SPF Private Clients
The Mortgage Broker
Having the right cloud provider and advisor when going independent and in growth periods is key to advise and support high end clients on a volatile national and international property market. Learn how Skye Cloud helped SPF to go fully virtual whilst continuously staying on top of their game.
- Migration of large data volume into a virtual platform
- Support in periods of growth and independence
- One stop IT solution for all applications and support
Mortgage markets are local in nature, depending on legal and institutional factors. At the same time, however, the reliance on wholesale markets for the funding of mortgages implies that these securities have a global dimension. This tension is very present in current regulatory debates and there is a variety of interest rate schemes for mortgages across countries. Whether you are looking for residential, investment, commercial or international property finance or insurance SPF is a leading UK financial services intermediary offering advice to help you make the right choices for any circumstances. Specialising at the top-end of the market, SPF is able to finance and insure any property type anywhere in the world including insurance of unforeseen circumstances.
Assessment and valuation: planning the transition a truly hosted environment
SPF were introduced to Skye Cloud in 2011, through their parent company; Savills, after starting the proceedings of a friendly management buyout. Savills had previously used our services and highly recommended Skye Cloud to structure the IT transition process for SPF. Our first task was the understanding of the client’s needs, market implications and existing structure – a general audit in direct communication with management and users alike. SPF’s aim was to fully virtualise their systems in order to switch to a zero server footprint and outsourcing all IT manpower, whilst at the same time maintaining a certain integration with Savills existing IT protocol needed to remain at shared locations. Our idea in the process was to establish pretty much a virtual replication of the systems that were hosted previously on a physical server hardware including one machine (that could not be virtualised due to age) which was then physically relocated to the datacentre to achieve a truly hosted environment. It was of paramount importance not to lose any relevant functions and sensitive data and to ensure that SPF remained fully operational in the process. Part of the plan was that we are going to take full ownership of the environment meaning SPF no longer had to be concerned with updates, security or back up. Based on managing a full migration we realised that a slow and efficient process was needed to establish a master-copy of all their functionalities and data to guarantee a smooth transition.
Offer and completion: high end virtualisation
Once the master copy was established the separation from the former existing infrastructure could take place. Skye Cloud moved all data, functionalities and applications to a Citrix deployment comprising of 30 virtual servers running all of the primary LOB applications including Pivotal which is the primary CRM. The general set up includes a thin client system – dual screens and no PC on the premises. Remote desktop solutions integrate the London and Manchester location and as well allow any member of staff to work at any location when needed. Skye Cloud uses fully redundant and diverse hardware and data centres to host clients’ IT, guaranteeing usage and applications to run secure with unlimited access anytime and anywhere. We operated with our engineers directly onsite and provided a first start in usage training demo to all workforce. Skye Cloud in that respect is the host that is big enough for hosting all applications and at the same time small enough to still be able to know every user personally. During the initial migration, Skye Cloud updated SPF’s core systems to windows server 2003 and have since been instrumental in other key projects, updating the servers further to windows 2008, the deployment of Wi-Fi and the management of their office move in 2016. Since coming on board, SPF have grown considerably using Skye Cloud as their one stop IT service provider and to help manage the expansion from 90 to 140 users. Having recently renewed their contract until 2019 SPF stated that Skye Cloud provided them with the best of breed solutions and continuous technical support and advice. Specifically, in the financial advisory sector, sensitive data, recent market developments and functionalities need to be available anytime and anywhere to continue advising existing clients and providing exceptional services to new prospects. The diversity of using our secure and high-speed services employed them with greater agility and adaptability for example deploying sales force at any location when needed, allowing them to build on their in-house expertise to provide tailored services that add value to their clients powered by our virtual IT solution.
Executive Director Alex King
“We were fully satisfied with all of our data and software transition when choosing Skye and continued our partnership over the years and increased our usage with the company growth”