A Yorkshire housing association has gone all high tech after enabling mobile working for tradespeople employed on its properties, thanks to a deal with ntl:Telewest Business
A housing association based in Bradford, Yorkshire, has gone high tech after it opted to underpin its operations by using a next generation network from ntl:Telewest Business, which will allow to deliver mobile working for staff.
According to Incommunities, 250 tradespeople such as plumbers and builders, who are responsible for supporting its 22,300 properties, will now use PDAs in order to access its central information systems whilst they are on the move. This will allow the PDA to download all the required job details before they arrive on scene.
In addition, the new network also connects Incommunities’ eight key offices, and will provide its staff of 750 with IP telephony and business continuity for the entire organisation.
The previous Incommunities network was designed with a central hub office that connected to district offices. Unfortunately, this centralised approach meant that any problems with the hub would result in a cut in IP telephony and data connections to the whole organisation. Incommunities said this could have prevented it from processing rents, scheduling and logging repairs or receiving/making telephone calls.
The new Metro Ethernet Virtual Private Network (VPN) connects all sites to each other, enabling core business systems to be situated on two sites. This, says Incommunities, “guarantees the highest levels of business continuity.”
“Our new network underpins everything we do, from rent collection to housing repairs” said Jason Baines, ICT Infrastructure Manager for Incommunities. “It is vital that our network operates efficiently and without downtime to support the entire organisation.”
Another benefit from the new network is that Incommunities can take advantage of virtualisation technology.
“The new network enables Incommunities to deploy server virtualisation technologies splitting IT across multiple servers to further increase operational flexibility,” said the group. “This includes a new Storage Area Network (SAN), which is replicated between sites to enable faster, more efficient access to information across the organisation.”