Orange Business helped bring the TMF Group’s fragmented IT system together through provision of a complete end-to-end solution comprising scalable cloud computing, data center, networking, design and management tools.
The impact of the solution has been to enable TMF Group’s IT staff to focus on business goals rather than managing a disparate collection of systems and services.
IT system challenge
TMF Group has 100 offices in over 80 countries. Its 4,000 employees provide diverse professional services to some of the world’s biggest companies, including Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 multinationals.
The services the group provides span multiple key business processes: payroll, accountancy, corporate secretarial, taxation and more.
The group’s clients expect accuracy, efficiency and operational reliability, but its IT systems had become fragmented following a decade of sustained growth and 29 acquisitions and mergers. Each of the merged companies had its own IT system, meaning the group now used multiple systems and multiple providers.
These fragmented systems could not support the company’s rapid growth, provided security challenges and needed to be improved to meet compliance and privacy regulations.
The company needed to increase network agility, scalability and performance and improve its network/data center security. The company also hoped to liberate its internal resources to support its global business growth and help it operate in complex markets with strong compliance regulations.
In 2012, the group recruited CIO Jonathan James to lead the transformation of the company’s IT systems.
TMF Group wanted an ISO-certified partner to enable development of a shared services powered by the latest IT and network technologies.
One specific challenge was to develop a system which could easily absorb new acquisitions into the IT organization and business processes. Key priorities were to reduce costs and free up IT staff from operational tasks, thereby enabling them to better support growth and drive innovation across the group.
The company chose Orange Business Services because it could offer IT services and network support worldwide while maintaining availability and performance levels.
“Orange Business Services is a trusted partner, and their highly- effective management of the vendor migration process with full continuity and risk mitigation was excellent,” says James.
global network and cloud solution
Operating with full ISO certifications to meet compliance and regulation requirements worldwide, Orange Business Services provides global access, improved security, a single global point of contact for service operations and change management and powerful and secure cloud hosting and access solutions.
Orange implemented an MPLS network and secure Private Cloud Solution with a consistent homogenous application design across four Orange data centers and integrated point security products.
TMF Group benefits because its partner can increase cloud capacity in response to business requirements at predefined prices and in keeping with ISO agreements, all as part of the service.
The cloud solution is built using the NetApp and Cisco jointly developed FlexPod infrastructure. It is designed to accelerate application development and reduce IT costs. The system uses BMC’s cloud management software, a flexible system the developer claims integrates key processes and lowers service delivery costs. Orange provides the global network infrastructure, data centers, transition, design and support services.
effective business support
These improved IT systems have become assets to help the company in its mission to provide effective business support to its clients.
“Within the TMF Group, IT is a strategic business asset that plays a vital role in the growth of the business worldwide,” says James. “We use IT to create differentiation from our competitors and to enable us to deliver outstanding service to our customers. Equally, it has to always be available to support employee productivity.”
The new system means IT staff no longer need to focus on infrastructure operations but can put their energies into supporting business applications and growth.
When growth happens, the company no longer needs to bolt new IT systems onto its existing base on an ad hoc basis, but can rapidly incorporate new assets and innovations into its primary system.
consolidation and standardization
With its optimized network infrastructure the system is far easier to manage, offering full reporting of network, servers, storage and security.
“Orange Business Services has helped us to implement a major program to centralize IT governance and applications and launch a shared services center, and together we have transformed IT into a world- class resource for the business,” says James.
Not only has the company freed up IT support staff time, but it has also managed to cut costs, improve management and security as well as achieve a standardized global IT governance, operational model and service level agreements.
The impact is that as TMF Group prepares for future growth it can offer its customers all the operational benefits of a world-class, global scale IT system that’s flexible and scalable enough to support new business and new business procedures.
Jon Evans is a highly experienced technology journalist and editor. He has been writing for a living since 1994. These days you might read his daily regular Computerworld AppleHolic and opinion columns. Jon is also technology editor for men's interest magazine, Calibre Quarterly, and news editor for MacFormat magazine, which is the biggest UK Mac title. He's really interested in the impact of technology on the creative spark at the heart of the human experience. In 2010 he won an American Society of Business Publication Editors (Azbee) Award for his work at Computerworld.