Wednesday, 04 April 2012 02:04

Super A-Mart consolidates with Brennan IT contract extension

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Managed services provider, Brennan IT has had its contract with national furniture retailer Super A-Mart extended in a new three-year, $3.6 million deal to provide hosted managed services including servers, a national private IP network linking all 40 Super A-Mart sites and a fully managed print service.

Brennan IT managing director, Dave Stevens, said the resigning and contract extension for Brennan comes after a period of rapid expansion for the retailer which prompted the company to review its IT platform to ensure it had in place a more stable and flexible solution to support its next phase of growth.

Stevens said Super A-Mart currently had over 50 servers on Brennan's private cloud (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) platform, hosting the company's business critical systems such as payroll, e-mail, file and print, BI, Sharepoint, store rostering and other critical business applications back ended with SQL servers, which were migrated to Brennan's Brisbane data centre in January last year.

'Brennan IT's private cloud has performed without fault over the past eight months, often exceeding our requirements,' said Angela Ryan, chief information officer at Super A-Mart. 'We have managed to support the business with three new store openings within the past six months on top of numerous projects delivering business value. Amongst them being Exchange 2010 upgrade, Microsoft Lync, Gift Cards and a recent e-commerce site overhaul. The benefits of the private cloud have been clearly evident.'

Stevens said the new private IP network provided by Brennan was delivered as a fully managed service and provided Super A-Mart with a 'fast and secure network, which when combined with their private cloud infrastructure, will service the additional data load in stores as new applications such as rostering and time attendance tracking are rolled out.'

Ryan said that, as part of the technology upgrade, Super A-Mart also engaged Brennan for a managed print service (MPS) in partnership with Ricoh Business Centre (RBC). According to Ryan, the MPS forms part of a vendor consolidation process that enables Super A-Mart to further leverage 'excellent business services' it has experienced with from both Brennan IT and RBC.  Ryan forecasts savings in excess of $200,000 per annum will be realised as a result of the consolidation.

'We had been in discussions previously with RBC about partnering to offer a managed print solution to our clients, so when Super A-Mart voiced their needs for assistance in this area, it presented the perfect opportunity to take the discussions to the next level,' Stevens said.

Stevens says the managed print solution provides Super A-Mart with a flexible and cost effective solution to their print needs. 'All consumables, service and maintenance are included in the monthly rate, with the flexibility to add new devices over the life of the contract without affecting the contract term. The service also delivers greater accountability and control over costs with an itemised invoice showing volumes and costs for each device across the group.

According to Stevens, more businesses are turning to managed services and the cloud in a bid to reduce total cost of ownership and adopt a more flexible and agile compute which is vital in today's business environment.

'It's no longer a question of 'will we move to the cloud' it's a question of 'what and how'.  Every project we do has at least one cloud component, and an increasing number of projects are totally cloud-based.'

Brennan IT recently announced a $1.5 million investment to upgrade its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform in response to what Stevens said was rising demand for the company's cloud services.

Brennan also reported that, for the FY 10/11, the company's mid-market IT infrastructure revenue grew by 101 per cent, driven by growth in the company's cloud services, and the company expects that cloud revenues are expected to account for 30 per cent of its business within the next 12 months.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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