Computacenter is Europe’s leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services. It advises customers on their IT strategy, implements the most appropriate technology from a wide range of leading vendors and manages technology infrastructures on their behalf. Its 12,000 employees deliver on-site services in nearly 60 countries and supply IT hardware and software to customers in more than 100 countries.
The firm offers its customers disaster recovery (DR) provision as an optional additional service to minimise the impact of disruption in the event of an incident. Service Manager Mick Fensome explains why the firm chose Sungard AS as its business continuity partner: “The repercussions of downtime for our customers include revenue loss, reputational damage and could even affect their ability to stay in business. It’s vital we can offer them a best-ofbreed disaster recovery service that gives them the peace of mind they can recover quickly and effectively from an interruption.”
One of Computacenter’s many customers is global healthcare company Sanofi , which in the UK is a major supplier and partner to the NHS. It is committed to giving patients access to innovative medicines while also improving their quality of life. The company specialises in providing patients and healthcare professionals with effective treatments in fi ve therapeutic areas: diabetes, oncology, cardiovascular/thrombosis, central nervous system and internal medicine. Through Computacenter, Sanofi contracts Sungard AS’s disaster recovery services to cover the vital servers at the heart of its business. These run its manufacturing applications, databases, essential business systems and email among others. Sanofi runs a 24/7/365 manufacturing operation producing lifesaving drugs for cancer and other diseases. Whereas it has a three day recovery window in the event the server room is out of action, its production systems are considered so critical that, by law, each must failover to a manual system to avoid manufacturing stoppages.
Gary Pooley, Senior Technical Specialist for Sanofi , is proud of the company’s record of high availability, which culminated in its Dagenham production site beating global contenders to win a coveted supply chain award. He says, “As well as being governed by US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, we are subject to rigorous scrutiny by our numerous customers worldwide and stringent internal and external audits are a regular occurrence for us. We’re very transparent.”
His colleague, Infrastructure Team Leader Colin Wingrove, explains, “We work in a lifesaving industry and our primary concern – even above profit – is to get treatments to the patient. It’s imperative that we are able to deliver and for that reason our availability target is 100%.” This is no mere pipe dream. Colin is justifiably proud of the fact that system availability now meets that figure, compared with levels of around 70% when he joined Sanofi 25 years ago. With approximately 90% of its production processes managed by Information Systems around-theclock, this is no mean feat.
Both Gary and Colin find the relationship between Computacenter and Sungard AS gives them peace of mind. Gary remarks, “The technical support we’ve received has been fantastic – they’ve been able to deliver everything we’ve asked of them. There’s very much a sense that we’re all in it together, which gives us confidence. They’ve become an extension of our own team.” As for Computacenter, DR Co-ordinator Denise Raven comments, “I’ve found Sungard to be consistent, reliable and proactive and view them as a partner. They work hard to make sure customers are happy. We’ve built a strong relationship – we may be separate companies but we’re a good team.”
“We work in a lifesaving industry and our primary concern is to get care to the patient. It’s imperative that we are able to deliver and for that reason our availability target is 100%.” Colin Wingrove, Infrastructure Team Leader, Sanofi
“The repercussions of downtime for our customers include revenue loss, reputational damage and could even affect their ability to stay in business. It’s vital we can offer them a best-of-breed disaster recovery service that gives them the peace of mind they can recover quickly and effectively from an interruption.” Mick Fensome, Service Manager, Computacenter