Britain's Waterways Renaissance - A Catalyst For Change

Edinburgh, United Kingdom (PressExposure) September 07, 2009 -- British Waterways’ Chief Executive, Robin Evans, explains: “Our absolute priority must be to maintain investment in the waterways and this means reducing spending elsewhere. The proposed new structure will both redirect important funding to essential works, but also make us much more responsive to customers and partners.”

The transformation journey proposed in its Strategic Review, 'A Vision for the Future of Our Canals and Rivers', impacts every area of the business. It has also influenced the decision to review how technology is delivered back to the business to achieve value for money, performance improvement and flexibility.

Richard Walsh, Head of ICT, British Waterways, explains: “The decision to embark on a second generation outsource came about as a result of the need to transform and improve the services delivered by technology, in addition to ensuring our operating costs are as low as they possibly could be.

“We have to respond to pressure for the smartest, fastest and greenest solutions, delivered when and where they are needed, at a predictable cost. This requires us to be more flexible in how we deliver systems to our people and extending the opportunities for remote working.

“Successful at creating strong partnerships, we wanted a genuine collaboration with an organisation that both understands our culture and will help achieve service transformation, supported by the best available SLAs.”

To achieve these objectives, BW initiated a competitive tendering process to find a proven technology solutions and services provider around the infrastructure. Demonstrating strong cultural fit - including a flexible approach, fast decision making and genuine added value - were all critical elements of the RFP.

British Waterways selected SCC to be its sole provider of integrated IT ( across the entire infrastructure, with the contract switching from the incumbent, Fujitsu. The project involved a demanding timetable for the services transition, undertaken over a three month period in order to mitigate risk. SCC successfully delivered this complex hand over “with the minimum disruption possible”, said Richard Walsh.

The fully managed and hosted service includes the support and maintenance of the PC infrastructure, desktop support, Data Centre server hosting, ( an ISO 20000 certified service desk, Microsoft application support and network security. The supporting SLA goes beyond measuring performance levels, to include relationship management, the success of ongoing transformation and the value of advice in strategic terms.

Other key components include:

Server virtualisation techniques to reduce energy consumption and maximise utilisation. Remote management toolsets to better control the network, enhance its availability and reduce risk. Desktop transformation, including virtual deployment and service desk, on a cost per user basis, to extend the opportunities for remote working. Access to Microsoft Sharepoint to improve communications between end users.

Tracy Westall, SCC’s Director responsible for the Public Sector, said: “British Waterways has achieved affordable access to the best available technologies delivered as a service. Proven to remove inefficiencies and their over spend, this is a practical and flexible solution that will free up resource that can be redirected towards maintaining the waterways. Forward thinking and bold in its approach, BW is strongly positioned to improve services to customers and partners, in line with its ‘Vision for the Future’.”


About SCC

SCC is Europe’s largest independent technology solutions provider around the infrastructure, and is part of Specialist Computer Holdings (SCH) plc. The Group has regional operations in eight different countries, employs over 7,000 professional staff and has delivered sustained, profitable growth for some 35 years, with annual turnover exceeding £2.5 billion.

Long term partnerships with the world’s leading solutions providers combine with SCC’s services capabilities to create a rapid return on an investment in IT. It has an enviable track record of successfully helping European-based companies and Government organisations better manage their technology infrastructure, remove cost and create business advantage.

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About British Waterways

British Waterways cares for 2,200 miles of the nation's canals and rivers. Rich in heritage, abundant in wildlife and teeming with activity, inland waterways are as popular today as they've ever been. Half the population lives within five miles of one of Britain’s waterways and 11 million people use them every year as part of their everyday life – as a short-cut to work, for walking the dog or to simply take time-out and watch the boats. British Waterways' job is to ensure they attract enough investment for the waterways to be both well maintained and appeal to the local communities through which they pass.

For further information contact

Media contacts: Judy Groves T: 0121 766 2580 / / Louise Acton T: 07595 355 938 /

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Press Release Submitted On: September 07, 2009 at 8:24 am
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