The UK’s leading rural and agricultural business, Farmcare, has chosen IT Lab to fulfil a major IT contract that went to tender following Farmcare’s separation from the Co-operative Group last year.
This hotly-contested contract will see IT Lab deliver a three-year project. IT Lab will provide a completely new, fully-outsourced IT platform, telephony and support solution spanning 10 farms (spanning over 50,000 acres), two packhouses and a head office based in Manchester. The system will support Farmcare’s 260 current employees, as well as its ambitious plans to grow the business.
Amie Harris, Head of Business Change at Farmcare, says:
“Migration of all data and applications away from the Co-operative Group’s infrastructure was a big project for us and it was extremely important that this was undertaken successfully. When it came to finding a partner that could deliver this, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce suggested that we invite IT Lab to tender and we’re really pleased with this recommendation.
“IT Lab assured us at an early stage that complete, live connectivity and integration for our business was possible, regardless of location or the number of fragmented or rural operations we have. We knew that this would be a difficult brief to fulfil but IT Lab has gone above and beyond expectations, reinforced by being a good fit for our business in terms of its capabilities, personality and vision. Furthermore, fully outsourcing our IT system, support and all user requirements means that we do not require an internal IT team at all, which means we can focus on the core operation of the business.”
Farmcare identified the significant challenges that come with a network delivered across such a fragmented and rural business structure within the tender brief. To overcome this and ensure productivity of staff regardless of location, IT Lab plans to provide an access strategy via Citrix and a unified communications platform facilitated by Microsoft Skype for Business, which will enable complete remote user access and live video conferencing through Dell PCs, hybrid laptops and tablets.
Additional deliverables will include a core IT platform located in a Manchester data centre, a wide area network WAN delivered by IT Lab’s partner, Metronet UK, and private 3G access for roaming users.
Mike Bentley, IT Lab’s Business Development Director, says:
“We’re delighted to be working closely with Farmcare to provide one of the most comprehensive, managed-service solutions on the market.
“A referral is a great way to begin a relationship and we’re delighted that the GMCC is confident enough in our team and services to recommend us as an IT support provider to other businesses. We look forward to further cementing our close relationship with Farmcare that will help them to continue to build on their success, through its journey of transformation.”