Siemens is one of the world’s leaders in electrification, automation and digitalisation. It operates in more than 200 countries around the world. Its United Kingdom operations were first established over 170 years ago.
The company now has office and manufacturing operations throughout the country which together account for 15,000 employees – just a fraction of the Siemens global workforce of 379,000 people
When the Siemens operations in Chippenham were moved to new premises in Bewley House, a former council office block transformed into a tech-hub by commercial property firm HPH, the company needed to implement secure and reliable telecoms infrastructure in a hurry.
“We had plans to host an event in the office space prior to the movein date,” explains Charnjit Jheeta, the Siemens internal IT support manager based at Bewley House, “so we needed an operator who could deliver the service we need at speed.”
Charnjit was tasked to ensure Internet services were active and available for use – and rapidly. He says: “When I understood that Backbone Connect already had services installed into the new building and each of the floors was already fibred up, it was fantastic because, from my point of view, we needed that office to be connected as quickly as possible.”
At the time of the move, Charnjit and his team reviewed the needs of users in the building to establish an updated set of requirements. The development team located at Bewley House would be relatively heavy users of AWS and Azure, so an improved connection was specified as part of the move.
“We thought that, as well as using Backbone to get the Internet services operational quickly for us, Backbone would be able to give us the bandwidth we need so we can give a little bit extra to the people who need it,” says Charnjit. The planned MPLS network couldn’t be installed in time before the event, so it was down to Backbone Connect to deliver a 100Mbps synchronous Internet connection in a matter of days so that Internet and VPN services could be provided ahead of the planned sales event.
The management team at Bewley House had recognised the benefits to tenants of having connected office space. HPH has extensively renovated and modernised Bewley House since its acquisition of the building in 2000. Thanks to this investment, the property has become a magnet for international technology and software companies and a key part of North Wiltshire’s burgeoning tech sector.
Part of HPH’s vision for the building is its digital connectivity, since this is such an important part of modern business. As a result, the Bewley House team works closely with Backbone Connect to ensure its tenants have access to high levels of bandwidth and resilience and can move in rapidly by reducing the lead times associated with an office move.
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To this end, the Bewley House team shared the details of Backbone Connect’s Connected Building offering with Charnjit’s team. “It was ideal,” Charnjit says. “No new services needed to come into the office because the service was already there. Plus, when we got the pricing through, Backbone Connect were more competitive, so it made sense to go ahead with them.”
Siemens were allocated a Backbone Connect project manager who took ownership and guided them throughout the installation process. “Backbone Connect were great from the word go,” says Charnjit. “Speaking to one individual for both the sales project management side of things was quite helpful, because we knew exactly who we needed to contact and when. And, also, it was easy get the answers we needed – which you don’t get when you work with the larger operators who we’ve used in the past.“
“The speed and reliability of the installation has all been fantastic,” says Charnjit, who also reports he is extremely happy with the responsiveness and timeliness of the service he received from the Backbone team. However, although the Internet services were activated ahead of the new deadline, there were further changes to the project plan. “We pushed for the services to be installed prior to the event and it was ready, but then management decided to hold the event somewhere else.
Backbone Connect quickly stepped in to help us with that, too. They delayed the invoicing, even though the services were already in but we just didn’t need them. I’m not sure most operators would do that, but Backbone did. This is one of the advantages of having the personal service that Backbone deliver.” When users did move across to the new office space at Bewley House, everything was ready for them and Charnjit reports that they are experiencing a seamless service.
“We’ve had absolutely no complaints about speed or access or anything and I’m sure the team has appreciated the extra bandwidth,” confirms Charnjit. “Having a reliable service is important because of the kind of work our developers are doing – it’s critical to have upload and download at speed.”
As an increasing amount of development goes into the cloud, Charnjit the bandwidth of the Internet circuit to increase. Having a good reliable service is paramount, he says, because the developers need to have trust in the service. “We’re going down this line more and more and that trend is only going to increase. And we’ve got no reason for not using Backbone Connect again: everything has been positive. I’ve liked working with the Backbone Connect project managers – they are a professional company and the communication is always great. It’s been perfect.”
The whole process was smooth and relaxed - and also flexible when we needed it to be.