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Formed in 2000, Potensis is a leading UK specialist construction & property recruiter. Their focus is on three markets within the built environment; Construction, Social Housing & Maintenance and Residential Development. Providing a comprehensive service the company recruit across the full range of industry roles from blue collar to directors and non-executives. The business has been built on an ethos of partnership with their clients and desire to offer a high quality, bespoke recruitment service. Potensis consultants undergo one of the most rigorous training programmes in the recruitment industry to provide clients and candidates with a truly enhanced recruitment experience. They offer executive search, permanent, temporary and managed staffing recruitment services. They currently have 75 employees with offices in London and Bristol.

The Challenge
To update the old IT infrastructure to better support the growth of the company. The out of date server infrastructure was under performing, systems were running slow which was affecting staff productivity. There was very limited redundancy and no disaster recovery. The company was faced with a large capital cost to replace the onsite infrastructure.

As set out by Tony Hornik, the Financial Director, the key objectives were threefold:

  1. Improve the user experience and remove frustrations caused by slow response times and systems crashes.
  2. Address existing business continuity and disaster recovery concerns by significantly reducing the time it would take to recover from an incident (which could vary from half a day to as much as 3 days or possibly longer, depending on the severity).
  3. Enhance the security of our data, in particular around our database of candidate and client contacts. For instance, it is currently backed up on to a tape that is taken off site each evening. We also need the ability to prevent data theft from within (we currently use third party surveillance software to assist here – Spector 360).

The Solution
Rather than re-investing in onsite hardware which would need to be replaced in 4 years, the decision was made to adopt a cloud based approach and migrate core systems to the data centre. After a thorough review of several suppliers, Knowall IT was chosen for their Cloud Solution which ticked all the boxes for its ability to deliver a robust agile IT infrastructure with built in Disaster Recovery and improved data security all hosted offsite in their state of the art Tier 3 UK based data centres.

To ensure the highest level of security, Knowall implemented a unique Potensis Private Cloud environment segregated from other clients on their enterprise hosting platform for the purpose of running their key services and applications including file and print serving, Exchange email, bespoke CRM SQL database, Merit Financials and Spector 360 computer monitoring software.

The Pay Off

  • Zero IT downtime – with the old infrastructure key systems were failing almost on a weekly basis. Thanks to the built in redundancy of Knowall’s enterprise hosting platform services are now available 100% of the time. In the event of a disaster at either office, staff can still access their desktops from any location with an Internet connection. Recovery times have gone from days to minutes.
  • Space Saving – Having the core server infrastructure housed in the data centre meant that the old server room was cleared out and quickly renovated to provide much needed additional office space to accommodate rapidly increasing staff numbers.
  • Ability to expand IT on demand – it was a given that any upgrade to their old infrastructure would improve the overall speed of performance. What Potensis hadn’t realised was how quickly and easily services could be deployed. As a rapidly growing business, it was essential to have an agile IT infrastructure that could be quickly expanded to support growing user numbers and an increased workload. The combination of proactive monitoring and the deep pool of technology resources underlying Knowall’s cloud platform meant resources could quickly allocated on demand to ensure optimal performance was maintained at all times.
  • Users no longer tied to their desktop – Being a dynamic workforce Potensis staff needed the ability to access their own email, applications and data from any desktop in either office. Knowall’s cloud solution made this simple as staff were able to log in to any PC in London or Bristol to access their local desktop. As an added advantage, staff were not just restricted to PCs, but could also log into other devices including Macs and iPads which were starting to be introduced to the organisation.
  • Reduced cost of maintenance – moving the core server infrastructure to the datacentre has given Potensis a much lighter more efficient onsite IT infrastructure. As the cloud platform is maintained by Knowall, there is very little maintenance required onsite. This has allowed Potensis to divert those cost savings into other areas of the business and focus on their strategic goals rather than investing significant resources in simply ‘keeping the lights on’.