People 1st is the sector skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism. As a government recognised, industry-focused body it supports the development of skills and training across 24 industries.
Together they contribute over £63 billion in GVA each year, and employ approximately 2.9 million people in more than 419,000 establishments.
Their aim is to engage with as many employers and employees as possible within each of these industries, making the case for skills and productivity. The organisation provides three key services; research, vocational learning and training.
Employing around 100 people across a number of locations in the UK, People 1st is both growing and changing on a significant scale. Taking on new services and partnering with other providers has created a constant need to change and adapt to grasp new opportunities.
IT provides a vital backbone to all the services that People 1st provides, enabling access to numerous applications to users across the UK.
In 2011, with growth continuing at a pace, People 1st made a decision to bring in additional expertise to help develop the existing infrastructure and ensure it could continue to underpin the business growth. Connexion was engaged to provide a fully managed IT service and advice on IT strategy.
Connexion, through their usual approach of undertaking an initial audit, created a development plan which encompassed the existing network of 9 servers and end user PC’s. In addition, it covered areas such as backup and disaster recovery, software configurations, software licence compliance and infrastructure documentation.
The key challenge was finding a way to transition the infrastructure onto a platform that would enable a flexible approach to growth whilst improving the efficiency of use at the same time as retaining stability and dependability.