Because Innova’s services span a range of technologies, the team already had strong links into the industry. However, they felt that their existing connectivity and WAN suppliers were too proscriptive and just weren’t delivering the quality of service they envisioned for its customers.
Sandra de Felice, Account Director at Innova UK, explains: “I’d heard about Backbone from a customer of ours who had used them indirectly for a WAN project. And when we met with the Backbone team, it transpired that there were a lot of similarities in how they had created their business and the vision they had for their customers.”
“We found Backbone to be a really good fit,” continues Sandra. “They were successful enough to be credible and have a good client base, but they were still happy to be adaptable and they could tailor to our customer needs – as opposed to telling our customers what they had to do.”
Innova UK decided to run a project with Backbone Connect that would serve as a testbed for any future collaboration. One of its clients, a national commercial property consultancy, had a requirement to add nine new sites from acquisition to its existing WAN infrastructure.
The nine sites were located across the UK, and each had specific requirements; there were a variety of timelines and providers to deal with across the project. Most problematic was the timescale: it was quite tight and the majority of work would be scheduled at the end of the year over the Christmas and New Year period when Sandra knew it can be difficult to get providers to guarantee timeframes.
“Everyone hit the timescales we were meant to,” says Sandra. “It was brilliant. And not only from a partner perspective. We’ve been really satisfied with the engagement with Backbone. But our end user has been as well. It’s always risky when you are introducing your customer to a partner you haven’t used before; you are placing a trust in them. We did trust Backbone and they didn’t let us down.”
All nine of the client sites were brought online according to schedule. This included the provision of new Ethernet connectivity to some sites and additional datacentre rackspace.
“Backbone exceeded our expectations,” says Sandra. “There are lots of risk factors that come into the equation: ECCs and construction work and dealing with the big carriers and their timeframes. Backbone have dealt with it all really well; they never said it wasn’t their issue. They’ve always helped us resolve anything that came up as soon as they can.”
Sandra continues: “Backbone are streets ahead. They are completely different. There was ownership and direct resolution of any issues that arose. With the competitor it had been very difficult to get hold of the right person, and constant red tape and bureaucracy to go through to speak with the right person and then it never seemed to get resolved in a timely fashion. Backbone were a massive improvement and our customer noticed the improved level of service as well.”
Innova UK are now working with the same end client to migrate the existing 24 site estate across to Backbone Connect as well. They’ve also introduced a number of smaller clients to the Backbone Connect team.
The early project that was used as a testbed has demonstrated that Backbone Connect are on the same page as the Innova UK team in terms of how to deploy a project, the service levels and the regular contact. As a result, Innova UK is happy that it has found a new connectivity partner that matches its own expectations in terms of the service it wants to deliver to its customers. The two companies are now working together on joint marketing initiatives to promote the take-up of services.
Why we think Innova are great
Innnova’s Account Manager at Backbone Connect, Sam Clark says, “Innova UK were frustrated by their existing carrier’s intransigence; they were rigid, unresponsive and unhelpful. By contrast, we offered a level of integrity that I know the Innova UK team appreciate. This project would dictate how the rest of our relationship would develop, so I’m pleased they’ve had such a positive experience. It’s a successful basis from which we can continue to collaborate and seek new opportunities to work together.”