Zen launch Office 365 service Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Update GS1’s Network & Infrastructure
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HELLO Z en is proud to announce its continued investment in its next-generation network and Welcome to Zen Bytes
We have also added Microsoft Office 365 to our portfolio of services. The productivity suite is a familiar cloud-based alternative to your traditional applications. And, if you have Zen’s network or connectivity services you have the ability to connect securely to 365 via Microsoft Azure DirectConnect, or even integrate the service as part of your corporate network. Read more on page XX> Last year, our commitment to improving customer service was recognised by the BCS in the Computing UK IT Industry Awards when we were named Services Company of the Year. We’ve now beenshortlisted for adoubleaward win - Services Company of the Year and Best Place toWork in IT. Winners are announced nextmonth, sowe’ll keepyouupdated! As always, if you have any feedback or would like to speak with me, please get in contact.
further exchange expansion, growing from 270 PoPs to 400 in a matter of months. Zen’s Technical Director, Jon Bauer is confident the multi-million pound investment will support Zen’s future as a carrier-grade service provider. I’m sure that it will position us as a great alternative to the larger carriers that do not offer the same level of customer care and service that Zen does. The network development allows us to continue to meet the growing needs of our customers and allow us to work to rigorous SLA’s, such as zero packet loss, uptime and performance targets, whilst we’re able to provide fast fault recovery. The exchange roll-out will increase Zen’s on-net presence across the UK, so we’re able to provide cost- effective connectivity to more business customers than ever before. Read more on page XX >
Martin O’Donnell Managing Director, Corporate & Mid-Market firstname.lastname@example.org
Major investment in
and exchange expansion
Since the beginning of the year Zen has embarked on a multi-million pound investment in developing our Next Generation Network and is further expanding our exchange footprint across the UK.
WORK INPROGRESS: Upcomingmaintenancework
As part of the new network roll-out we have scheduled maintenance work. This work will not only maintain the service we currently offer but also enable Zen to start work towards delivering a network that is fit for the future. Moredetailed targetedcommunications will take place closer to the time to advise you if any of your services are expected to be impacted by the planned work. Except in the case of fault conditions we will provide a minimumof five working days’ notice.
The maintenance slots are laid out below and will take place each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday running from 11pm to 6am. Rest assured we take great care to ensure that the impact to our customers is kept to a minimum. The maintenance activities being performed do not necessarily mean there will be any interruptions to your service. However, you should consider any services that might be ‘at risk’. If any of your services are expected to be impacted by the planned work, we will notify you in advance.
As a part of the strategic network project, Zen is also expanding its exchange footprint across the UK. We currently have 27 0 Points of Presence in exchanges across the UK, this is set to continue to over 400 by January 2017 . The expanding network footprint means that our on-net presence is growing, this gives us the opportunity to offer more cost-effective connectivity to more businesses than ever before. Connectivity is the lifeblood of the UK economy and as companies demand ever-increasing amounts of data, they need robust and affordable infrastructure they can rely on. Zen’s Network & Infrastructure Technical Architect, Andy Furnell said: “ Zen will build upon our existing network assets, extending into two additional core network locations, and refreshing our national core network technology
We’re delighted to announce that Zen has embarked on a project to inject significant investment in our Next Generation Network. Zen’s Technical Director, Jon Bauer is confident the investment will support Zen’s future as a carrier- grade service provider. Jon says: “We have designed and planned Zen’s Next Generation Network (NGN) to not only support our aim to provide the best service in the industry, but to position Zen as a real alternative to larger carriers, which don’t offer the same level of service, support and care to their customers as Zen. “The NGN will adhere to stringent service level agreements, engineered to meet high-availability standards, zero packet loss across the entire UKnetwork, performancebenchmarks and superfast fault resolution.”
to meet the growing demands of our connectivity customers.
“Our new network will be built using the latest software-defined technologies, to deliver an even more efficient and flexible service for new and existing customers. We are very excited to be working with market-leading vendors and technology to deliver a network that will be the beating heart of our business for the next five years and beyond.” Martin O’Donnell, Managing Director of Zen’s Corporate & Mid-Market division, says: “Our investment underscores how we remain firmly focussed on providing excellent customer service by expanding and increasing our network capabilities to deliver high-quality services across the UK.”
