Established in 1879, Sunderland AFC is a professional football club based in the city of Sunderland. Competing in League One, the third tier of English football, they play their home games at the iconic and world-renowned Stadium of Light.

 

The Challenge

On or off the pitch, communication is vital for any football club – and when every second counts, speed and efficiency are the key to success.

For some time, the Wearside-based club had been making the most of an old and outdated telephony system, far from the needs and expected standards of the club – resulting with the need for a full technology refresh.

Sunderland AFC approached Advantex to not only refresh the existing technology but to create a communications solution that would interconnect the whole club – from the ticket office to the club shop, the stadium to the training ground, the solution needed to be flexible and scalable to meet the demands of a growing football club.

 

The Solution

Replacing an entire communications system across multiple sites may seem like a daunting task, but with decades of experience, Advantex was able to design a solution utilising the most advanced and state-of-the-art communication technology available.

Using Mitel’s MiVoice Virtual Business software on two VMWare platforms allowed Advantex to efficiently, and more importantly, cost-effectively install a high-availability and disaster recovery solution that connects the entire football club with no disruption or downtime.

 

The Results

The Sunderland-based football club now benefits from a 24/7 supported scalable and reliable phone system that allows exceptional communication across numerous club sites.

Sunderland AFC has a full disaster recovery solution in place, meaning should there be an outage, users will automatically failover to the secondary unit with everything available – allowing them to keep focused on what matters most, success on the pitch.

 

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Formed in 1876, Middlesbrough F.C. is a professional football club based in Teesside, England. Competing in the second tier of English football, the Championship side plays their games at the iconic Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough F.C. approached Advantex to improve the communications and ticketing system in order to deal with peak times and increased demand for tickets through the club.

 

A Top of the Table Solution

Middlesbrough F.C. was already engaged with a third-party supplier, utilising a Samsung telephony system throughout the premise, and with the system being outdated and unreliable, the need for a technology refresh was created.
Mitel 250 Phone
Advantex advised and implemented the Mitel 250 system, instantly increasing the reliability and efficiency of their communication infrastructure.

In addition to the Mitel telephony equipment, Advantex installed a state-of-the-art call management system which was deployed across the retail, ticketing and main reception numbers to manage calls via a cloud system before hitting the Mitel phone system. This allowed the club to manage their phone lines reactively and more efficiently – especially during periods of high volume and demand.

 

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The racecourse, located in High Gosforth Park, has been the home of the biggest racing event in the North East, the Northumberland Plate, since 1891.

Over the last two decades the racecourse has seen an investment of over £11m, including the development of new facilities for racegoers, new stands, a parade ring and a straight mile flat track and most recently, a brand new floodlighting system that illuminates the track during night meets, the car park and other outdoor areas.

Saving Time with IP Building Management

IP Building Management Solutions for your Digital Transformation

Utility Connections, who are responsible for all of the power works on site, approached Advantex, an IT & Communication specialist based in Gateshead, to help them provide a remote IP-based management solution for the new floodlighting system.

The problem with the existing system was that it required highly trained staff to manually walk the track and turn on the lights. In addition, the process took over an hour to turn lights on before the meet and the same to turn them off again afterwards.

Advantex were invited to design a remote lighting system that was user-friendly enough to be operated by any member of the racecourse staff, not just specially trained ones, whilst also enabling remote access for system maintenance and operation.

Solving Problems at the Touch of a Button

Advantex’s CCNA-certified network design and data cabling experience made them the perfect choice to find an IP-based solution to the problem. An IP-based solution would allow the Racecourse to leverage their existing network infrastructure whilst also giving them all the remote functionality they needed.

Having gone through all of the training and certification to become a Paxton10 Platinum partner, Advantex had the expertise and knowledge to propose a bespoke IP building management system based on the powerful Paxton10 platform.

  • The bespoke design would successfully allow any member of staff to turn on all the track lighting at the convenient and easy touch of a button – from any device connected to the internet.
  • The proposed solution would reduce the need to train manual staff to turn on and off the lights and reduce the amount of time necessary to complete that task.
  • In addition, having IP access would give Advantex the perfect opportunity to maintain the system and run regular testing to ensure optimal performance throughout the year.

Raising the Profile of Evening Racing at Newcastle Racecourse

IP Building Management at Newcastle Racecourse

The proposed solution was agreed and installed in 2017.

Racecourse Operation Manager, Paul Elliot has said of the solution since it’s installation that having the ability to remotely turn on and off the lights has helped the racecourse to fulfill its potential as a leading entertainment venue providing twilight and evening race meets.

The IP Building Management solution successfully enabled any member of the racecourse staff to remotely turn on and off the lights, which means the entire process now takes around 10 minutes, rather than over an hour. A boon to staff and local residents alike, who now no longer have to suffer floodlighting late into the evening, well past the time when the last race has completed.

Operationally, the installation was completed to the proposed budget and on time with forecasts.

Advantex continue to offer support and maintenance to the racecourse and are ready to continue to help realise its ongoing ambition to remain the leading race venue in the North.

Can We Help You With Something Similar?

