Croydon Churches Housing Association owns and manages over 1,500 homes in Croydon, Bromley, Sutton and Merton. CCHA have been rooted in the local community since 1967, when they were founded to meet the need for housing in the community. Innovation, reliability and service excellence are core to the CCHA ethos.

The need

As a progressive organisation, CCHA recognised the need to enhance its mobile working strategy, to enable staff to work efficiently whilst away from the office, from any location, and from any device, whether a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The Solution

Castleton provides IT software and services to over 700 UK Not for Profit & Social Housing customers. Many of our customers face similar challenges to CCHA with increasing costs, falling revenues, and a drive to increase digitisation, and a need to increase or replace existing infrastructure.

Working together as CCHA’s Trusted IT Adviser, Castleton explored how to achieve the goals of this project which included a method for providing user access from anywhere at any time, no matter what device the user is using or the location from which access is being made, via internet connection.

Project goals included reducing capital expenditure and to deliver a flexible, futureproof solution, which could be achieved by transitioning from the Co-located infrastructure to Castleton’s Host-It fully managed desktop as a service solution.

The Castleton Host-IT solution would enable CHHA to achieve its project goals; to provide staff with access to their applications from any device, at any time, from anywhere. A scalable solution to support CCHA’s business growth and ongoing implementation of their digital strategy, and removing the need for large capital investment, as the services are paid for on a per user per month basis.

Key Benefits:

  • Future-proof, state of the art IT solution that can adapt as the organisation evolves
  • Cost-efficient – maximising your IT investment with flexible per month costs
  • Reliable – Consistent performance anywhere, anytime Uses the latest state of the art technologies, hosted in a Tier11 Datacentre
  • Resilient, efficient service delivery to enable your staff to deliver excellent service to your customer
  • Centralised Management with Castleton Manage-IT – Cloud based management and monitoring providing everything you need in one place.
  • Enhance security and compliance with Managed Backup and Disaster recovery as standard
  • Access to Castleton Support-IT Single point of contact to first to third line support services, enhanced support, delivered by trained and accredited IT professionals

The Results

Castleton Managed Service Professional Service Team successfully transitioned the CCHA co-located server infrastructure from Pulsant Data Centre to Castleton Host-IT service as agreed, following Price 2 methodology and working to agreed time-frames. To ensure optimal connectivity and uptime, a new 100MB fibre service was provisioned and implemented between CCHA Head Office located in Croydon to CMS hosting platform located in Maidenhead.

The project also included the creation of Primary VPN’s, implementation of SureITy enhanced Backup & Disaster recovery services, to achieve compliance, enhance security and reduce any risk to the organisation’s data.

The transition to Host-It desktop as a service, has enabled CCHA increase this productivity with improved application delivery, enable staff to work flexibly and remotely, enhanced security tailored to CCHA’s requirements and improved cost control, as the service is delivered as a predictable monthly cost.

Driven by challenges within the sector the need to adapt and find efficiencies has become fundamental within a number of core business objectives. CCHA recognised that delivering an improved mobile working strategy would have its challenges but also prove to be essential in meeting its goals.

Being a relatively small organisation means resources for internal IT personnel are limited. Having worked closely with Castleton as our IT Advisors we approached them to scope out the project and recommend ways to achieve our goals. Castleton came across as having both the technical ability and experience to reassure the organisation that any risks associated with a project of this size would be managed sufficiently.

The end result has significantly improved the flexibility and productivity of staff paving the way for greater efficiencies through improved application delivery. Benefits are tangible with staff now being able to log in to the environment from any location and complete tasks in real time without the need to return to the office.

With the infrastructure in place and cost savings delivered we are now looking to invest further in mobile applications that give staff the ability to complete more workflows remotely.

Chris Kerrins, IT Manager, CCHA