Constructing a new network for builders’ merchant

17 July 2018

Grafton Group is said to be one of the country’s largest independent building materials group, owning brands including Selco, Buildbase and Plumbase.

The group has started a strategic IT investment programme, replacing legacy systems, updating productivity and collaboration services, and modernising its infrastructure. As a result, it knew that it needed to upgrade its whole network to support the rollout of new technology.

Group IT services director Nathan Bishop says: “As our company had grown, our IT needs had become increasingly complex and our reliance on high levels of network bandwidth and resilience had increased. We knew we needed to update our network and needed the right provider to help us do this.”

Grafton had run the majority of its UK data centre operations from Six Degrees’ Birmingham facilities since 2010. Following a competitive tender process, the company chose Six Degrees to provision its new group-wide managed network.

The solution includes three key elements: a core MPLS network, managed internet access, and delivery of a branch network across Grafton’s entire UK mainland business.

The core provides connectivity from the group’s networks in the UK, Ireland and Belgium. This supports shared data centres and managed internet access, as well as branch sites that are the merchant offices serving customers in the UK mainland. Six Degrees has created a private MPLS network linking all of these core and branch locations together.

The service was rolled out to the 500 branch and head office locations in the UK, with managed internet access provided to all Grafton Group companies in the UK and Ireland.

Following the successful implementation, Six Degrees says its experts now manage the services, ensuring Grafton’s network is reliable and secure. “Using the Six Degrees infrastructure allows our businesses to stay connected with no fear of overloading the systems or unwelcome downtime,” concludes Bishop.