Based in County Durham, Esh Group is one of the leading construction companies in the North of England. The company employs more than 1,000 people in its offices across Durham, Cramlington, Leeds, Kendal, Carlisle and Earlston, and offers multi-disciplinary construction elements including civil engineering, house building, plumbing and plant hire.

With such a broad range of services spread across Northern England and Southern Scotland, being able to access data from all areas of the business was vital. Esh Group supplied Perfect Image with a list of infrastructure requirements which included the ability to securely access applications and data from anywhere within the company, including offices and project/construction sites.

Why opt for a Proof of Concept exercise?

Whilst they realized that cloud technology is commonplace in many areas of IT, Esh Group was unsure as to whether AWS would be appropriate for all of its infrastructure requirements. Perfect Image suggested that a Proof of Concept exercise would allow Esh Group to test the various elements of AWS and see first-hand the business benefits, before fully committing to and investing in the system.

It was also decided that a Proof of Concept exercise would give Esh Group the opportunity to determine the capability and experience of the team at Perfect Image to execute the project and manage the delivery of the true cloud computing solution.

The solution

Perfect Image worked closely with Esh Group to find out exactly what they wanted and needed from a cloud IaaS solution, along with any perceived challenges or barriers they thought might prevent them from making the move to true cloud. As a result, the AWS Proof of Concept exercise was designed to be a fully working showcase, delivering one of their key applications and addressing all the functional and technical concerns that had been identified. It was designed so that once it was developed and tested it could be placed into a ‘hived’ state for future use in a live environment so the investment in the Proof of Concept could be re-used.

Why AWS?

AWS has been operating since 2006 and today is the leading global supplier of cloud infrastructure, serving hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide, providing low cost, instant, on-demand access to the same multi-billion dollar web-based computing services that are used by the likes of Netflix, Airbnb and Amazon themselves.

A true cloud solution via AWS allows customers to flex up and down computing capacity to meet their requirements – all the way from nothing through to very significant amounts of computing and storage.

AWS can be scaled quickly, easily, and in many cases, automatically. One of the other benefits of true cloud technology is that it is pay-as-you-go, so at the end of each month customers only pay for what they have used – no more, no less. This ability to flex IT capacity is ideal for Esh, allowing them to add and remove capacity as individual projects start and finish as well as supporting their organic growth and future acquisitions without the need for further capital investment.

AWS is also extremely secure, robust and reliable as long as users approach things in the right way. Perfect Image can provide practical advice and services around the best practices and tools users of AWS should be adopting.

Why Perfect Image?

Cloud technology can transform a business, but it needs to be properly designed, maintained, monitored and optimised once it’s in place. Esh realised that they needed somebody to help them as they explored the concept of public cloud and had to work with an organisation who could truly demonstrate the value and power of AWS with a Proof of Concept.

Perfect Image was seen as a natural choice as one of the UK’s leading AWS Consulting Partners with the ability to leverage the scale and flexibility of AWS technology to bring about real business benefits for their clients. Perfect Image also has extensive experience in the construction sector and understands the challenges that Esh faces as a business.

Esh also wanted to work with a supplier that could support them for the long-term and valued the fact that Perfect Image could offer a full Managed Cloud Service to provide them with a flexible, tailored support service.

Philip Dixon, Group IS Manager ESH Group

Having gone through the Proof of Concept period we, have learnt several lessons about the AWS platform and the skills, experience and culture of Perfect Image. We don’t see the AWS platform being an option without a partner, namely Perfect Image, on hand to manage the migration and aftercare.

The AWS platform meets all of the criteria for our infrastructure requirements; excellent operational expenditure savings and some value added services that you might pay a premium for elsewhere. The end goal is to place our entire IT estate within the AWS platform, be it IaaS or otherwise

The result

After rigorous testing, Esh Group felt that the AWS platform met all of the criteria for the company’s infrastructure requirements. Not only this, but the company discovered several value added services that had not been previously considered.

Having undergone the Proof of Concept exercise, Esh Group believes that the AWS platform is a key component of its IT strategy for the foreseeable future and plans to transfer its IT services to the platform soon.

The Benefits

  • Conducting a Proof of Concept allowed Esh to prove that AWS was the right way forward for their IT at zero risk and little cost.
  • AWS offers a pay-as-you-go approach so that you only pay for the services that you need for as long as you use them without capital expenditure. This was an ideal match for
    the nature of Esh’s business and growth plans.
  • The Proof of Concept demonstrated that an AWS cloud-based system allowed Esh to deliver their applications and data reliably and securely to all of their offices and project sites.