Mercer Human Resource Consulting, a global provider of HR and financial services, has gone live with a state-of-the-art European data centre at an ex-Ministry of Defence site 40 miles north of London.
Mercer's European Global Technology Operation Centre took 18 months to complete and consolidated 600 servers down to 170, cutting the company's hardware and maintenance costs.
The datacentre—which uses the latest generation of IBM blade and enterprise servers, including IBM x345s and x445s servers, KVM switches and Hewlett-Packard midrange servers—went live at the end of September, and Mercer has already won an outsourcing contract with the Co-op to deliver financial and administration services from the new site.
John Simpson, IT programme director for the Mercer infrastructure strategy programme, says, "We host core applications and systems specific to pensions administration, actuarial valuations and finance, as well as client facing e-hosting, e-mail, file and other key business systems."
However, the project was not without difficulties. "The biggest challenge was maintaining the current infrastructure during a complete technology refresh implementation, and still being able to scale quickly to support the demands of our business," Simpson recalls
Mercer is already getting a return on investment from the datacentre, mainly from a higher utilisation of the centralised and consolidated server resources, says Simpson.
"They are now pooled to deliver higher availability and disaster recovery services provision to many more Mercer business-critical applications than previously available," he adds