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Desire Petroleum – Hosted IT Infrastructure Implementation

Desire Petroleum plc (Desire) is a UK company listed on the Alternative Investment Market, dedicated to exploring for Oil & Gas in the North Falkland Basin.

When Desire approached Progressive in August 2010, they had a basic IT Infrastructure in place and were looking for a more robust solution to support their anticipated growth.

Desire's Finance Director, Eddie Wisniewski, approached Progressive through recommendation, having heard about our Oil & Gas sector specific skills and experience. Feeling frustrated at the limitations of their existing IT infrastructure, Desire was keen to put the systems in place to allow for more efficient remote working practices and improved security.

Following a review of Desire's existing IT infrastructure, Progressive presented the client with a series of solutions, recommending a fully managed hosted solution utilising Citrix XenApp to deliver virtualised hosted desktops. Progressive led the implementation of the new infrastructure, and continue to provide on-going guidance, allowing the directors to concentrate their efforts on developing the business.

Desire are a small company, predominantly comprising directors, with a head office in London and another in Malvern. Directors are based around the UK and often work from their various locations. Desire's original server solution offered limited data connectivity and low connection speed from the Malvern office. Security and data backup measures were reliant on manual processes. With such high volumes of data, synchronising servers in Desire's two main offices was impossible.

These issues were causing frustration; at a time when every decision was vital to the development of the business, every minute spent dealing with IT problems was wasting resources and detracting from core business activities.

Review

In order to identify the most relevant solution, we needed to gain a thorough understanding. We reviewed Desire's IT infrastructure from a technical, as well as a business perspective, assessing its suitability in light of Desire's current and future requirements.

Following our review, we presented three solutions to Desire's Board of Directors, outlining the benefits, drawbacks and cost implications of each to assist the client in their selection of the most suitable solution.

Selection of Hosting Solution

We recommended a dedicated Desire IT infrastructure, hosted within a professional datacentre. This option provided a fully managed solution utilising Citrix XenApp for delivering virtualised hosted desktops, file and email storage, with sufficient capacity for large volumes of data.

With a high level of redundancy, secure firewall, automated backups and high speed data connectivity, this satisfied all of Desire's requirements.

Progressive also ensured a regular offsite backup procedure was implemented for added security.

Enhanced Remote Access

Using a datacentre meant that Desire's directors were able to access all of their systems, files and emails from wherever an internet connection was available. However, due to the geographical distances between Desire's directors, latency issues were affecting the speed of data transmission. To address this problem, Progressive recommended that Desire invest in Citrix XenApp. The application was installed and operated on Desire's hosted servers.

Citrix XenApp enables effective access to secure centrally hosted personalised working environments from locations with poor quality internet connections. Files and data are delivered to any registered user, through any device, from laptop to smartphone, from anywhere in the world.

Supplier Selection & Contract Negotiations

Having agreed on a fully managed hosting solution, Progressive assisted in the selection of suitable third party suppliers, evaluating a range of options according to credentials. With extensive experience of managing the implementation of similar systems, Progressive was in a strong position to negotiate competitive terms on Desire's behalf.

Project Management

Progressive liaised with each supplier to ensure a swift resolution of any unexpected issues, regular progress updates and timely project completion.

Scalability for Future Growth

Progressive understand that in the fast changing world of Oil & Gas, a long term, future proof IT solution is essential for success.

We designed Desire's IT infrastructure to ensure that additional virtual servers could be seamlessly added to the network when required, with minimal disruption to the operation of the business.

As a subsequent phase to the project, Progressive were engaged to manage the replacement of Desire's legacy accounting solution with SunSystems financials and Q&A reporting. This solution has been fully integrated within Desire's core infrastructure, enabling the Desire finance team to access the finance systems from any location, at any time.

Support

The 24 hour server support offered by our chosen hosting company was a significant factor in our recommendation. This support ensures minimal downtime and disruption to working practices.

Progressive's specialist is always on hand to respond swiftly to more serious problems, or to offer advice and guidance on IT and systems related matters when necessary.

Desire's IT infrastructure now fully supports the directors' remote working practices. Improved communications, brought about through remote access to emails and improved connectivity at the Malvern office, have in turn made core business operations easier. Each director has continuous and reliable access to the information required to fulfill their role with efficiency.

Frustrations caused by distractions of creaky IT infrastructure have been removed, and in the rare circumstances where issues do arise, dedicated support is close at hand to prevent IT issues disrupting the operation of the business.

Within one month of implementing SunSystems financials and Q&A reporting, Desire had halved the time required to produce the monthly management accounts pack and partner billing reports, significantly improving internal efficiencies.