GCI transforms technology for Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation

Glasgow-based managed ICT services provider GCI has helped the world’s biggest achievement awards scheme to transform its technology from a server rack located in its kitchen into a fully-integrated state-of-the-art cloud-based system.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation approached GCI for help in upgrading its ageing IT infrastructure and utilising new and existing technology to streamline its working practices on a global scale.

The award is the world’s leading achievement recognition scheme, which aims to equip young people for life and work. More than one million young people, from over 140 countries, participate in the award each year.

The ability to work remotely was identified as one of the biggest challenges for the Foundation, due to the location of its regional offices in Sydney, Kingston, Nairobi and London. With so many volunteers and employees to communicate with, the Foundation required a standardised approach for the distribution of information to ensure a consistent level of service.

GCI is a market-leader in developing world-class telecommunications and ICT services to businesses across the UK. It provided a cloud and connectivity-based solution for the Foundation and agreed a five-year contract with the Foundation to provide a high speed connection and the installation of a back-up connection. This provided the Foundation with reliable connectivity capable of facilitating international online demand, and provided a disaster-recovery solution in the event of a failure in the main circuit.

With increased connection speeds, GCI upgraded all four of the Foundation’s offices with GCI’s Hosted Desktop solution – a feature-rich application that can be delivered to any device for remote working. Finally, in order to minimise on-site management, GCI also provided the Foundation with a managed IT support contract which provides unlimited telephone and remote support for all its network infrastructure.

Mike Heath, the Foundation’s Head of Information Management, said: “I’m not sure how many organisations have their server room in their kitchen as we did, but I’m pretty sure many will have server rooms in odd places, insecure places. Ours was scary, so by moving to GCI’s cloud, we’ve definitely improved the physical security aspects of our technology, alongside many other benefits.”

Phil Hambly, GCI’s Chief Marketing Officer, said: “We engage with around 3,000 technology projects a year and some touch you more than others. Through our work with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, we were humbled to witness the achievements of some of the award winners, Vicky Roy, for example, who pushed himself from living on the streets of Delhi to become an acclaimed international photographer. Working collaboratively, we helped transform the technology environment, but the scheme itself is the real star of the show for the transformational effect it has on young lives.”