Fujitsu to help overhaul Balfour Beatty messaging platform

Networking

by Joe Curtis| 06 May 2014

Construction firm hopes Fujitsu will help cut IT costs by 20% after profit warning.

Construction firm Balfour Beatty has picked Fujitsu to overhaul its email system as its chief resigned over a profit warning today.

Britain's largest building company signed a five-year deal last July with the Japanese business to transform its IT estate to cut expenditure by 20% come 2016, based on its outlay in 2012/13.

Last week, it announced an extension of the deal for Fujitsu to create a new messaging platform, to replace its 14 current email systems over the coming year.

CIO Danny Reeves told CBR that better communication could help the construction firm become more successful by sharing knowledge between the various arms of the business, after chief executive Andrew McNaughton today announced his resignation as Beatty issued a profit warning - stating profits would total somewhere between £140m to £160m.

Reeves said: "Everybody will have a single email address of balfourbeatty.com. Beatty has a vast array of expertise and knowledge and sometimes it's a challenge to get to all that information and knowledge.

"The whole programme of work is really an enabler for a more successful business and a more customer centric approach to how Balfour Beatty operates."

The firm has tasked Fujitsu with replacing its various email systems, including Lotus Notes, with a single, collaborative platform centered on Microsoft Exchange 2013, as well as introducing Microsoft Lync for instant messaging.

"By having that messaging platform form part of our collaboration network that will make it easier for our customers to access that information and knowledge right across our organisation," said Reeves.

"The new platform will help us to communicate more easily internally from one end of the business to another, being able to look at each other's calendars, diaries and all those sorts of things."

Reeves called the messaging platform update a "natural progression" to the original deal with Fujitsu, and said Beatty was looking at virtualisation as a way to cut costs.

The agreement already covers Fujitsu reducing Beatty's 1,500 servers over 48 UK sites to just a third of that number, the majority of which will run from two Fujitsu data centres.

Balfour Beatty employs around 14,000 people in the UK, and leases Fujitsu hardware for the staff, with Reeves saying desktops and laptops comprise around 70-80% of that, the remaining 20% including devices like tablets.

The construction company is beginning to pilot the hardware and Reeves said it will roll out the new messaging service over the next six to 12 months.

 

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