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Saunderson House

Saunderson House provides a comprehensive financial planning and investment management service to high net-worth individuals, charities and trusts. Its award-winning investment process is paired with first-class advisory capability, strong personal relationships and an emphasis on transparency of process and pricing.

The Challenge

With requirements for data security, redundancy and compliance, Saunderson House needs an IT partner that approaches every decision and feature on their network with the same mindset of security, protection and resilience.

In 2015, Saunderson House’s existing telecoms supplier was failing to demonstrate the appropriate commitment to network performance and service quality. Nick Rosser, Head of IT explains, “We wanted to improve in terms of performance, stability and service, so we decided to evaluate alternative suppliers who could improve on these key areas.”

  1. Clients’ needs are put first in everything the company does; quality and reputation are very important.
  2. ‘Best execution’ commits the team to place deals in a timely manner; since the deal process is initiated via technology, failure can have potential regulatory implications.
  3. Many clients are billed on a time and materials basis, so outages may have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line.

As one of the shortlisted vendors, Backbone Connect stood out because of its willingness and its ability to flex its offering around the specific needs of Saunderson House. Nick remembers, “Backbone demonstrated, through their engagement process with us, that they were able to understand what our technical needs were and translate those into technical solutions… and could also transpose those to me and other senior stakeholders in business terms – which was really quite important.”

“With Backbone, because of the approach they take, they will work with you as a partner – and that’s certainly been the case with us,” Nick says. “Their pricing is competitive and they are absolutely willing to listen and engage with us in a way that meets our needs. There are some very good technical people and, even at a pitch level, they were willing to undertake the technical analysis required at a level over and above what others are prepared to do.”

The Solution

Backbone Connect was a key partner within a much wider programme of work. Redesigning the network infrastructure included provisioning two data centres and migrating services without disrupting operations, as well as increasing bandwidth, introducing full redundancy and improving the mix of POPs and carriers.

“From a pure technology perspective on the project, Backbone delivered a fantastic result,” says Nick. “It was a major challenge for the business to undertake. The fact that, on the Monday morning, everybody could turn on their computers and they were no different from when they left on the Friday night was a fantastic result. The go-live was a non-event from a business perspective. And Backbone Connect were absolutely pivotal in terms of that journey.”

The migration involved the physical relocation of a large amount of equipment from different locations. Backbone Connect’s work to provision and validate the networking meant its team was heavily involved through the process. While the datacentre colocation services aren’t delivered by Backbone Connect, the team’s willingness to oversee the processes that sit around it and provide network monitoring and optimisation particularly impressed Saunderson House.

“They have been more than happy to work with a third-party and incorporate that within the network that they are effectively overseeing,” says Nick. “I think this reflects the way Backbone approach things as an overall service provision; to really understand what clients need technically or from a business perspective and to deliver a customised solution – and, if necessary, to challenge those needs. It’s those sorts of conversations, where they’re applying their expertise; that’s what Backbone do really well.”

The Results

The deployment of a new, stable, secure and optimised network has been a major success for Saunderson House. Nick says, “We genuinely haven’t had an outage at any severity level – and that is a fantastic result. Thanks to the built-in redundancy, the lines are always up and running, and the network configuration is tried and tested.”

After this early success, the Saunderson House team worked closely with Backbone Connect to better define the service and get the overall service management up to speed. Again, Nick praises Backbone Connect’s willingness to accommodate the business’ requests and deliver a service agreement and support model that reflects the level of importance that Saunderson House places on its network operations.

Why we think Saunderson House are great

Solutions Manager at Backbone Connect, John Archer says, “Saunderson House are extremely conscious of performance, uptime and ensuring things are well managed. We designed a solution that would have no single point of failure, with a plethora of resilient fibre and wireless connections, and primary and secondary connections and hardware at every stage of their infrastructure. We’ve also developed a bespoke set of SLAs around response time and availability and provide comprehensive network monitoring on a wide range of factors. We give them the dependable, high performance infrastructure they need so they can focus on running their business.”

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