The Calico Group chooses M247 for digital transformation

Lancashire-based Social Profit organisation, The Calico Group, has appointed M247 to redesign its network, optimise operations and enhance security.

Calico provides a range of services across the North-West, including Housing, Health & well-being, Skills, Training & Construction. To best serve the communities across the region and deliver a wide range of high-quality services and maximum social impact, the organisation’s workforce operates remotely and needs to be able to access information, often of a sensitive or secure nature, at any time, from a variety of devices and locations.

M247 worked with Calico’s ICT Projects team to assess their current operations and requirements to build a network best suited to their needs, moving from a traditional MPLS network to SD-WAN.  This enables Calico employees to access information directly from their cloud applications in a more timely and user-friendly way rather than via the corporate network and means security can be incorporated into the SD-WAN fabric via virtual firewalls, which is a far more effective approach when endpoints are accessing applications from multiple settings.

David Palmer, M247 Product Manager for Network & Security said, “it is extremely common for public-facing organisations that work so closely with the community to operate from multiple sites and with a remote and travelling workforce and this has also become increasingly popular within other businesses since the pandemic. However, companies have not always ensured that their IT operations are optimised for this way of working which can impact areas such as ease and speed of access and data security as well as backup procedures and disaster recovery practices.  

“The introduction of SD-WAN not only helps to solve these issues but also means that The Calico Group is better equipped for future growth, being able to easily add new users and locations. Zero-touch provisioning and segmentation also mean that policies can be added, amended, and automatically distributed to all devices connected to the SD-WAN, reducing the risk of human error.”

Rob Hayes, ICT Project Manager at The Calico Group added, “M247 provided the insight and technical skill to enable the transition from MPLS to Cisco SDWAN. M247 as a partner has provided the Calico Group with the confidence to grow the business, delivering an agile SD-WAN solution that can deliver the performance, security, and visibility needed to provide our staff and customers with the best real-time connected experiences.

“The project scope has now expanded to accommodate additional sites and demands, due to Calico’s constant growth across the Northwest. This has seen a 30 per cent increase in staff and a 25 per cent increase in the number of offices over the last year.”

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