Remote lighting is just a small snapshot of what is possible when you make full use of the power of your existing network infrastructure to deliver innovative solutions.

From loss-preventing early-warning signs in factories via IP Surveillance to the cost-saving benefits of automated facilities management systems, we can help you realise maximum value from your assets through the use of advanced technology.

Not sure if we can help? Ask us and be surprised by the possibilities.

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Hitachi Rail, one of the world’s leading suppliers of railway engines and rolling stock, opened its new £82m facility in Newton Aycliffe in 2015, where more than 750 people are employed across a 32 acre site building upwards of 35 units each month. This includes work on the production of the new InterCity Express trains (IEP) for the East Coast Mainline and Great Western Mainline, as well as new AT200 commuter trains for Scotland.

Hitachi Rail

The Challenge

In keeping with a state-of-the art manufacturing complex, Hitachi required next generation, highly versatile and cost effective network-based IT services to meet the needs of an expanding workforce, operating in a modern, evolving production environment. The system also needed to be future proof so that it could accommodate growth, site expansion and the demands of additional technology.

The Solution

After a review of requirements, Advantex designed and installed an infrastructure that could support and deliver enterprise grade IT services and superfast wireless broadband connectivity site-wide. Incorporating the latest in audio-visual, Wi-Fi and network switching technology, the system was specifically engineered to provide high-grade site-wide voice and data services.

A key feature included the installation of wireless technology that enables production staff and engineers to complete inspection and audits using portable hand held devices during the production of train cars.

The Results

The solution Advantex created, which was delivered on time and to budget, not only meets but also exceeds the IT requirements of hundreds of staff and visitors to a site that’s currently seeing the first IEP trains produced going into passenger service on the Great Western Main Line.

In-built scalability has also been included as part of a bespoke solution, contributing to long term performance and delivering financial savings – the system can be extended easily and upgraded as future network needs change in line with Hitachi’s expansion and development plans for its Newton Aycliffe site.

Background

The elegant four-star Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel is located in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, surrounded by key attractions such as the iconic Newcastle United Football Club Stadium, China Town, the city centre shopping district and Newcastle University. It is within easy walking distance of the Theatre Royal, the Centre for Life, the rejuvenated Quayside and a great selection of restaurants and bars.

The building that the hotel occupies was once the home to the former Scottish and Newcastle Brewery regional offices and following renovation secured the coveted RICS North East Renaissance Award for Commercial Property of the Year.

The Challenge

The Sandman needed to upgrade its internet service and infrastructure to ensure customers were able to benefit from fast, reliable and efficient service wherever they were in the hotel complex.

The installation of new internet services throughout a large hotel complex like the Sandman would usually take anywhere up to five months to complete but the challenge was to complete the work in record time to avoid minimum disruption and inconvenience for guests and staff.

The Solution

Drawing on its considerable expertise and experience in complex, large-scale internet infrastructure installation projects, Advantex designed and supplied superfast broadband services to the Sandman, turning around installation at the 11 storey site in record breaking time.

The work was carried out as part of the Government funded Broadband Connection Vouchers scheme with assistance from Newcastle Council’s Go Digital team. This initiative has seen the Government set aside £150 million to enable businesses like The Sandman to apply for up to £3,000 connection voucher to pay for super-fast broadband connection and associated hardware such as wireless and internet security.

The work was completed at the 170 bedroom hotel complex Gallowgate site from initial enquiry to final installation in 10 days – a project of this nature would usually take anywhere up to five months to complete.

The Results

Guests at the Sandman now benefit from the very best in high quality, reliable and secure superfast broadband internet connectivity. This is a huge improvement on the previous system and will meet future requirements as demand for wireless internet capacity grows. The quality of the service also reflects the brand standards of the Sandman hotel chain – a quality operator delivery the highest levels of city centre guest service and accommodation.

As a result of the Newcastle work, Advantex is looking at supporting possible internet upgrades at other Sandman Hotel sites in the UK.

Unipres Limited (UPUK) located in Sunderland, produces key car-body structural parts for leading automotive manufacturers such as Nissan. It operates high-productivity 3000-ton transfer presses and state-of-the-art hot press technology to facilitate such production processes, enabling it to offer a wide range of solutions to meet its customers’ evolving needs.

The North East of England is the focal point of Unipres operations in Europe and as a comprehensive manufacturer of press-formed automotive components, it applies technical skills including expertise in safety and environmental performance to propose a range of technology solutions tailored to the needs of its customers.

The Challenge

The company needed to improve on-site CCTV surveillance and security of its 127,000 m2 Sunderland site, where more than 1500 staff are employed producing front and rear side members, closing plates, dash sides and steering members amongst other high quality, precision engineered automotive components. Furthermore, a capability was required to enable the production line welding robots to be remotely monitored 24/7 by authorised personnel to ensure they are operating correctly and efficiently.

The Solution

Drawing on Advantex’s expertise in IP-based technologies and system integration and management expertise, a new high performance, high definition solution has been designed and installed at Unipres’ factory in Sunderland. This has been built around Axis IP cameras and Milestone VMS (Advantex are Platinum Partners) to connect together all the elements of the new CCTV via the internet.

