Case Study: IMI Hydronic Engineering
A cloud based SharePoint solution to support customers and resellers around the world
IMI Hydronic Engineering is a division of IMI Plc that employs over 1800 people worldwide and has sales in excess of £315 million annually. The division is a leading global supplier of products and services for hydronic distribution systems which deliver optimal and energy efficient heating and cooling systems to the residential and commercial building sectors.
They have provided solutions for over 100,000 projects worldwide working with installers, contractors, wholesalers, heating and cooling designers and facilities managers to deploy innovative technologies that are simple to install, easy to maintain and help minimise cost.
With customers globally, IMI Hydronic Engineering are constantly developing new products and technologies to solve specific heating and cooling problems which has meant that over the years their product portfolio has grown extensively and is constantly being updated. For all the products in their portfolio they hold a great deal of technical data and support material and they wanted to give their worldwide customers access to this information via the cloud but found that their
existing website could not be updated easily. Furthermore, as they added new products and services they were having to pay their web developers to make amendments to the site.
Recent changes at a group level had seen the introduction of a global Intranet solution based on SharePoint which allowed data sharing internally
but IMI Hydronic Engineering wanted to be able to share data with external organisations.
They approached their existing web developers but found that they did not have the experience to link an internal SharePoint solution with their website.
In addition to giving customers access to product data and specifications, they wanted to reduce the day-to-day management costs of the website and
also ensure that the solution that was eventually deployed was available 24/7 in the cloud as it was a critical resource.
IMI Hydronic Engineering knew that they needed expert support to resolve their challenges as quickly as possible. Having worked with IG CloudOps when they had supported IMI Plc’s move to a global intranet solution, they were an obvious first point of call.
Our team held a number of workshops with IMI Hydronic to identify their current needs and also to build in future resilience. In the initial workshops, it was agreed that the product data should be moved to a SharePoint environment which could then be accessed and updated by the internal team. At the same time, it was agreed that this should be integrated into the website so that as changes were made by IMI Hydronic they were immediately reflected on the website.
Because the group had moved to a managed Azure cloud environment, IG CloudOps recommended that the SharePoint solution was hosted in the cloud so that it would give IMI Hydronic flexibility to add resources and compute power as they needed to.
The final project delivered
by IG CloudOps included the following:
- Design and development
of a new SharePoint environment
- Working with the web developers
to integrate SharePoint with the
website to offer a seamless
- Planning and architecting the
required Azure infrastructure
- Implementing IG CloudOps cloud management platform for 24/7 support
and real time management
IMI Hydronic Engineering quickly saw the benefits of the new solution with customers throughout the world being able to access information on all their products. In addition, by moving to a hosted SharePoint solution on Azure they were able to reduce their website support costs considerably as all updates could be handled in-house by the team.
As part of IMI Hydronics commitment to ensure that the portfolio is available to customers 24 / 7 having deployed Azure cloud management using CloudOps, this can monitor the infrastructure in real time to ensure that any issues are resolved quickly to give over 99.999% availability.
IMI Hydronics Engineering are constantly looking at ways to improve how they deliver information and resources to their customers. IG CloudOps is now working with them to identify other resources which can be relocated to the cloud and how this can be made available across all IMI Plc companies.
We are also providing ongoing support and maintenance to the infrastructure to ensure costs are minimised at all times without affecting performance.
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- To provide access to product data and information 24/7 for a worldwide audience
- To reduce website update costs
- To improve operational performance and reduce the duplication of tasks
- Design and development of a new SharePoint environment
- Integrate SharePoint with the website
- Planning and architecting the Azure infrastructure
- Implementing cloud management with IG CloudOps
- Worldwide availability of the product portfolio and relevant information
- Reduced website maintenance and update costs