Modern Networks transition IT services of 12 major shopping centres in just three months

Intu transformation project

“Modern Networks have done an amazing job.
They should be very proud”.

Modern Networks is pleased to announce the successful completion of a major project. In three months, we successfully moved all IT services and support of 12 major shopping centres to Savills.

The shopping centres involved were:

  1. Derby
  2. Merry Hill
  3. Milton Keynes
  4. Chantry Place
  5. Watford
  6. Nottingham Victoria Centre
  7. Braehead
  8. The Metrocentre
  9. Uxbridge
  10. Lakeside
  11. The Trafford Centre
  12. Barton Square.

Tight schedule

Modern Networks is a leading provider of IT managed services and support to the UK’s retail and commercial property sector. Since early September, the company has met a challenging schedule of moving one shopping centre every three to five days. Each technical transition included computer hardware and business applications, Internet, telephony, network infrastructure, Wi-Fi and Cloud services. Additionally, our UK-based Service Desk is providing each site with 24/7 technical support, continuous network monitoring and security. Furthermore, we have been able to keep nine members of on-site IT staff by transferring them under TUPE regulations. By the end of the project, Modern Networks had transitioned 1600 users to our managed services across all 12 sites.

IT migration project by the numbers:

  • 9 weeks
  • 12 of the UK’s largest shopping centres
  • 1600 users
  • 2686 miles
  • 1 amazing project team

Transition without interruption

Once Britain’s largest shopping centre owner, Intu went into administration in June 2020. To ensure the on-going viability of each site and secure as many jobs as possible, it was essential the administrators found new owners quickly. According to a report by Sky News Intu employed 3,000 people directly with another 102,000 people working in its shopping centres. The fast, smooth transition of all core IT services and support to Modern Networks has helped ensure that each site can continue operating without interruption.

Overcoming pandemic restrictions

Ordinarily, migrating the IT and telephone services of 12 large shopping centres from Glasgow to Essex in just three months would be an enormous task. However, 2020 has been far from a normal year. The Covid-19 pandemic created a range of new obstacles for Modern Networks project planners and field engineers. As an accredited SafeContractor, Modern Networks already followed strict health and safety guidelines when on site and have since added extra precautions to help minimise the spread of Covid-19.

To ensure the virus did not disrupt the company’s tight transition schedule, Modern Networks organised special teams of field engineers. Each site was assigned two parallel teams to complete the transition work. If Team A were unable to attend site due to illness or quarantine, then Team B would at once take their place.

Avtar Bains, Project Manager, Business Systems, Savills, said: ‘Modern Networks have done an amazing job. The project has been demanding at times, requiring long hours, but Modern Networks have always delivered with a smile and given first class customer service. They should be very proud.’

James Tizzard, Managing Director, Modern Networks, said: ‘We’re delighted to have be awarded these prestigious contracts. We’ve received great feedback from the clients at each centre as we’ve successfully transitioned them without any downtime whatsoever. We’re now looking forward to supporting the centre teams so they can continue to provide great retail experiences to their customers.’

Unique challenges presented by every shopping centre

Every shopping centre presented Modern Networks with its own unique set of challenges. Each site followed a highly successful project plan and process to move its services. First, all telephone services except mobiles were migrated while keeping their original numbers. Second, all computer hardware and business applications were moved. Third, we setup new Microsoft 365 logins, mailboxes and file sharing facilities for all users. Fourth, Modern Networks wiped and reconfigured all mobile devices. Next, we setup new segregated Wi-Fi services for each centre management team, the retail tenants and shoppers. Any remote workers were also setup online with VPN access. Finally, Modern Networks supplied all documentation and training needed. On completion of the transition process, each site was handed over to Modern Networks Service Desk for on-going IT support.

A great outcome

The Covid-19 pandemic has made a tough trading environment even more challenging for retailers. The swift transition of 12 prestige shopping centres to new ownership, managing agent and IT service provider has helped ensure their futures and job security.

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