Building IT networks for temporary sites

21 August 2014

Taylor Wimpey has in excess of 500 building sites at any one time

Taylor Wimpey was formed in 2007 following a merger between Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey. In an average year, the firm can have up to 500 active building sites across the country, with the majority open for just 18 months.

Site setup, moves and closures create a complex task for the IT team. Taylor Wimpey has more than 3,000 mobile phone contracts in place and in excess of 500 building sites at any one time. Furthermore, with voice, data and internet connections taking up to 45 business days to set up, a solid, fast and effective IT strategy is critical to profitability. 

From an operational perspective, IT director Paul Caris says that each site has to be up and running as fast as possible: “Downtime equals missed deadlines.” 

Azzurri Communications had already been working with George Wimpey, and following the merger, Caris approached the supplier to review the new company’s combined IT infrastructure. 

It used its Telecoms Expense Management (TEM) managed service to assess Taylor Wimpey’s fixed and mobile voice systems. Azzurri says TEM continuously evaluates and identifies areas of waste or unnecessary expenditure, simplifies the procurement process and negotiates new tariffs, and provides a monthly reporting service that provides greater visibility of expenditure. TEM enabled Taylor Wimpey to reduce its annual voice spend by up to 20 per cent.

Azzurri then turned its attention to developing a bespoke solution that would enable interim voice, data and internet connectivity for each site, whilst waiting for DSL connection. 

Using Vodafone’s 3G network, it created Instant Office, a managed service that can be activated immediately, enabling building sites to benefit from business-critical applications on-demand. Instant Office provides users with ‘mobile’ IP phones that deliver voice and fax services, and a 3G card for data feeds. 

Azzurri is also providing a managed WAN service between selected building sites, regional offices and Taylor Wimpey’s head office in London. During the setup of a DSL line, Azzurri acts as a central  point of contact between the building site and Caris’ team in London, ensuring the smoothest and  fastest possible migration of IT services.