Delivering an independent assurance service for a network infrastructure redesign proposal for an NHS Foundation Trust

The Client

This NHS Foundation Trust appointed ECS to provide an independent assurance service ahead of a major network infrastructure redesign by a multinational IT service provider.

The Challenge

The planned redesign of the NHS Foundation Trust’s data centre, WAN and branch office network infrastructure had hit a considerable stumbling block early on.  The incumbent IT service provider had submitted a 140-page High Level Design (HLD) document to the trust at a time when the relationship between the two organisations was deteriorating fast. The trust’s confidence in the IT service provider was low due to a series of recent network issues that at one point had left the X hospitals run by the trust with minimum network service levels for an entire 24 hours.

The trust decided to approach an experienced third party to undertake an independent assurance assessment of the service provider’s 140-page High Level Design (HLD) document prior to the project going ahead.

ECS was engaged to review and make recommendations on the proposed architectures and solutions. Time was tight. The trust needed ECS to mobilise a team and complete the assurance service within just three weeks.

The Solution

ECS mobilised a team comprising a network principal consultant, a firewall principal consultant, plus a project management service layer professional to handle forward planning, documentation, presentation of the findings and all approvals.

The team began by undertaking a comprehensive review of the HLD document to:-

  • Understand the specific context and challenges relating to the client;
  • Validate the proposed architectures and solutions;
  • Identify any non-standard elements, and any areas in which standard best practice elements had been ignored;
  • Identify any gaps or missing areas, technologies or solutions;
  • Provide high-level recommendations, and a pragmatic assessment of where further details or amendments were required.

Why ECS?

“ECS presented a measured, technical evaluation that inspired confidence in their recommendations.”
Provider Account Exec.

  • Rapid Mobilisation and Completion. ECS is experienced in assembling and deploying dedicated teams at short notice to meet tight client deadlines.
  • Wide Scope. ECS has dedicated expertise in data centre, WAN and branch office network infrastructure that clients rely on time and again.
  • Measured Evaluation. ECS’s unique blend of deep technical expertise and robust business analysis capabilities ensure that clients’ technical and business requirements are always met.

The Results

The ECS team was mobilised within a week and completed the review, analysis and sharing of its recommendations with both parties within the two-week timeframe.

Additional highlights included:

  • Providing a full technical analysis of the proposed technologies and designs, based on a thorough understanding of the impact of any changes on the daily operations of the hospitals. This approach ensured that the proposed technologies and designs would meet the operational requirements of the trust and its hospitals going forward.
  • Making recommendations on how the redesign proposals could be enhanced, drawing on the team’s vendor-independent track record of picking the right tools and approaches for the job. Covering – Network routing architecture and structure, Wireless and BYOD standards, and overall Security Strategy.
  • Leading an open discussion between the client and service provider, at a time when relationships were strained, on the specific architectures and solutions required to support the organisation’s needs and plans. This helped to bring a rapprochement between the two parties as they moved forward together to the next phase of the project.