Park Holidays is one of the largest providers of caravan holiday parks in the South of England, with 29 parks stretching from Suffolk and down to Devon.
But before we met they were running a corporate network that could barely support their internal systems, let alone the needs of owners and holiday guests who desire good internet connectivity. We saved the day with a seriously needed upgrade to their connectivity experience.
The company’s previous corporate network could not deliver the speed and bandwidth to drive an expanding business. IT Director Michael Procyshyn puts the situation into perspective: “At the time, our parks were running our corporate network over the only available connectivity: ADSL lines. Due to the distance from the exchange and the age of the lines these proved to be slow and unreliable. Plus, we had a whole proliferation of circuits and lines – things were really out of hand.” The main problem was the poor line speed which was holding back the entire business. Michael recalls how bad it was: “One location, which was 8km from the exchange, had a download speed of just over 0.5mb. It was woefully slow. Imagine trying to deliver anything over that.” And the problem was getting worse. More and more aspects of the business required internet connectivity, such as the new arcade games, and none of it was operating properly. Holiday guests were feeling the effects of an inadequate system too, from the processing of bookings to the lack of on-site WiFi.
Beaming came on board during the move to Park Holidays’ new headquarters when Michael asked their incumbent provider to install a fibre circuit into the company’s new headquarters.
The provider let them down at the last minute, so we stepped in. Using our core network and infrastructure, together with our highly experienced provisioning team, we quickly installed an initial 100Mb fibre optic Ethernet alongside our managed Firewall service in time for the big office move.
We then assisted Michael and his team with the migration between buildings in a way that had no impact to the business. But that was just the beginning, as Michael explains: “Off the back of that and getting to know the team at Beaming, we awarded them the contract to upgrade the connectivity to every one of our parks.”
This was a big job, but we’re not ones to shy away from a challenge. Our team project managed the delivery of fibre to each of Park Holidays’ 29 sites, including some tricky to reach locations. This involved a few creative solutions, like bringing fibre optic cables to custom street furniture. Where time was tight, we were able to provide temporary solutions such as aggregated broadband and Generic Ethernet Access Fibre to the Cabinet (GEA FTTC) until permanent infrastructure was in place. Our flexible approach helped reduce civil engineering costs and kept downtime to an absolute minimum.This might sound a bit complicated, but for Michael the work actually represented a huge simplification of the business’s systems. He likes to call it a cull: “We probably had nearly 500 phone lines across the estate, and now we’re down to around ten and just a single telephone system in the Cloud.”
Today, every bit of the business’s data goes down the ultra secure fibre lines, from the tills to faxes to PDQ machines. It’s transformed efficiency throughout the business. They’re also now able to run video conferencing between the different park locations for the first time. And to the delight of guests, Michael has finally rolled out fast, free WiFi in all clubs, receptions and sales offices.
Looking forward, we know that Park Holidays is an ever-expanding business, so we’re always reviewing their connectivity needs. We collaborate with both the Park Holidays IT team and 3rd party suppliers to become a true extension of the organisation and as they acquire new locations, we’re ready to jump in with our flexible solutions. ”The design of ProtectNet allows new parks to be up and running within hours – not days. In February 2018 we moved their servers and business systems over to our secure data center environment, so we can rapidly extend their network and seamlessly increase bandwidth, practically at the touch of a button” says Beaming’s Managing Director Sonia Blizzard. This has the added benefit of increasing resilience & allowing for disaster recovery in case something should happen that’s out of our hands.
Michael describes one such potential disaster scenario: “A flood in the telephone exchange in Bexhill took down one of our fibre lines into the head office, but we just flipped over to Beaming’s backup line, and that worked brilliantly.”
Eventually, we’ll upgrade them to gigabit lines, but with our infrastructure in place that will be another seamless transition.
Download the PDF of how we helped Park Holidays
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