The Business Challenge
Following the liquidation of the former Thomas Cook Group, IT Naturally were engaged by our customer to ensure all central network services previously provided by Thomas Cook UK continued to operate solely for our customer in Germany without any service disruption.
Review and preparation for final closure of all UK services
The liquidation of the former Thomas Cook Group was complex and took 4 months to complete due to the large number of legal entities involved, located in several countries. Working with Thomas Cook UK and the Special Managers appointed by the High Court to assist with the process, IT Naturally initiated several planning sessions with all concerned parties to document the ongoing services required by our customer post demerger and agree the legal transfer of such.
Key to these discussions was agreeing the final closure date of the UK Data Centre which provided the primary core network services across the former Thomas Cook Group and as used by our customer. This was eventually agreed as 21st January 2020 and so the IT Naturally network team arranged to be on-site at an agreed time at which point all related network hardware would be shut down from a Thomas Cook perspective and physically shipped across to Germany. To ensure the continuity of service during this time and prior to the date agreed, the IT Naturally network team switched across the production traffic to the secondary Data Centre in Germany. This ensured that when the UK Data Centre was closed the network services would remain operational. IT Naturally then physically shutdown the UK core network hardware on the agreed date/time and arranged for a specialist courier to ship the devices across to Germany.
Our customer in Germany then physically racked the hardware upon arrival in their HQ site and IT Naturally remotely configured it. The former UK primary network hardware was then configured to be secondary resilient hardware and the former secondary hardware in the German Data Centre to be the primary.
Whilst this work was underway, IT Naturally also worked with Colt to ensure the former Thomas Cook MPLS circuits were migrated and novated across to our customer. This required several new circuits being installed at our customer sites as the former Thomas Cook Group was in the middle of a MPLS network migration from Vodafone to Colt when it went into liquidation and Vodafone circuits were not being novated.
Customer Outcome – dedicated network with no loss of service throughout transformation
Following the cease of all former Thomas Cook Group network services on 21st January 2020, our customer continued to operate with no service disruption due to the preparation, planning and technical work undertaken by IT Naturally. The new customer network has since gone through several smaller transformations as the core network secondary hardware was installed in the German Data Centre to facilitate the closure of the old HQ site, a network within the new HQ site was implemented and a new IBM Cloud network was configured to facilitate the relocation of all customer servers. IT Naturally are currently working with our customer on the move of the core network from the existing Data Centre to a new Data Centre, which is scheduled to be completed early next year.