The Background

GoSkills is the Sector Skills Council for Passenger Transport and provides business support, advice and guidance and a range of other services to employers, operators and self-employed drivers on skills, learning and training across the passenger transport sector.

The passenger transport sector includes a range of industries: Aviation (airlines, airports and ground handlers), Community Transport, Bus and Coach, Tram/Light Rail, Chauffeurs, Taxi/PHV, Driving Instruction and Transport Planners. GoSkills has a comprehensive employer data which is now housed on its main server, which needs to be secure and accessible to range of people and provide an number of different functions.

The Brief

From a new business start up, GoSkills required a full IT installation, from the purchasing of PCs, servers printers and scanners through to the provision of networking solutions, remote access and wireless solutions.

As a company that is fully reliant on its IT provision in order to carry out the day-to-day running of the business, as well as requiring secured remote access to files stored on the organisation's server for staff working within the regions and nations of the UK, it is essential that GoSkills has immediate access to IT support staff should there be any difficulties or problems with their system.

As an organisation that deals with companies' confidential information, it is of paramount importance that the Go Skills server and entire system is fully secure and is protected against the possibilities of viruses, spam and malicious attacks.

Since the advent of the original startup solution GoSkills have moved offices twice and the company's IT infrastructure has grown considerably not only in the number of users but in the demands on the business. Real Point Business Technology has been tasked with keeping up with GoSkills' growth.

The Solution

After sourcing and purchasing high specification laptops and desktops for all the GoSkills team, Real Point Business Technology was asked to install a reliable and secure server. As well as providing a central storage for documents, the server would also house a central email system, providing a shared contacts database, shared calendars, shared mailboxes and remote access.

The laptops and desktops that had been distributed to staff had all been installed with Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Office 2003 for email so it made sense to install the server with Microsoft Exchange 2003. This would provide server software that was fully compatible with the software on the individual computers and could provide seamless integration between the two systems.

The server was also equipped with Windows 2003 Server edition, enabling a user friendly interface and a secure provision for the VPN (virtual private network), which would allow members from the GoSkills team to access the shared information hosted on the server and download it to any location.

The server would be used to house confidential information and personnel data so it was vital that it was fully secured and password protected, restricting access to selected users.

Antivirus, anti spam and email scanning have become business critical solutions in recent years so Real Point installed a centrally managed antivirus, anti spam and email scanning solution to protect GoSkills staff from these prevalent threats.

Real Point also installed the accounts package requested by GoSkills on to the server so that those dealing with the business accounts could access the software either from the office or when working from home.

With all this business critical information stored on the server, it was paramount that there was an efficient and reliable back-up system implemented with the server. The back-up system would ensure that all data stored on the server was regularly saved and could be recalled at any time should there be a problem.

To facilitate the Regional Managers across the country, Real Point was asked to provide and set-up broadband internet connections for each home user. The broadband at home also meant that Real Point were able to establish remote access capabilities with the home workers computers. Providing VPN access to the main office and enabling remote support so Real Point can access the computer without having to be on site.

The Verdict

From a standing start, GoSkills has now been equipped with laptops, desktops, six fully functioning servers, software that enables them to share information across the UK securely and safely, whether it be email, contacts documentation or virus updates, mobile business, proxy and email security and a complete enterprise disaster recovery solution. The on-going IT support provided by Real Point ensures that GoSkills will have access to support, either onsite, over the telephone or via the internet.

"When we arrived at Concorde House in 2005, GoSkills had two laptops and one printer. We now have a mixture of over 35 laptops and desktop computers, networked printers and copiers, five servers, BlackBerrys, full internet access, back-up and recovery and virus protection. Real Point have supported us through this development process, recommending, purchasing, installing and maintaining our IT capability and we are pleased with their continuing support and their proactive recommendations ensuring that our systems are responsive, stable and secure."

Director of Finance & Administration - GoSkills

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