"We have been a customer of boxxe's for over 4 years. We initially started our engagement with boxxe when our Microsoft ESA was up for renewal. boxxe won a close tender competition and have been an invaluable partner ever since."
- Hassan Bahrani, Head of IT, Thirteen Group
Thirteen Group is a landlord and housing developer, providing homes for rent and sale. They manage 34,000 properties for more than 70,000 customers across Teesside and other areas of the North East, including North Yorkshire, County Durham, and Tyne and Wear.
We are thrilled to have been Thirteen's chosen technology partner for several digital transformation projects over the years, helping them to work more productively, optimise their virtual environment and save money on IT costs.
The Challenge: Platform Stability and Microsoft Licensing
Before working with boxxe, Thirteen Group used a VMware vSphere 5.5 hypervisor platform to provide virtualised infrastructure and run several business-critical workloads. With it, they experienced two problems:
1. Security and efficiency
The version they were running had reached End of Support Life, meaning that it wouldn't benefit from new maintenance updates, bug fixes, or security patches to keep their infrastructure running efficiently or securely.
Their team experienced regular performance issues when performing basic administrative tasks within the vSphere vCenter console, impacting their productivity.
Recognising the need for better performance, stability and security for their digital infrastructure, Thirteen sought a VMware upgrade to the latest version. Without the expertise required to deliver a project of this kind in-house, they sought a technology specialist to help them.
Separately, Thirteen also wanted to renew their Microsoft license agreement after being underwhelmed by the services offered by their previous licensing solution provider.
The Solution: Every Opportunity to Add Value
Following a successful tender which met the required cost, timescale and scope of the project, Thirteen chose boxxe as its partner to support both projects.
We provided the Microsoft licenses, but our licensing agreement with Thirteen hasn't just been a transactional relationship.
As a Gold Partner with Microsoft, we’ve used our expertise to help Thirteen with several deployment and optimisation projects since the start of our licensing agreement, including the custom build of an Electronic Document Management System using SharePoint Online and Power Platform.
For the VMware upgrade, a boxxe Platform Solutions Architect met with Thirteen to discuss the project and gather diagnostics information to understand their infrastructure better.
Agreeing that an upgrade to VMware 6.7 would be the best solution, our specialist presented an upgrade strategy to Thirteen who were happy to sign off on the work required.
The Delivery: Hardware, Software and Training
Thirteen initially wanted to use existing hardware to host their updated platform. Realising that this wouldn't be suitable, our Platform Solutions Architect supported Thirteen with a specification of what was required to complete the project.
Once in place, our Platform Solutions Architect completed the upgrade whilst minimising downtime to production systems.
For added value, the upgrade was documented and completed with a member of the Thirteen IT team shadowing from start to finish, so that future similar projects could be completed in house.
The entire project was completed in just 8.5 days.