A support package is also in place that includes regular visits to each site, repair and maintenance call-outs, and annual inspections and health checks of all hardware and software (including software upgrades). Remote technical support is also available via Advantex’s help desk.

The Results

Unipres now benefits from the highest levels of on-site security following its investment in new IP-based technology. Improved CCTV monitoring of critical areas, notably production areas where robots are monitored, has contributed to enhanced levels of health and safety among staff and improvements in site access and a more efficient utilisation of security resources and managerial time.

In-built scalability has also been included as part of the Advantex solution to deliver long term versatility and flexibility – this enables the system to be expanded or upgraded as future monitoring and security needs change in line with Unipres’ expansion and development plans for the Sunderland site.

OHS 18001 accredited Sirius Group provides a range of specialist environmental engineers, consultants and contractors who offer site development services for brownfield and contaminated land developers across the UK.

Operating from two strategic offices in the North East (Durham) and Yorkshire (Leeds), the firm also has satellite operations covering the North West of England, Wales, Midlands and South East regions. The company employs more than 50 people working in frontline and support services spanning administration, finance, IT and HR among others.

The Challenge

In common with many other operators in the environmental sector, Sirius has seen significant and rapid expansion over the last 10 years as legislation, regulations and government policy have driven growth and demand for its services.

However, the firm’s telecommunications technology, notably in the form of an ageing phone system, was struggling to keep pace with the demands placed on it by expansion, and had reached its full capacity.

Furthermore, the demand for new functions and user services together with lower operator costs provided by modern superfast broadband-based technologies such as VoIP was beyond the capability of the existing phones – the need for a new, more flexibility and future proof system was pressing.

The Solution

Advantex upgraded the existing telecoms infrastructure with dedicated new switch technology. This enables the VoIP telephone system to perform effectively via a dedicated voice network, avoiding the potential for any network crossover issues as well as providing a failsafe capability in case the main network fails.

The previous phones have also been replaced with 95 new Mitel 5300 handsets at the Durham and Leeds offices, which are supported by a Mitel Phone Manager. This offers the capability to enable individual users to take advantage of the features of the MiVoice Office 250 straight from their PC desktops and laptops.

Furthermore, benefits now available as part of the solution include free calling for better communications between offices, while easy-to-use and convenient voicemail and conference calling facilities are set to be in introduced in the near future to provide improved collaboration around the country as the business continues to grow.

The Results

The switch to new VoIP technology meets Sirius’s existing and longer-term needs, delivering an advanced, low cost and reliable telecoms solution that will undoubtedly provide a demonstrable return on investment through call savings and other costs. Capacity can easily be boosted as new employees join while providing the requisite peace-of-mind when calling/receiving calls from customers.

In-built scalability is a key feature in a tailor-made solution that delivers versatility and flexibility – it will enable the phone system to be quickly, easily and cost effectively upgraded and expanded as the firm’s communications change or adapt in future, evolving to meet the ever changing needs of both employees and Sirius’s customers.

This is all backed-up by a 24/7 maintenance package from Advantex that delivers further assurance that the telecommunications infrastructure is fully supported.

Set in 375 acres on the banks of the River Tees outside the village of Hurworth, in the County Durham countryside, beautiful Rockliffe Hall is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It offers more than 60 luxury guest bedrooms, three bespoke restaurants, an award-winning spa and championship 18 hole gold golf course – the current home of the English Senior Open. and is the only five red star resort in the North of England.

The Challenge

Rockliffe Hall was already a valuable customer of Advantex: it had previously installed an advanced IT cable network throughout the hotel complex to carry digital cabling and an internet operated CCTV system.

Then, in 2013 Advantex was involved in a further round of providing technical support and products when Rockliffe Hall’s system lost connectivity to the BT network due to a cable in the local village being damaged. The challenge was not only to repair the damage but also take the chance to reassess the location’s future needs and if necessary upgrade to the latest IP technology to improve staff and guest telecoms services.

The Solution

A Mitel IP Mxe controller replaced the existing hotel telephone system to enable high quality and low cost calls to be sent and received easily over the Internet. A hundred Mitel handsets are now available for hotel admin staff together with analogue handsets for each of the 61 rooms plus the holiday rooms and lodges.

Advantex also had one eye on the future when specifying Mitel; not only can the technology be adapted or reconfigured to meet changing future needs but it also offers the high performance and resilience a five star rated hotel expects and demands for its customers.

To ensure Rockliffe Hall did not experience similar problems again, Advantex has connected the system to the existing BT ISDN 30 lines while adding SIP trunks as an initial failover with a second failover route in the shape of six analogue lines.

The Results

Rockliffe Hall now benefits from a far more flexible, robust and reliable phone system – backed-up by Advantex maintenance and support expertise – to provide exceptional multi-site communications alongside long-term cost and operational savings.

The new solution means that if there are any problems with the main lines, management and reception staff has alternative routes for both incoming and outgoing calls, providing peace-of-mind for Rockliffe Hall that it will not suffer from similar problems again.

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