Social housing provider Your Housing Group has deployed a new wide area network covering 60 sites across the North following a merger.
The new network - one of the first to be procured using the Public Sector Network (PSN) Framework Agreement - will enable Your Housing Group to be more agile and flexible with its network through a deployment and managed network agreement with provider MDNX.
PSN-compliant WANs are designed to make it easier for public bodies to connect with each other to simplify operations and complete transactions and tasks quicker.
MDNX is integrating connectivity services from TalkTalk Business, BT, Virgin Media and Exponential-e through its core integration network to create a system that is able to scale as new technology emerges, without Your Housing Group having to be tied down to a single provider.
Your Housing Group was formed in April 2012 following the merger of Harvest Housing Group and Arena Housing Group. Your Housing Group has over 32,000 homes across the North West, Yorkshire and Staffordshire.
As well as a wide range of homes for social and affordable rent, it also provides homes for sale and shared ownership, as well as Extra Care Housing for the over 55s and sheltered and supported accommodation for older people and young adults.
The new group has a large project underway to consolidate the IT infrastructures that exist, but there was an immediate requirement to upgrade the WAN for the Harvest Housing element of the group to accommodate growth in staff numbers, IT infrastructure complexity and increasing bandwidth requirements.
The WAN consists of 60 sites that are a mixture of data centres, corporate offices, neighbourhood offices, small office locations and homeworkers, all in the North West. It was particularly important for Your Housing Group that the contract and new system was flexible enough to accommodate its changing requirements as it progressed through its IT consolidation project, as well as being able to support newer applications such as VoIP.
Following the merger Your Housing Group also needed a new network that could support the increasingly complex IT systems used by the 1,200 employees, and which would provide scalability and resilience through the merging of operations.
"We wanted a network that was agile and was able to provide us with scalability and resiliency to support our new initiatives," said Andrew Giles, director ICT at Your Housing Group. "We have over 60 sites and often there are moves within the network from site to site, so we needed a provider that was capable of handling that requirement."
Giles added: "MDNX planned and successfully completed the transition of the Your Housing contact centre to the new network recently. We were impressed at how smoothly it went."