Motability is a registered charity with the vision that no disabled person should be disadvantaged due to poor access to transportation. Its core activity is to award grants to disabled people, enabling them to access the car or adaptations they need via the Motability Scheme.
For some people, having access to a safe and reliable vehicle can mean the difference between being able to go out or being stuck inside their own home. Given the difference this work can make to someone’s life and personal mobility, it is crucial that Motability can quickly get back to helping their beneficiaries in the event of an IT disaster. For its data and computing requirements, Motability had previously contracted a workplace recovery site from their colocation provider in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, just north of London.
In the wake of the 2020 pandemic, more staff began to work remotely and businesses chose to consolidate their IT requirements to save on cost. In response to these changes, Motability’s provider decided to close its small colocation facility, giving notice to its customers. Motability needed to move their rack of critical IT equipment into a secure hosting location that was situated within reach of its UK headquarters. Power, security, cost and technical expertise were also crucial factors in the decision making.
Motability approached a colocation industry broker to help in their search for a new colocation provider, who quickly recommended ServerChoice thanks to its solid reputation for security and resilience, combined with convenient data centre locations in Stevenage and Harlow. Motability selected ServerChoice’s Stevenage data centre as it was in easy reach of Motability’s head offices, but crucially was far enough away to provide operational resilience in a disaster recovery scenario.
Other providers were considered by Motability, with sites offered as far away as Nottingham in the East Midlands and London’s Docklands. All of which, however, were not suitable owing to inconvenient locations, insufficient specifications, or prohibitive cost.
“We wanted our server equipment to be in a secure location with strong physical security measures, remote monitoring and with security personnel,” said Dean Robinson, Head of Information Technology at Motability. “I have experience of various data centre sites and know what ‘good’ looks like, but as a charity, costs were also a key consideration.”
“I visited ServerChoice’s Stevenage facility and found it was the ideal travelling distance from our Harlow HQ, creating the perfect disaster recovery location,” Robinson continued.
“As one of the UK’s leading transportation charities for the disabled, we deal with sensitive customer information daily, and must comply with stringent data protection requirements. With the secure infrastructure and operational practices offered by ServerChoice, we are confident we have a partner who can help us meet this strict criterion.”
Motability used ServerChoice’s free FlexMove service to transport its equipment to the Stevenage data centre: “The FlexMove service was excellent and ensured all of the equipment arrived in time and worked seamlessly from deployment,” added Robinson. “FlexMove made it not only easy for us, but time and cost efficient too.”
“There were no negative aspects during the move or the installation process,” he added. “ServerChoice worked quickly to ensure our applications were online as soon as possible. As such, we hit our deadline, and the transition from our previous colocation provider to ServerChoice was exceptionally smooth.”
Motability is ultimately pleased with the resilient infrastructure, security and cost-effective services provided by ServerChoice. “As a charity, we have to be very careful in how we spend our money, and I would recommend ServerChoice to any organisation of our size and type,” Robinson said. “Disaster recovery is a cost that you’ll hopefully never have to benefit from, but it’s crucial that you have provisions in place.”
Motability also make use of the remote testing systems provided by ServerChoice to monitor their systems remotely. “My staff are also complimentary of the facilities at the ServerChoice site,” he continued. “It’s a great space to work in when we’re on-site, and ServerChoice’s remote hands team are very helpful too.”