We’ve invested in Microsoft Office 365 so that we are able to offer a reliable and efficient productivity solution to our clients, and as more and more large enterprises move their applications to the cloud - what can you expect from Zen’s Office 365 service?
T he addition of Office 365 to the Zen portfolio of services gives our Corporate and Mid-Market customers access to the de facto productivity platform for medium to large enterprises. Office 365 currently enjoys 25% market penetration and is currently growing by 10% each year. Office365 fromZenenables your company to communicate and collaborate anywhere, anytime, from any device by connecting your workforce in a cost-effective and efficient way.
“Moreover, 365 offers considerable reductions in IT costs as organisations no longer have to invest in expensive traditional infrastructure with a costly maintenance and support bill. There are no more patches and updates for Office 365 – which is music to many IT technical professional’s ears.” As a long-standing Microsoft Gold Hosting Partner and Microsoft Gold Solution Provider Zen ha s the necessary expertise to offer a variety of support packages from simple platform availability delivered fromour UK-based operations centre, through to full configuration assistance. There’s also a range of Zen’s suite of professional services, enabling you to transition to Office 365 with ease and get the most out of the products rich feature set.
corporate network, guaranteeing the quality of service and security of data and applications. You also have the option to add a private connection from your business to Microsoft Azure’s ExpressRoute – offering a private, secure and high-performance connection to Office 365. Product Manager Adam Clements says: “Our strong track record for networking, connectivity and Zen’s UK-based customer service, backed by Office 365’s 99.9% availability makes the transition to Office 365 both economically and operationally compelling for our customers. “Consolidating providers means that organisations can benefit from one point of call should any problems occur and it allows Zen to identify any issues as we have full visibility across a customer’s corporate network and their Office 365 estate.
It delivers all the applications your users are familiar working with, so the migration from traditional to modern Office is streamlined and easy for the organisations workforce. There is a range of Office 365 packages available with the options to scale users up and down on a monthly basis as and when your business needs to.
Common features include: • Business class email, calendar and contacts with a 50GB inbox • File storage and sharing with 1TB storage for each user • Unlimited online meetings, instant messaging and conferencing with audio and HD video • Corporate social networking for collaborationandcommunications • Advanced data security against malware and viruses • Enterprise management of apps • Intuitive portal for easy user management Not only will Office 365 users benefit fromscalability and flexibility they can also be assured of reliability and security when they adopt Office 365 with Zen. The uptime SLA is 99.9% and our network customers also have the option to access and integrate Office 365 into their
Microsoft Partner Conference 2016 When the Chief Information Officer at Facebook tells you that Microsoft Office 365 has been deployed across the company’s 13,000 global staff you need to sit up and take notice. At th is years Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Facebook’s CIO Tim Campos gave a cheerleader presentation on Microsoft Office 365, underscoring some of the reasons why Zen is launching the business productivity solution in our portfolio. Read more on page xx >
M ore than 16,000 delegates attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto where the software giant revealed its vision for the future. Representing Zen were our Head of Cloud & Technical Services, John Lyons and Adam Clements, Cloud Product Manager. Here’s what they learned.
What we learned at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference
I f there was one major theme emerging among the delegates at this years’ Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) it was that “Microsoft has got itsmojo back”. As a long-standing Microsoft Gold Hosting Partner and Microsoft Gold Solution Provider we attended this years’ WPC alongside 800 other UK delegates with great anticipation, not least because we have witnessed After the leadership of Steve Ballmer the new incumbent CEO Satya Nadella has presided over a rebirth of the company and envisioned a new future for Microsoft and its place in a connected society. As he said in his keynote speech: “We’re here because we were successful, not only in being able to imagine the turn, the next platform, but also because we changed. We changed the core of who we are in terms of our organisation and how we work and our value to our customers.” first-hand Microsoft’s recent transformation as its segues into a new dynamic future.
Office 365 Update Facebook’s CIO Tim Campos told WPC delegates why his company had adopted Office 365: “Microsoft 365 complements how we work with intelligence, flexibility, and it is continually evolving. It is globally deployed, accessible on every platformwe support, and it is secure…we’re not just buying the capabilities that Microsoft Office 365 offers today. We are also buying capabilities that Microsoft will offer over time, and expect even greater things to come.” The key line there is ‘we are also buying capabilities that Microsoft will offer over time’ and this is precisely why Zen recently launched Office 365 as a key product in our portfolio of services.
