In the rapidly changing world of business, speed and reliability of communication is key to innovation and success. Without the right environment in which to grow and develop, new businesses can quickly stagnate and fail to deliver their potential within the short window of opportunity many of them have to succeed. Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) exists to ensure this does not happen. It is a collaborative community of innovative businesses. Founded over 30 years ago, it is now the largest science park operator in the UK with over 2 million sq ft of lab, office and R&D facilities under management and with over 250 customers across their sites in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
Perfect Partner already on hand
Their customers range from start-ups in their specialist incubators (MedTECH Centre and Biohub), to Global R&D centres, Data Centres and everything in between. In 2012 Bruntwood became the majority shareholder in MSP and were keen to continue the growth and development of the sites, as managing director, Tom Renn, explained. “We knew we needed to ensure that the communication systems we offered to our customers at our sites were fast, resilient and scalable to enable us to support our growth plans. Having partnered since 1999, we knew that they would be the ideal partner to take the communications systems at MSP to the next level. With their expertise Cloud Services we knew we had the perfect supplier to guide us already on hand.”
Fully managed and hosted VoIP solution
We were first asked to get involved at the MedTECH centre incubator, a joint venture between the NHS and the private sector. Its aim is to stimulate the growth of successful healthcare technology companies by providing a home for MedTECH business start-ups. Tom outlined the services it offers to companies, “We have 70 workstations each equipped with a VoIP phone as well as offering free high-speed broadband access. To achieve this we needed an enterprise level solution and they delivered it for us.” We now provide a fully-managed and hosted VoIP telephony system via a highly-resilient data centre model. Based on best-of-breed Mitel MiVoice phones, it covers all the buildings in the park delivering a high-quality and resilient service directly to the Park’s customers desks.
The Mitel Solution is enterprise grade technology that offer extensive features like voicemail to email, teleworking and mobile hand-off. With rapid deployment, total flexibility and scalability, they deliver the reliable and adaptable communication service that young and growing companies need to enable them to focus on their day-to-day business and ensure success.
Following on from this successful project, Lloyds were asked to improve the information and communications infrastructure of the Salford Innovation Park, as Tom explained. “This 35,000 sq ft site is home to 50 or so SMEs and start-ups. It provides a range of flexible workspaces for a variety of business needs.
“Although, it had an existing telephony infrastructure for the people on site, this was provided by a number of different companies which meant we were offering a very fragmented service that was difficult to manage and was ultimately costing us and our customers more. We wanted to improve, rationalise and increase the quality of the service we provided and so asked Lloyds to help.”
Working in partnership with ISP Metronet (UK), Lloyds now manages the Internet and data capabilities from single hot desks through to 7,000 sq ft suites, ensuring super-fast connectivity and Internet access with network support and bandwidth management included.
“As a result of all the successful work we have done with Lloyds, we now have in place a referral relationship that benefits all our customers,” said Tom. “Lloyds now provide VoIP services for new companies on our sites as well as dealing with any transfers within the sites. We are happy to do this as we are confident that this provides the best possible service for our customers both in terms of value-for-money and quality of service.
“MSP have been able to do this because Lloyds is a trusted partner who is very easy to work with and understand the commercial drivers of both ourselves and our customers. They are great problem solvers who always give us an honest and positive answer to any ICT problems we need solving on our sites. Delivering technology can be a challenge but the team at Lloyds give great customer service and are totally accountable, which is just what you need.”