De Vere on cloud nine with Claranet’s managed services

The De Vere Group is the UK’s leading independent hotel and hospitality organisation. With a portfolio of over 65 locations, the company has brands dedicated to offering impeccable service and expertise in the business and leisure sectors. A number of strategic acquisitions and brand mergers form what is today known as the De Vere Group. With acquisitions however, come a plethora of IT challenges – and De Vere was no exception.

De Vere had the challenge of trying to join two separate Wide Area Network (WAN) services using an interconnect which was proving costly and inefficient. They chose Claranet to design a WAN that would connect 60 locations to a single platform. Claranet’s solution immediately helped De Vere to make significant cost savings and ensured they were operating on a single, reliable platform. Simultaneously, De Vere was undergoing significant revisions of its web strategy to improve its online user experience and increase revenue. De Vere recognised the benefits of Claranet’s WAN solution and decided to also turn to Claranet for our Dedicated Virtual Hosting solution (private cloud) to support its e-strategy plans.

IT playing catch-up

The aquisition and merge of Initial Style Conferences Ltd and De Vere Group plc, meant that both companies had separate WAN providers, which was not practical or cost effective. With the two separate WAN contracts coming to an end almost simultaneously, De Vere began planning for a new networking solution that would unify the Group and provide a higher performing and more reliable platform.

The WAN network is absolutely crucial to De Vere's business and should it fail, they would have to revert to a manual process , which could quickly lead to dissatisfied customers and loss of revenue. De Vere wanted to ensure they had the best WAN solution in place and decided to put out to tender to look for a suitable network provider.

Finding the right solution & provider

Claranet provides Managed Services to De Vere

As part of the tender process, Claranet designed a new WAN network that would connect over 60 De Vere properties to a single platform. To ensure performance and uptime, Claranet’s solution was underpinned by a secondary circuit that had an automatic failover to guarantee availability. The network also included connection points out to Frankfurt, to enable De Vere access to its hosted reservation system based there.

Cost savings from day one

We invited Claranet to pitch, but were unsure how they would compare to some of the larger players. Yet, without a doubt, they gave us the most confidence, and proved that they had the right team in place to deliver a better performing WAN that would unify our business.

Thanks to the strength of their relations, expertise and experience, Claranet pulled the rabbit out of the hat – more than once – to make sure our WAN was delivered smoothly and on time.

We started saving money from day one - no more unnecessary management of separate networks and providers. What’s more, we benefit from incredible reliability now. With our business, any network issue will begin to cost us money, so this is an incredibly important thing for De Vere. The WAN has now been live for over 12 months and we haven’t had a single outage. Claranet’s WAN has been the most reliable network I have personally worked with in over ten years.Jo Stanford - Group IT Director believes De Vere saw the benefits of Claranet's services from day one:

The host with the most

Whilst realising the benefits of the WAN solution, De Vere also wanted to make significant revisions to its web strategy to ultimately improve the online experience for users and increase revenue.

De Vere came to the conclusion that, in order to support its ambitious e-strategy plans, it needed to upgrade its hosting infrastructure and they chose Claranet to put a secure, available and flexible platform in place. This quickly evolved into a managed application hosting service, where Claranet manages applications such as De Vere’s website booking engines.

Millions of people rely on De Vere's websites to make bookings and payments, and De Vere rely on their internal applications to run their business smoothly and efficiently. Claranet's hosting solution offered De Vere high levels of uptime, security and flexibility to meet their business demands.

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"I’m not normally prone to placing all my eggs in one basket, so to speak, but Claranet has been the exception to this rule, and deservedly so." Jo Stanford, Group IT Director, De Vere Group

Moving to the cloud: physical to virtual hosting

As part of its complex and evolving web strategy, De Vere has rolled out a number of online campaigns aimed at driving traffic to the website and boosting revenue. The new hosting platform therefore needed to cater for peaks and troughs in traffic, support De Vere’s online strategy by providing an environment for building website branding activity, and provide the capacity for greater functionality in its booking engines. Claranet provided a Dedicated Virtual Hosting (DVH) platform or private cloud, to hold De Vere's applications and websites, meaning all virtual servers are dedicated purely to their needs.

Stanford says:

Our online strategy is a major focus for us. We have over a million people on our database that we reach out to regularly online, and we need to manage the volume of traffic generated when we do. We also aim to provide the smoothest and most advanced online experience for customers using our booking systems, while at the same time supporting the development of new website functionality.

Claranet’s private cloud service is the best solution for us as it allows server resource to be dynamically allocated to meet the changing demand from different applications and websites.

One provider for hosting and networks

Since taking Claranet’s DVH service, combined with its robust WAN solution, De Vere has undoubtedly realised cost savings as a result of a significant increase in website uptime and network availability. With a truly resilient network and hosting solution, De Vere now benefits from the assurance that customers can make bookings online easily and quickly, without website performance issues.

Thanks to Claranet’s unified networking and hosting services, which offer outstanding scalability, De Vere is now in the strong position of being able to expand on the existing network and add new sites and functionality quickly and easily. We are confident that this inherent flexibility, combined with Claranet’s in-depth understanding of our business, has created a solid foundation for forecasted future growth. We have a reliable web platform, a resilient WAN, and a good working relationship with our service provider, so we have no doubt that Claranet will continue to support De Vere as our business demands change.

Jo Stanford - Group IT Director - De Vere Group

We can help your business

We can build and manage a similar solution for you, that suits your business needs. If you would like to find out more about our hosting and network services, including managed application hosting and managed networks, please follow the link below to get in touch.