Thales Alenia Space

Situation

TAS is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%), and is a key European player in space telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, exploration and orbital infrastructures. TAS had increased their footprint in the UK by acquiring SEA, a Bristol based Space company, together with an office at the European Space Agency in Harwell, Oxford. There were a number of disparate networks, systems and technology inherited within the acquisition including secure remote channel access to France.   

Requirement

A service partner to manage, maintain and support their expanding UK network.  Users have a variety of technology and devices and are located at company offices in Bristol and Harlow, plus some mobile users.  

Solution

Solvings undertook a due diligence review of the network and baselined the TAS infrastructure prior to implementing a service desk to support TAS business.  We introduced the Maxdesk service management toolset to provide monitoring and remote management of the distributed infrastructure and devices.

We adopted a partnering approach with TAS and due to secure processes and systems that had to be navigated, we established an on-site presence to assist in the provision of a variety of solutions and are developing bespoke products, processes, procedure and services in collaboration with the TAS team in the UK and in France in what is a busy and complex environment.

We established standard service desk features including asset tracking and a service request (Change Request) system via our Maxdesk service desk that allows users, and head office in France to see the progress on tickets raised. SLAs underpin the solution and we have ensured all parties achieve and adhere to them – it is a two-way process.

Outcome

Our Service Desk has been a great success for TAS employees who are no longer distracted with IT support issues as technical help is on-site.  The network is expanding and is forecast to double in size over this year and new projects recently successfully completed were to introduce new facilities e.g. minor network technical refresh and a new Visitor Wi-Fi network installed in both sites.

The integration of the new (Bristol) company follows a smooth network transition. Demand for support has grown and the number of projects - new server built and implemented - outside of BAU has resulted in the provision of an additional on-site engineer.

From the outset, this service looked beyond a standard Service Desk function into a technical partnering relationship where Solvings now undertake new business requirements that had previously required secondment of staff from France to complete.

We are improving the engineering support for IT within the organisation and are introducing recognisable Service Management best practice through products, process and procedures, establishing disciplined routines to mitigate risk and improve system performance and availability.

Solvings is our service company for IT operations in our new subsidiary, Thales Alenia Space UK. In our first year of contract we have found Solvings to be very flexible and willing to be reactive to the changing needs of our growing business. Solvings are proving to be a valuable partner offering us the level of service we were expecting. We look forward to building our partnership further.
— Patrick Roger, Thales Alenia Space

Our expanding remit has meant we’ve installed, configured and support:

  • Increased server base through user demand (from 12 to 34)
  • A new VOIP Phone system
  • A cross-site and inter-site data backup solutions 
  • MacAfee Encryption software on every mobile machine within the TAS-UK Domain 
  • SCCM for image/software installs

We continue to enhance our flexible working relationship with our client who has extended this service contract to 3 years.