Azure Update While Azure may be playing catch up to Amazon Web Services cloud solution, Microsoft’s cloud offering is now growing by 120% year on year. Microsoft is confident it will grab a significant portion of a market which is expected to be worth $122bn by 2020. The company is making significant investment in Azure and it now has tens of thousands of engineers dedicated to the product and is rolling it out into 26 global regions. Crucially, Microsoft is investing in its presence the UK and will have two data centres coming on stream by the end of this year. At present it has two data centres in Europe – in Ireland and the Netherlands – and the new data centres in the UK will
Often, a major barrier to adopting new technology in organisations is that staff have to learn a new way of doing things. Microsoft is trying to get around this by building a central ‘hub’ with apps that people are already familiar with and continually improving it. This is the logic behind the new Dynamics 365 software being launched. Dynamics 365 is designed to empower business applications (across operations) to have access to built-in insights and intelligence. It’s both a ‘people-centric’ and ‘platform-centric’ approach. Skype for Business Update Real-time communications technology is now a $47bn market opportunity and Microsoft is keen to grab a large
Microsoft are also continuing to expand the global footprint of Skype for Business services. PSTN Conferencing is now available to customers in 92 countries. In addition, PSTN calling is now available in the UK providing inbound and outbound calling, voicemail, phone numbers and calling plans. What really impressed us at WPC was the new automatic transcription and translation in Skype Meeting Broadcast which lets you produce, host and broadcast meetings to large online audiences. This new service will provide live captioning of presentations and allow viewers to choose instantaneous translation into their preferred language from a list of supported languages.
He also laid out a clear Microsoft mission to “empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more” by creating more personal computing, reinventing productivity, business process and building the intelligent cloud platform. Nadella said that Microsoft was focused on the new workloads and growth that came from its cloud offerings, setting itself apart from rival services by delivering enhanced support for developers and options tocustomiseapplicationsaroundAzure. For us the key themes we brought back with us were the drive for digital transformationwith customers; the breadth and depth of Microsoft’s enterprise services encompassing cloud infrastructure, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Office 365; and Microsoft’s commitment to partners like Zen to help us help our customers succeed.
ensure significantly improved availability and low latency for customers based in the UK.
chunk of this area said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.
Microsoft has introduced a new set of resources to help partners like Zen unlock the opportunity around Skype for Business and Office 365.
Zen goes for double in the UK IT Awards 2016
Zen’s commitment to customer services was underscored late last year when we were named Services Company of the Year at the BCS and Computing UK IT Industry Award at a glittering ceremony held in London.
It’s official: Zen is one of the best companies towork for in the UK
MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE Company of the Year and Best Place to Work in IT. Presented by the BCS, the Charted Institute for IT, the coveted awards are a platform for IT professionals to celebrate best practice, innovation and excellence across the industry. Zen not only has to demonstrate the delivery of first-class IT services but also high-levels of customer satisfaction for which we are already renowned. The awards scored Zen in four criteria: professionalism in serving customers; excellence in delivery; a spirit of technological innovation and demonstrable success. I n this Olympic year we are hoping to score a double as we have been shortlisted in t wo categories - Services
We’re delighted to announce that Zen has been named as one of the best 100 companies to work for in Britain.
Stuart Sumner, Editor of Computing, said: “The UK IT Industry Awards are rigorously judged by a panel of experts which truly celebrate professionalism and innovation in IT today. Every winner represents the very best of the IT profession.” Having grown from a pioneering ISP 20 years ago, today we are a multi-award-winning company that provides a full range of data, voice and cloud services to business customers across the UK, giving them the capabilities they need to communicate, collaborate and thrive in a highly connected world. Winners will be announced at a ceremony next month, so we'll keep you updated.
