Hire firm speeds IT overhaul

Rental company Speedy Hire has successfully completed a major overhaul of its IT infrastructure.

The UK's largest tool and equipment hire firm was looking to standardise operations and systems access after making acquisitions.

The project began last year after an IT infrastructure review and is currently being rolled out to its depots this year.

With 5,000 staff and 500 depots in the UK, Speedy Hire's review revealed its core infrastructure of support intensive, Linux-based workstations connecting to Microsoft Terminal Services wasn't able to integrate with or scale to accommodate disparate IT systems inherited through acquisition.

Taking on an application delivery technology model and services partner Centralis from one of its newly acquired businesses, the company implemented a Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 environment running Wyse thin-client terminals at depots to centralise IT delivery and reduce support and management costs.

The Presentation Server 4.5 farm was implemented at Speedy's data centre in Altrincham with Centralis installing a number of key applications including Microsoft Axapta, Office, Outlook and Internet Explorer, plus other line-of-business applications.

AppSense Application Manager was also deployed to allow the Microsoft software to be licensed per user device rather than across the whole organisation, through the enterprise agreement site licence, with substantial software license savings as a result.

There are currently approximately 800 users of the Citrix farm. With a centralised service and standardised equipment, Speedy employees can now work from any location without having to familiarise themselves with new desktops, services or systems.

And, with scalability built into the design to provide the capability to accommodate further acquisitions in line with its strategy for growth, the company said the new environment was meeting its operational need for reliable and responsive applications and service delivery.

Citrix Presentation Server was recently re-branded Citrix XenApp.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.