Waste management and recycling company Thorntons Recycling is one of Ireland’s most successful recycling companies, recovering over 80% of the 250,000 tonnes of material processed annually. Founded in 1979 by Padraig and Carmel Thornton, it employs over 270 staff, operates a number of facilities in Dublin, Meath and Kildare and has a fleet of more than 100 trucks.
Over the years, the company built up its IT capability on an ad hoc basis with a number of suppliers, but this approach became much harder to manage and sustain as the business grew. It took the decision to appoint a managed service provider to manage its entire IT infrastructure which included Server Management, Microsoft applications, communications and security appliances, IT storage devices, system administration and patching/security updates.
Delivering the best IT infrastructure and service to support growth The contract was won by Bryan S Ryan, an established Irish-owned and managed business of more than 60 years standing and a leading provider of managed professional services, business technology solutions, office solutions and managed print services.
After securing the tender, Bryan S Ryan designed an IT roadmap detailing the areas of the IT infrastructure that required immediate attention and investment and set out a plan for the following 18-24 months.The roadmap, produced using Bryan S Ryan’s tried and tested Servo methodology which underpins all the company’s managed services contracts, enabled it to identify and prioritise the projects necessary to deliver the IT infrastructure to match Thorntons Recycling’s requirements.
As a first priority, Bryan S Ryan set out to stabilise and secure the foundations of the IT infrastructure by:
- establishing a stable environment for core applications and databases, using a virtual environment with Microsoft Hyper V in a clustered solution with a common SAN;
- providing 24/7 remote monitoring on all servers (physical and virtual), all communications equipment, Microsoft applications and the storage area network from its NOC in Tallaght;
- putting a reliable backup regime in place and bolstering IT security.
For the next stage, attention shifted to initiating a managed print service, designing and implementing a disaster recovery solution, linking Thorntons Recycling’s 8 remote locations to HQ for internet access and application delivery using Citrix XenApp and improving connectivity between remote sites by using regulated wireless provider Airspeed to provide LAN extensions.
Currently, Bryan S Ryan is upgrading the client side with the roll out of Windows 7.0 and Microsoft Office 2010. To date, 70% of the estate has been upgraded.
The right partner is more than a supplier Thorntons Recycling’s IT infrastructure is maintained on an ongoing basis by Bryan S Ryan. Any new projects, upgrades or rollouts are discussed and planned between the two companies. Budgets are projected and agreed, giving Thorntons Recycling a full view in advance of its IT spend year on year.
Bryan S Ryan also assists Thorntons Recycling’s management team when sites are added through new plant builds, acquisition or when it takes over the running of facilities for other companies. When it went live with a new facility in May 2011 that processes 25,000 tonnes of recycled paper per year, Bryan S Ryan installed the IT infrastructure to allow users to access the internet and applications at HQ while also delivering local printing and scanning.
Recently, after taking over recycling business Eurowaste, Bryan S Ryan provided access from Eurowaste’s Kilcoole base to Thorntons Recycling’s applications and databases via a XenApp portal. It upgraded the site’s IT security and put a managed services agreement in place to maintain it.
What it means for Thorntons Recycling As a result of the projects undertaken with Bryan S Ryan and the managed service contract, Thorntons Recycling has:
- Reduced server sprawl by 70%;
- Cut power costs by 60%;
- Achieved system stability with 99.99% uptime;
- Implemented 24/7 IT infrastructure monitoring and alerting;
- Gained the ability to rapidly deploy new servers in a virtual environment without spending on new server hardware;
- Achieved ease of server management with flexible assignment of resource such as memory, processor and disk space;
- Improved power management with the installation of APC 8000 UPS.
In the process, it has developed a relationship with a technology partner that:
- understands its business;
- has delivered a tailored business-focused managed service;
- implemented a fully managed print service.
Gary Brady, managing director at Thorntons Recycling, is very impressed with the relationship and the service provided by Bryan S Ryan.
If it hadn’t outsourced the IT function to Bryan S Ryan, he says, Thorntons Recycling “wouldn’t have been as confident to do some of the things we have done. We were the first company in the waste business in Ireland to use handheld devices, to introduce biometrics for clocking people in and out and we were the first to provide an online skip ordering service in Ireland”.
“We were one of the first companies to go with Microsoft Hyper-V. We probably wouldn’t have done it without the help and support of Bryan S Ryan” – Gary Brady, Managing Director, Thorntons Recycling