Supporting Vertu Motors

Hosting, Managed Services | Automotive

Vertu Motors turn to Eloquent Technologies for hosting, ensuring reliability, security and support

 


The challenge

Vertu Motors plc historically had an in-house Exchange environment and it was near capacity, with a business that was rapidly expanding. They required a hosted solution where they could integrate with existing applications and also keep control of their emails, whilst taking advantage of a more reliable and secure outsourced email hosting platform.

The solution

  • Dedicated hosted Exchange email platform

  • Hosted Disaster Recovery solution using Zerto

  • Hosted Vertu financial reporting application

  • Managed services and support 24/7/365

The benefits

  • Improved security with hosting in fully managed data centres

  • Guaranteed uptime with 5 nines (99.999%) service delivery

  • Full access allowing for better integration and collaboration

  • Disaster Recovery solution offering optimum resilience

  • Peace of mind knowing that email will always be working, managed by a team of experts


Background

Vertu Motors plc (Vertu) was formed in 2006 to acquire and consolidate UK motor retail businesses. The Vertu Motors group operates a nationwide chain of franchised motor dealerships offering sales, servicing, parts and body shop facilities for new and used car and commercial vehicles. The group is a £2.5bn PLC and operates many of its dealerships as Bristol Street Motors. They also have a number of premium franchise dealerships such as Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, as well as being the largest operator of UK Honda dealerships.

Closeup of car

Expert help and advice

Eloquent Technologies (Eloquent) was engaged to assist with hosting Vertu’s Exchange servers. Eloquent was already hosting the websites for Vertu’s car leasing arm so they were recommended for their experience and expertise in the automotive industry. Eloquent fully understood the critical requirement for email servers to be working reliably and efficiently.

Eloquent proposed a new Exchange 2013 server, set up across two data centres, for added resilience. Vertu did investigate other providers including Office 365, the Microsoft Cloud offering, but there had been some major outages and service issues so Vertu took Eloquent’s expert advice and decided to keep risks to a minimum.

 

The implementation process

Security was a key element in the solution design, therefore private high speed fibre connections were used to connect Vertu and Eloquent’s network in geographically-diverse locations, instead of using the internet. This is a much faster and more secure option, providing the best customer experience.

The Exchange mailbox migration was completed by joining the legacy platforms, moving users from Exchange 2010 to 2013. There was no downtime for the users, just a message in Outlook asking them to reopen their mailbox, and the reconnection was seamless. Vertu had many large mailboxes and email archives, so without a high speed network connection, the migration would have been almost impossible.

The deployment took about a year to complete which was due to the huge amount of data being migrated. Vertu and Eloquent worked together to migrate between five and ten users at a time, usually overnight depending on mailbox size.

Vertu is very acquisitional and has expanded rapidly as a business in the last few years. This growth has meant that they now have around 1000 users on the hosted Exchange platform. It’s therefore critical for Vertu that the platform is built for future growth to allow for new colleagues to be migrated rapidly.

Eloquent also host Vertu’s core financial reporting application. Both Exchange and the financial application are protected from disaster using the world-renowned product ‘Zerto’, a specialist application for disaster recovery and replication. Zerto real time Replication is able to effectively replicate and maintain the DR environment for Vertu’s Exchange and finance application and support its rapid rate of change.

 


"Proactive and easy to work with"


 

Eloquent performed planned work out of hours and even the data centre migrations went without a hitch. Vertu has fifteen helpdesk staff and ten field engineers. If they need to escalate an issue, they just pick up the phone to Eloquent who resolve it quickly and efficiently.

“We liked Eloquent’s approach and flexibility: they are not a faceless corporation and are very proactive and easy to work with. If there is a problem, Eloquent jump on it, even if it’s out of hours. Nothing is too much trouble.

"Eloquent has also grown rapidly so they have the challenge of finding good, reliable staff with a sound technical knowledge. David makes sure he has the right people around him to provide excellent customer service.”

- Bruce Clark, Group IT Manager at Vertu

Great results

David Ford, Director at Eloquent Technologies, added,

“At Eloquent, we like to make our customers feel like they still have full control of their hosting solution, yet they don’t have the hassle of maintaining their servers in-house. We pride ourselves on our high levels of service and support, always ensuring that we resolve any issues in an efficient and proactive manner. Eloquent’s engineers work very closely with Vertu’s IT staff, so we are more like an extension of their own team.”

 


"We pride ourselves on our high levels of service and support"

- David Ford, Director at Eloquent Technologies


 

Future plans

Vertu and Eloquent hold quarterly service review meetings to explore any issues that have arisen. Vertu have agreed an upgrade project to Exchange 2016 Enterprise edition as the platform expands on demand. Eloquent recently provided a comparison paper on Exchange 2013 versus Office 365, and they are able to facilitate that change if necessary. They also highlighted the benefits of opting for a newly customised platform, designed by Eloquent.