telent Cloud lends H&T Pawnbrokers room for growth
With over 190 stores throughout the UK experiencing high demand forits pawnbroking, gold purchasing, business loans and unsecured lending services H&T knew that the limitations of its IT infrastructure could impede future growth.
Mark Routen, Head of IT at H&T explains: "At a business level, we were going through a period of significant growth. Many of our stores had startedto open six or seven days a week so IT’s ability to scale at will was an absolute business necessity."
"However, our ageing server and storage infrastructure was beginning to struggle with capacity and we knew that replacing these components would be costly, time-consuming and potentially disruptive."
Mark was concerned with the overall infrastructure and commissioned an IT review in order to understand what needed to be refreshed. "I knew that we would benefit from moving to Cloud, specifically Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), because it would allow us to flex scale and performance as we grow and stop us from committing our capital on technology acquisitions that might not be right for us in a few years time."
Mark undertook an official tender process that included the telent Cloud IaaS solution. "Our decision to move to Cloud was obviously something the management team as a whole needed to buy into. Not having our services on site and trusting another external party so implicitly with our operations was a significant cultural change and one we had to convince the board was right for our future.
"In choosing our Cloud partner we were looking for a service provider with superior facilities, skills and a credible client list. We found all these things with telent Cloud, but that was only part of the reason we went with them," explains Mark. "telent understood the board’s concerns and helped me to present a coherent view of the proposition, supporting the strategy and answering valid commercial and operational concerns which any company would raise when changing the ethos around delivering services to the business. They also helped me promote the benefits of telent's Cloud pay-per-use model in addressing our growth ambitions."
Finally, with H&T’s commercial and business plans front of mind, Mark felt telent Cloud offered the firmthe best all round deal: affordable pricing, scalable, secure IaaS with 99.9% availability, robust Service Level Agreements, including IT performance reporting and contract flexibility. "In the retail environment, it’s never OK to have downtime," states Mark, "reliable IaaS is as much about management processes as it is about technology and I was impressed with telent's expertise and approach."
"It’s essential for any business looking at Cloud to assess the benefits and potential risks of such a fundamental change to its model of IT service delivery. Now we have experienced having our production and development systems managed by telent Cloud we can review the benefits, as follows, and make plans for the next steps in our Cloud journey," concludes Mark.
- Costs – Mark believes that from a CFO’s perspective Cloud may appear to be more expensive than owning equipment for around the first three years of a contract. However, the Total Cost of Ownership is reduced over time due to lower CapEx investment, savings on in-house support, IT housing costs and utility bills and most importantly, time spent on operational tasks such as backups and routine systems administration and providing infinite scope to scale.
- Agility – H&T’s IT team is now free to spend time developing systems in direct response to business needs and customer demands rather than focusing on infrastructure
- Flexibility – services can be deployed dynamically and only for as long as required. If H&T only need a server for six months, they can. telent's Cloud pay-per-use facility allows H&T to adapt rapidly in a highly competitive market without losing out financially.
- Availability – as guaranteed, telent Cloud has delivered 99.9% availability and H&T has experienced no server outages.
- Risk and Support – H&T now utilises telent’s support to allow them to focus on core business. In telent H&T has a trusted partner whose solution mitigates business risk and with whom they can confidently move forward.
In future, H&T will virtualise all but its most secure servers and migrate them from its HQ to telent Cloud and continue to progress steadily on its Cloud journey, with conviction that they are with the best possible partner for their future success.