Blacklight Software

Solution for flexible support.

blacklist software | information management & process improvement

The Customer

Blacklight Software specialises in delivering bespoke solutions for a range of information management and process improvement needs. A Microsoft Gold Partner, Blacklight’s expertise incorporates .NET development and system integration, SharePoint integration, customised Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation and SQL server and MS Exchange integration.

Based in Wakefield (Yorkshire), since 2009 Blacklight has been working with a range of customers from household names like ITV, The FA to large multinationals such as Airbus EADS and Sulzer Pumps. Blacklight’s approach is built on being responsive to specific customer needs, designing solutions for every business’ individual requirements. As a result, flexibility is at the heart of Blacklight’s service offering, and its speed and quality of delivery set it apart from its competitors.

“We need an extremely reliable and flexible platform to help us take on new software challenges with our customers. Our previous solution was very inefficient and we were keen to find a provider that could streamline our infrastructure provision and offer us a far higher level of service to ensure our commitment to speed and quality would not be compromised”

JAMES WALKER, SENIOR CONSULTANT, BLACKLIGHT SOFTWARE

The Challenge

Blacklight’s previous Data Centre and virtual server hosting infrastructure was split between two different providers. However, this solution had a poor level of customer service, with slow issue resolution time, and a confusing billing structure.

As a result Blacklight began looking for alternatives.

The Solution

Having been briefed on Blacklight’s specific requirements, Node4 was invited to put together a detailed proposal for a new solution. Ian Millward, Head of Channel Sales, Node4, explains: “Having looked at the solution Blacklight had in place, it quickly became clear to us that they would significantly benefit from bringing all of their infrastructure into one centrally hosted provision. We felt that our Data Centre and hosting capabilities would offer Blacklight exactly the balance of reliability and flexibility they required.”

Following further consultation, Blacklight selected Node4 to implement its proposed solution. This involved Blacklight taking racks in Node4’s Data Centres as well as deploying virtual servers via Node4’s N4Cloud.

“We were very impressed with Node4’s technical capabilities, the underlying environment of its Data Centres and the quality of its account management. They were also able to offer these capabilities at a very competitive price.” James Walker, Senior Consultant, Blacklight Software.

Moving from a split infrastructure to one central location meant that Blacklight required a phased transition from one solution to the other. The initial phase of the transition needed to happen in a very short timeframe and Node4 was able to switch over the virtual servers over the weekend. After this initial phase, Node4 managed the transition of the remaining virtual machines over the course of the next four months until the new solution was fully up and running in Node4’s Leeds Data Centre.

The transition took place over one weekend

New, centralised
infrastructure

Less time & resources spent on dealing with IT issues

The Benefits

Since moving its solution to Node4, Blacklight has been able to realise several benefits. Firstly by bringing its solution into a centralised infrastructure the company has a complete offering – encompassing everything from hosting to back up. Node4 has also significantly improved on the speed of response and time to resolution compared to Blacklight’s previous solution.

Mike McGrady, Managing Director, Blacklight, stated: “One of the most important attributes of a Data Centre partner is getting timely and high-quality support. This is an area where Node4 simply excels. The speed of response is excellent, and the technical support team and our dedicated account manager are always extremely helpful and well informed.”

This increase in reliability in hosting Blacklight’s Microsoft CRM, SharePoint and bespoke .NET solutions has ensured that Blacklight is now freer to concentrate on delivering its solutions to its customers, rather than dealing with IT infrastructure frustrations

James Walker concludes: “The move to Node4 has been very positive for our business. Not only have we made significant savings, but we now have a more sophisticated and appropriate solution as well as improved customer service. As a result, we have been able to increase the number of hosted servers we can support for customers.”

“It is refreshing to work with a vendor as trustworthy and transparent as Node4 – if they can do something, they’ll do it and if they can’t they’ll tell us up front. The customer service is excellent, Node4 is flexible with the solutions it provides and as a partner gives us exactly what we need. We have total confidence in the service Node4 provides, which allows us to concentrate on developing our business and helping our customers.”

Mike McGrady, Managing Director, Blacklight Software

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