrastructure and network services

To allow employees to access their online applications and data quickly and securely, the Pironet NDH Datacenter connects the ten Berendsen sites to the data centre infrastructure using its own corporate network (managed WAN). Furthermore, the internal site network operation is managed and monitored centrally by the service provider (managed LAN).

An ancillary Client Field Service additionally supplies end devices to the sites and, when required, deals with exchanging components.
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