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”.

Hitchin, UK – Modern Networks is pleased to announce the successful completion of a major project to migrate all core IT services and support of 12 flagship shopping centres to Savills as the new managing agent in just three months. The shopping centres transitioned were Derby, Merry Hill, Milton Keynes, Chantry Place, Watford, Nottingham Victoria Centre, Braehead, the Metrocentre, Gateshead, Uxbridge, Lakeside, the Trafford Centre and 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 migrating 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, Modern Networks UK-based Service Desk is providing each site with 24/7 technical support, continuous network monitoring and security. Modern Networks have also been able to retain the knowledge and expertise of nine 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 immediately 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 centres has presented Modern Networks with its own unique set of challenges. However, each site transition has followed a highly successful project plan and process. First, all telephone services except mobiles were migrated while retaining their original numbers. Second, all computer hardware and business applications were transitioned. Once completed, users have new Microsoft 365 logins, mailboxes and file sharing facilities. Third, Modern Networks wiped and reconfigured all mobile devices. Fourth, new segregated Wi-Fi services were made available to centre management, retail tenants and shoppers. Fifth, remote workers were setup online with VPN access. Finally, Modern Networks provided all documentation and training required. On completion of the transition process, each site is handed over to Modern Networks Service Desk for on-going technical 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 secure jobs.

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