Acorn Analytical Services (UK) Ltd – Making Room To Grow

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Making room to grow

Acorn Analytical Services (UK) Ltd is a leading supplier asbestos consultancy services and, as a fully independent and impartial company, always provides customers with results and recommendations that they can be confident are in their best interests.

Acorn Analytical Services (UK) Ltd is a fully independent, specialist asbestos consultancy, providing compliance services to clients right across the UK. It has a strong customer-focused ethos and offers a comprehensive support, ensuring that any risks to the client organisation and its staff and customers, are correctly managed, repaired or removed. Acorn’s team of experts also works with clients to train their staff and thus empower them to understand and apply best processes and systems for safe asbestos control.

Its head office is in Cleckheaton in Yorkshire, and there are also locations in Birmingham, and London as well as Northampton. Acorn has customers in the commercial, industrial, and domestic sectors throughout the UK, as well as a handful overseas.

The Challenge

Acorn had occupied the same managed office premises for a number of years. The broadband connection came as part of the service package and it was becoming woefully unreliable for a business that – like so many others – was becoming more and more dependent on its digital connections to the outside world.

In mid-2018, Acorn decided to relocate the Northampton office to its own unit on the same industrial estate on the edge of the town. It would also need to have its own connectivity service – and wanted to get the kind of service it really needed in place.

Sian Stone, Commercial Manager at Acorn, said:

“The previous location was a shared building, and the management company provided all the utilities, including the broadband, which was just terrible. I think the maximum speed it would reach was around 30Mbps and we used to have issues with it cutting out all the time. We’d complain but little would get done”.

This was a real problem for Acorn, and it was going to become even more crucial. Although it was not the case at the time of the move, Acorn was already planning to migrate all its IT applications and services to the cloud. Doing that would make the business entirely reliant on its Internet connection. With around 30 staff dealing with a constant flow of enquiries and well as on-going projects, it could not afford to take any chances with connectivity services in the new building.

The Solution

Even prior to the cloud migration, the inconsistency of the broadband service was a real problem for Acorn, as Sian explained;

“There are about 14 of us who are normally in the office day to day and we need reliability, and we need speed. We had outgrown that building anyway, and in the new premises we wanted a leased line to make sure we had that guaranteed speed and reliability.”

ACS is a Northampton-based communications and IT specialist and CityFibre Champion partner. It had done some IT work in the past for Acorn and the businesses had a good on-going relationship. When the time came to look at options for the new building, Acorn contacted ACS for advice.

While Acorn did look at alternatives, they felt the CityFibre 100Mbps leased line option that ACS proposed would be the best option for its immediate and mid-term needs. ACS also assured Acorn that, should the business need to upgrade its connectivity at some point, that would be quite easy and there would also be more than enough extra capacity available.

With the business growing fast, that could be a distinct possibility – and it should certainly be easy enough. Northampton is one of CityFibre’s designated Gigabit Cities, which means that the supplier has invested millions in putting its own fibre infrastructure into the ground all around the town.

But for now, the 100Mbps leased line would provide Acorn with the dedicated bandwidth that it needed – both downstream and upstream – to support cloud-based services and ensure users get the consistent responsiveness they need to work efficiently and productively. For a company that prides itself on delivering excellent customer service, this was really important.

In addition, as well as providing the bandwidth that Acorn needed, the CityFibre 100Mbps leased line was also attractively priced compared to other options.

The Results

The CityFibre line has been a huge improvement for Acorn. As well as providing more than adequate speeds, it has been completely reliable, and that’s vital for Acorn, as Sian Stone emphasised.

“It’s been three years now since we had the line installed and we have had no issues. I think it cut out once but that was due to a power issue on the estate, and even that was rectified in about an hour. Otherwise, there have been no problems and that is important because previously, when the Internet cut out, as it used to in the previous building, our business was on hold. As we are working on cloud-based systems we need it to be running all the time, otherwise we just can’t operate.”

Acorn has been delighted with the CityFibre connection and the service that both CityFibre and ACS have provided – and recently moved its managed services to ACS. This means that ACS’s experts are now keeping a watchful eye on all of Acorn’s IT systems, as well as its connectivity.

The Acorn Analytical Services (UK) Ltd business is still growing and knowing that it has a connection and a managed services provider it can rely on, is important. It means the company’s team can focus on meeting the needs of its customers and making sure that growth continues.

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