Success Stories

Below you will find all the Success Stories of Sangfor, classified by Industry, such as Enterprises, Governments, Schools & Universities, etc.

Pentagon Motor Holding s Ltd

12/10/2015

Pentagon's  mission  when  it  began  selling  vehicles  in 1991 was to make car and van buying and servicing easy and affordable, and the mission is still unchanged. Over the past 21 years of considerable growth, Pentagon now has become one of the UK's top 30 dealer groups.


Challenges

Pentagon's  mission  when  it  began  selling  vehicles  in 1991 was to make car and van buying and servicing easy and  affordable.  Achieving  the  'easy'  part  hasn't  been helped  by  an  IT  system  that  prevented  sales  and administration staff doing their jobs properly due to slow performance  over  the  network.  With  customers  being kept waiting and a potential loss of business as a result, something had to be done.

The  company  has  grown  considerably  over  the  last  21 years and now operates from fifteen locations, with sales and  servicing  operations  at  most  and  a  couple  of accounts departments at different places. The increasing number  of  sites  was  becoming  more  of  a  problem because  they  all  process  through  servers  at  Derby, where the central database and the main applications are held.   Applications   include   email,   human   resources software, file sharing, all printing through a single print server  plus  the  business  critical  dealer  management system that handles the bulk of the processing.


Seeking Practical Solutions
Activities  are  typical  of  any  motor  dealership,  with vehicles being sold and part exchanged, and service and maintenance  being  booked  in,  processed  and  invoiced. This,  as  Pentagon's  IT  manager  confirms,  can  lead  to peaks of activity:

“The peaks come between 8 and 10 in a morning when people  are  dropping  their  cars  off,  which  puts  a  heavy load on the system. But then it calms down and picks up again  from  3:30  in  the  afternoon  until  6  o’clock  when people are picking up their cars and all the invoices are being printed. Then you’ve got the accounts team, who are  constantly  using  the  system  heavily,  processing  all the different orders on a daily basis. When it gets to the end  of  the  month,  they're  processing  the  ledgers  and producing monthly reports, so you definitely see a peak in the last three days of every month.”

The  various  locations  provide  different  loadings,  some with only 5-6 staff and others having more than 80, with varying  levels  of  activity  depending  on  the  roles  of  the people   based   there.   Performance   problems   were becoming   an   increasing   concern   and   two   sites   in particular  —  Scunthorpe  and  West  Hallam  —  were struggling  badly  to  achieve  an  acceptable  level  of throughput. The former was a relatively new site and it was  soon  realised  that  performance  there  was  likely  to have grave repercussions for the company.

“It  was  serious  for  the  business  because  it’s  not  the impression you want to give to a customer. The danger is  that  people  will  be  so  unhappy,  they'll  take  their business elsewhere. I think there was definitely a feeling that we wouldn't be able to sustain the business at these branches and it might not be viable to keep them open if the  connection  speed  wasn’t  improved  in  some  way.” Pentagon's IT manager recalled;

Solution
The first thought for this sort of situation is generally to increase bandwidth through installing  new leased lines. However,  this  was  going  to  be  prohibitively  expensive and,  in  the  case  of  Scunthorpe,  wasn’t  going  to  be possible at all due the location of the branch. A solution eventually came in the form of a cold call from Sangfor, when the ensuing conversation revealed that this might just be what Pentagon needed.

“There are other devices that will do very similar to what the  Sangfor  unit  does,  but  a  lot  more  money,  very expensive units and hard to justify in front of the board.” recounts the IT manager.

“We  spoke  to  another  company  and  they  came  and showed us a very similar unit. That made us realise that Sangfor offered value for money. It wasn’t a massively expensive box to take a punt on and luckily it worked out and did the job.”


A two-week trial was run initially, with an S5000 installed at  each  of  the  problematic  sites  and  an  M5500  at  the Derby  data  centre.  The  improvements  were  immediate and were obvious because, as the IT manager recalls:

“End  users  were  smiling.  The  printing  speeded  up, general access to the DMS system is just as quick as it is on  the  other  sites  and  so  it  is  just  another  site  for Pentagon, it’s not out there on a limb as it used to be.The staff on site are no longer at a disadvantage to do their job  and  IT  is  not  on  their  agenda  at  management meetings, which is what we aim for. It’s a constant issue if  the  salesman  is  struggling  to  get  online  quotes  for finance documents or if service invoices can’t be printed. All these issues are fed back to IT and so our aim is to make sure that IT is not mentioned in any management meeting.”



Productivity Improvement
The  overall  effect,  he  believes,  is  at  least  a  50% improvement in productivity on the system. And helped by Pentagon having its own IT department, it all went in without   problems:   “Sangfor   just   supplied   the   unit pre-configured to our specifications and we dropped it in the  site.  Tweaks  have  been  made  over  the  following weeks  after  it  went  live  but  it  hasn’t  been  a  difficult implementation.    The    Sangfor    box    is    quite    a straightforward unit to understand. I know it can do a lot more than we’re using it for at the moment but we have started  growing  and  learning  with  it  as  more  bits  and upgrades come from Sangfor.”

With the initial equipment having been in for around six months, we are now rolling the service out across other locations.

“Everybody’s happy,” remarks the IT manager.

“The Financial Director is happy with the cost of the units and  IT  definitely  see  a  way  forward  for  any  other  sites and foresee no issues with any new sites that are taken on. The end users themselves can just get on with their work.”


Solution
A  Sangfor  M5500  WAN  optimiser  is  installed  at  the Derby data centre with S5000 devices at Scunthorpe and West Hallam and most other branches except 3 of the larger ones that will have M5000’s.

Equipment Features
- Cost-effective alternative
- Highly resilient and flexible
- Full unified bandwidth management
- Data caching and compression
- Simple drop-in deployment
- Opportunity to trial

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