E arlier this year we won The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies Awards which is a great accolade and a real credit to the 400-plus people who help us deliver fantastic technology services across the UK. It’s particularly nice to pick up the award as we celebrate our twentieth anniversary as a company. Caroline Taylor, our HR Director, says: “We are proud to be recognised as a best company to work for. At Zen, we work to three key principles – happy staff, happy customers and happy suppliers – so our people are our greatest asset and we have a strong focus on creating
Caroline adds: “Zen are thrilled to have achieved our two-star accreditation which ranks our company alongside well-respected household names like Adobe UK, American Express, Nationwide, Skipton Building Society and Zurich Insurance. “However, what is really important about this research is the insight it gives us into what we are doing well and what could be better about working at Zen. This will ensure that we continue to drive improvements and ensure employees remain happy, engaged and eager to contribute to the teams’ future success.”
a working environment where our people can genuinely thrive.” Zen Internet picked up the award at a special ceremony in London hosted by The Sunday Times and Best Companies, the organisation behind the awards. More than 1,000 businesses entered the awards with some 250,000 employees surveyed, making it the largest survey of workplace engagement in the UK. Best Companies surveyed bothemployeesandmanagement to get an overview of the Zen’s people, policies and practices
The UK IT Industry Awards are rigorously judged by a panel of experts which truly celebrate professionalism and innovation in IT today.
Zen is immensely proud to work with a range of brilliant medium-sized businesses, and it’s excellent to see the contribution you’re making not only to your industries, but the economy as a whole.
and more importantly how these are viewed by staff.
UK’s barcode administrator GS1 upgrades network and infrastructurewith Zen
Z en has delivered a managed cloud and network service to GS1 UK, the organisation responsible for administering barcodes in the UK. GS1 UK is a community of more than 29,000 members working in retail, foodservice, healthcare and manufacturing. It is responsible for the distribution and monitoring of barcodes across the UK. We are now proud to be working alongside the team at GS1 UK to design and deliver a fully-managed cloud and WAN solution, enabling GS1 UK to migrate all its business
applications and web services from a number of existing third-party providers to a single, dedicated partner in Zen. Martin O’Donnell, Managing Director of Zen’s Corporate &Mid-Market division, says: “We are working with GS1 UK to deliver a fully-managed service which will allow them to consolidate their existing IT infrastructure with a cloud-based solution underpinned by our robust network services.
“As GS1’s existing platformwas reaching the end of its life cycle they quickly saw the benefits of migrating their services to the cloud, a solution that not onlyprovides enterprise-grade compute, but offers an infrastructure that’sscalable,flexibleandanaffordable operational expenditure, rather than a huge capex investment.” Tomeet GS1’s availability requirements Zen isalsodeliveringadisaster recovery service to ensuring high availability across multiple data centres in diverse geographic locations to ensure business continuity.
We are working with GS1 UK to deliver a fully-managed service Martin O’Donnell, Managing Director, Zen’s Corporate &Mid-Market Division
Zen bolsters Cloud services with Nutanix partnership
We’re happy to announce that Zen is now partnering with Nutanix - the industry leading hyper-converged infrastructure provider - as part of our commitment to further developing our cloud services.
Zen Internet has become one of the first UK telecoms companies to deploy the latest Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform for delivery of public cloud services. The result is an immensely reliable, flexible and efficient next generation cloud solution for Zen’s rapidly expanding cloud services customer base. The state-of-the-art Nutanix platform allows Zen to offer its Zen Cloud customers the agility, economics and security of a private cloud platform utilising high performance hyper- converged infrastructure. Zen Cloud is currently growing its customer base by more than 200% every 12 months. “We needed to make this investment to increase storage, support our growth and support a range of new cloud offerings,” says Zen technical director Jon Bauer. “And more than that, this is another example of us refreshing our technology and setting up our business for the future.”
The new deployment means Zen Cloud customers will benefit from an even more robust, resilient and secure system, and enjoy extraordinary flexibility in usage and cost. The intelligent software from Nutanix monitors each customer’s needs and focuses resources accordingly. Infrastructure-as-a-service customers can take as much or as little space on Zen’s platform as they want at any given time, confident in the knowledge that they will only ever be charged for what they use. “This is great news for Zen Cloud customers, who will benefit from a truly responsive and cost-effective solution. At the same time, it is further evidence of the way Zen is transforming from a traditional ISP to a carrier. The Nutanix platform is further evidence of us investing in true carrier-grade infrastructure,” says Jon.