Deployment of Mobile WAN solution ensures speedy connectivity at remote sites 

Background

The Shepherd Group is a large construction company comprised of Shepherd Construction, SES, SES PRISM, Shepherd FM, Portakabin, Yorkon, Foremans, Konstructa, Portastor, Portasilo, Shepherd Homes and Homeseeker Park and Leisure Homeswith. Its head office in situated in York with sub offices located around the UK and a large number of smaller, often temporary offices around the UK as building work requires.

Challenge

  • All IT systems needed to be accessed from Head Office across the WAN
  • Small remote short term sites that were not going to be in place long enough to justify the spend on fixed link circuits  
  • Larger sites requiring a complete move of the communications infrastructure as the site evolved
  • New sites needed to be up and running before fixed circuits could be implemented.

Solution

Shepherd's already had in place an optimisation solution from EcoLogic for some of their poorer performing fixed sites. EcoLogic took this service and extended it to form ‘Mobile WAN’.

Using 3G and 4G technology to allow the sites to connect was already in place within the group, but due to the poor speeds and quality of the signal this was causing end users to complain. 

EcoLogic built a ruggedised box containing a 3G/4G router connecting back to head office over IPSec, an optimisation appliance and a Wireless AP. This pre-configured solution was easy to deploy and, with the optimisation, provided the end users with a consistently good working experience, even at sites with very low levels of 3G signal.

The key to the solution was that the optimisation caching reduced the amount of data sent over 3G, keeping the site well within its service tariff whilst also reducing the impact of the latency of the network, which offers a great end user experience.

Client return

Shepherd's invested in 12 ruggedised cases, which they can now simply ship to whichever new site requires connectivity. They can have the site up and running, connecting back to all the important applications at head office, in minutes rather than the weeks it may take to get new circuits installed.  

There are no fixed term contracts required for the smaller sites, once work is complete they pick up the device and move it on. The service also came in to its own when a site in London had its BT green box vandalised and their circuit was down for 5 days. Shipping a Mobile WAN box to site kept them up and running, and managed to serve 50 users over 3G.