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Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract around 50,000 candidates annually and are offered by over 600 course providers, with exams taken in over 120 countries around the world. In 2014, the company was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its outstanding achievement in International Trade.
As a globally recognised brand with a large proportion of customers based overseas, NEBOSH needed its systems to be available 24/7. Additionally, the percentage of NEBOSH staff that work from home has recently increased, and so it wanted to encourage a modern, remote-working culture.
“We have experienced sustained growth to become a business that now employs over 100 people,” said Derek Eaton, Head of IT at NEBOSH. “Today, we have people logging on to our systems from all over the world and at all times of the day. We therefore required a resilient infrastructure foundation to be able to handle these enquiries 24/7. We have a small IT team, and our time needs to be spent concentrating on the application side instead of the infrastructure side. This is why we needed the help of a business partner.”
The business continuity project was part of a wider three year scheme to replace NEBOSH’s core CRM systems and website. Derek and his team looked at several different suppliers before deciding upon Pulsant as its partner for the project, due to the company’s experience in working with a number of public sector organisations as well as some big-name blue-chip customers.
NEBOSH decided to move its core infrastructure from its headquarters to a hosted purpose-built data centre. This was more in line with the business’ desire to move towards an operational expenditure approach, as opposed to its previous capital expenditure one. “Most of NEBOSH’s infrastructure used to be onsite, however it required a more flexible solution that could allow remote working and 24/7 access, while ensuring business continuity and more robust backups,” explained Martin Palmer, IT specialist consultant, Pulsant.
With this in mind, NEBOSH identified that it needed to move its infrastructure to a high availability private cloud solution that also included disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). “Because we operate internationally we are required to meet stringent data protection laws. Therefore, prior to roll-out we practiced several disaster recovery scenarios by forcing a fail over. We felt it was imperative to know how we could recover in case of a disaster, and the DRaaS solution dramatically mitigated all the associated risks during each scenario,” explained Derek.
Moving to a private cloud-based solution not only ensures that NEBOSH’s remote workers are able to access all their files quickly, but also provides a highly flexible and scalable solution that enables it to add or remove infrastructure as the needs of the business change. “The cloud provides NEBOSH with a primary infrastructure with the performance requirements of today, but also the ability to quickly scale in line with its continual business growth strategy,” said Palmer.
Derek understands that this project is just the start: “Working with Pulsant means we have access to a whole host of IT specialists; we are continually reviewing our IT estate and treating our relationship with Pulsant as an ongoing one. For example, just in the past few weeks or so we have added Pulsant’s bespoke security offering, Pulsant DDoS Protect, to further strengthen our defences should we ever come under fire from a DDoS attack.”
“Excellence in small teams is difficult to achieve, but you can do it if you work with the right partners, and Pulsant is one,” enthused Derek. “Pulsant is here to help us when we need it, and providing a managed service means that we can concentrate on core business applications such as our CRM system.”