Sony cuts its web costs with datacentre deal

Sony Europe has reported a 20% cost saving after outsourcing the maintenance of its internet infrastructure and applications.

Sony Europe has reported a 20% cost saving after outsourcing the maintenance of its internet infrastructure and applications.

Eighteen months into a three-year agreement with Computacenter, the consumer electronics and media company said support costs were now significantly lower than its previous support overheads, and system availability has been improved.

In 2004, Sony built a datacentre in Basingstoke to support the infrastructure to underpin the company’s European marketing and dealer websites and replace legacy applications. It was then faced with staffing the centre itself and using the existing management structure, or handing it over to a third party, said Frank Cunnane, director or infrastructure and SAP solutions at Sony Europe.

Since the cost of recruiting new skills was expensive, and the existing management structure was inappropriate, Sony decided to transfer the running of its datacentre to Computacenter after a competitive tender.

However, Cunnane said it was important to maintain the right in-house team to manage the contract. “They have got to have an understanding of the contracts – they have got to have service management skills, understand the application and the service levels. People skills are also important, as well as understanding what the service means to the business.

“The more that this happens, the more we are finding they are not naturally IS skills, but ­account management and people skills.”

Sony’s 70-server datacentre ­includes technology from Sun, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Veritas and Cisco, all of which required 24-hour monitoring and business continuity failover.

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