NexStor helps Northumberland Council deliver always-on services to residents

NexStor, one of the UK’s leading storage and server consolidation specialists, announced today that it has helped Northumberland County Council to protect its wide-ranging services to residents as part of a two-year contract to provide hardware maintenance cover for the organisation’s entire Cisco-based network. As part of the agreement NexStor will fix any problem that may occur on the network within eight hours. The service runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including bank holidays.

Northumberland County Council is responsible for public services for 315,800 people across its region. Its remit is wide, covering everything from recycling and social care, to schools and transport. Many of the council’s services are available online – for example residents can apply for free school dinners, submit planning applications and pay for business rates through the organisation’s website.

The Cisco-based ICT network connects all the council’s public-facing and back-end IT systems: bringing everything from the council’s websites and web services through to housing and benefits services to people living in Northumberland. If the system fails, the council’s services such as managing housing benefit, issuing licences and permits and granting planning permission could become unavailable, seriously impacting the organisation’s service level agreements (SLAs) and its commitments to residents.

As with all local authorities, the council’s budget is limited, so a cost-effective, high-availability service was needed.

During an intensive tender selection process, NexStor proved to be not only the strongest in terms of account management, but also the most cost-efficient. Its service was up and running in a matter of days. NexStor’s contract means that, if a technical glitch occurs that could have an impact on council services, at any time, day or night, NexStor will react. An account manager has worked closely with the council’s IT team to get a deep and detailed understanding of the organisation’s networks, its priorities and its SLAs.

Northumberland County Council’s networks senior team leader, David McDonnell, said: “The main difference we’ve seen since we started working with NexStor is the level of service. Our account manager is always available to discuss any issues we have, and these have been solved above and beyond the agreed contractual obligations. We have a peace of mind with NexStor that we didn’t have before.”

Troy Platts, NexStor founder and joint managing director, said: “An organisation’s IT system is one of its most important assets. When something goes wrong, it can impact service delivery, production and, ultimately, revenue. But every organisation needs something a bit different from its network account manager. So we’ve tailored our services to exactly what Northumberland County Council really needs; that’s why we work so well together.”

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