Havas Media is in the midst of a two-pronged business transformation strategy. The marketing communications company is moving away from the traditional server room and consolidating its global operations so its business in almost every of the 144 countries where it operates is together in the same major city.
In the UK, the server rooms at the British branch of Havas were bursting at the seams. The company turned to Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to produce a more effective alternative at its new offices in central London.
"We've just moved about 16,000 people into a single building, bringing 19 agencies into one location," says UK director of IT Alan Ward. "We've moved to a converged infrastructure thanks to HP.
"Performance is fantastic and HP continues to support us and advise us in what we need to do and how we go forward."
The flexible capacity services that HPE offers lets customers scale up and down as required in a consumption-based payment model deployed on-premise. The company is marketing itself as a one-stop data shop for customisable stack-agnostic services encompassing public, private and managed cloud options suitable for all business requirements from local to global.
The Havas IT team had their own vision of their future data storage setup. While other vendors offered a solution in a box off the shelf, HPE promised a more customised alternative.
"We started our journey in [September] 2015, looking for a suitable integrator or manufacturer, and we had a very good idea of what we were looking for," says Ward.
"Initially we gave all of the vendors the opportunity to respond with what their recommendations were. A number of vendors really didn't react to that very well, whereas HP did, and HP were flexible enough to work with us and adapt as we gave them more information.
"HP defined through a number of different iterations how best to achieve what we wanted to do, and that really for us is our own private cloud."
Havas completed the migration in January. The company now has one data centre in north London and another in west London where it keeps all of its agency data.
The foundation of the new setup is the HPE 3PAR StoreServ flash-optimised data storage system, which is designed to handle unpredictable workloads. Solid state drives (SSDs) designed for data storage and solid state memory help Havas operate as a shared service to its clients.
Havas combines HPE's Operations Orchestration unified automation platform, the Flexible Capacity infrastructure service and its Cloud Service Automation deployment and management software to provide adaptable services usually purchased through external suppliers. The HPE offering was also attractive for its compatibility with the needs of Havas' existing clients, such as Telefonica and IBM.
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