IDE Group help Aspect Enterprise Solutions to ensure that their international commodity traders remain connected and protected.
With more than 500 customers and thousands of users across 90 countries, Aspect Enterprise Solutions is a global provider of web-based commodity trading, risk management, and data management applications. Its Software as a service (SaaS)-based tools allow commodity trading organisations in the oil and gas, metals, and agriculture industries, such as Chevron, BP, and Noble, to manage the financial risks of trading resources. The company’s wide array of solutions helps organisations with real-time pricing and analytics, whilst ensuring they are making profitable business decisions.
Aspect had spent 10 years using a data centre operated by a large colocation provider in London, during which time its IT resources had come to take up five racks worth of space. However, when Aspect’s contract came up for renewal the provider tried to impose a three-fold price increase. Not only was this unacceptable, it also did not guarantee the level of customer service that Aspect required. This left the company with no other option but to search for an alternative provider.
In this search, Aspect faced a number of challenges. Firstly, in order to reassure its customers that their services would not be disrupted or otherwise at risk, Aspect needed its IT to remain in a stable, secure country such as the UK, with a relatively strong economy and with strict data protection laws in place. The company also wanted to be able to move its hardware between locations with minimum disruption and cost; ideally, travel time from its London location to the new centre would be two hours or less. Furthermore, any colocation centre had to provide fast and secure connectivity that would enable Aspect to transmit data between its IT resources, offices, and customers reliably and without delay.
“Unfortunately, our colocation provider wasn’t able to offer us the kind of dedicated, responsive customer service that we needed,” said Alexander Krapivin, Director of infrastructure at Aspect Enterprise Solutions. “For example, relatively simple requests such as changing a bandwidth connection could take up to 4 years to complete, including communicating the changes needed and going through the bureaucracy required to implement those changes. When combined with the price increase, it gave us a clear incentive to look elsewhere. However, in a business such as ours this isn’t a simple matter. Any provider had to be able to guarantee the highest levels of security at the colocation centre, as well as ensuring that events such as a loss of power or connectivity would not disrupt our actions. At the same time, we also needed a team that would recognise and respond to our needs. Any failure in these areas would result not only in a loss of data and services but, more importantly, could also result in a loss of confidence from our customers.”
Working with IDE Group, Aspect’s dedicated account manager can guarantee its colocation service and also quickly respond to any requests, improving the company’s agility. By remaining in the UK, its customers are satisfied that their data will not be put at unnecessary risk. This satisfaction is further strengthened by the fact that IDE Group’s data centre has high levels of physical security. Physical security measures at the site include biometric security, access cards, PIN code locked doors, cameras, and monitoring of all access to and from the site; these measures ensure that Aspect’s resources are completely protected and accounted for.
Despite moving away from London, IDE Group is still able to guarantee Aspect fast connectivity via its dedicated fibre network. A connection speed of less than 10 milliseconds to the majority of service providers in the UK, means that Aspect can communicate between its IT infrastructure, its offices and its customers as if the colocated resources were in the next room. IDE Group also provides Aspect with a redundant uplink for their resources, allowing them to retain access if the primary network connection fails.
IDE Group’s Bournemouth data centre also fulfils Aspect’s other continuity needs. Consistent air conditioning means there is minimal risk of equipment overheating, while the centre also provides its own backup power supply in the unlikely event of a power failure. As a result, Aspect is assured that its IT resources will remain protected and operational in almost any circumstances.