Big Society Capital

About Big Society Capital

Big Society Capital is an independent financial institution with a social mission, to help grow the social investment market in the UK. The organisation was set up to help make sure that charities and social enterprises can find appropriate and affordable repayable finance to meet their capital requirements.

The Challenge

Big Society Capital has occupied the same office space in London’s Fleet Street since late 2011, but as it headed towards its lease break in 2015, Head of Operations Andrew Aspital knew a move would be required;

“Our team had simply expanded beyond the capacity of the space we had. We had eaten into meeting room space for desks and we needed a larger office.”

Having viewed properties since the summer, at Christmas Big Society Capital chose its new office at New Fetter Lane and started the legal process to take on the lease. Almost immediately after the new year began, Andrew placed an order for a BT Fibre line to connect the new office. The move was scheduled for June 2015, but after a string of site surveys, landlord plans and incorrect documentation, it was obvious that Big Society Capital needed a plan B as the Fibre line would not be ready in time for the move.

The Approach

Big Society Capital needed an alternative to Fibre that could be installed quickly so as not to delay the move date. Andrew was prepared to consider a range of technology options but was aware that the solution was unlikely to be hard-wired into the building as that would create difficulties given the now limited time frame.

Big Society Capital outsources all of its ongoing IT to a support company, and the account manager there suggested Luminet and its Fixed Wireless Access Fibre alternative.

Andrew comments; “By this stage I was losing a lot of sleep over this delayed connection. It was the biggest issue we were experiencing of the entire move project. It was a constant topic of conversation between the executive team and operations.”

He continues; “When we discovered that another company, three floors above us in the same building was already using Luminet for their primary day-to-day internet connection, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. The building obviously had the necessary line-of-sight connection for Luminet to be able to supply connectivity.”

Their IT support company contacted Luminet on a Friday, two weeks before the move. Andrew explains, “we immediately started exchanging in a flurry of emails with John Balfour-Lynn at Luminet and quickly gathered a very positive impression of him and the company. By the end of that day we understood lead time requirements, costs and the technical details of the service. John was outstanding – all I got was solutions to my hurdles, which by that point was very welcome. We were told they could install within two weeks and I must confess that I was sceptical – although the prospect of course appealed!”

The Results

A Friday email exchange between Luminet, Big Society Capital and its IT supplier resulted in a meeting scheduled for the following Monday, leaving Andrew with no doubts that their requirement was being taken seriously.

The meeting took place on Monday and the following day the process got fully underway; including a site survey, landlord liaison, documentation, risk assessments and solicitor paperwork.

The installation started at 6am, two weeks after the process commenced. Big Society Capital’s new landlord required any work that may create disturbance for other tenants to be conducted outside of office hours. All work on the roof to install the dish was completed well before the office hours commenced, and then moved inside to run the wiring into the comms cabinet and install routers.

Andrew comments, “the Luminet installation team worked hand-in-hand with our IT support company, and everyone knew exactly what they were doing at every point. The network was perfect and with the installation squeezed into our tight timeframes we didn’t lose any operational time at all come move day.”

Six months later, Big Society Capital is still using the 100MB Luminet connection as its primary connection for all internet traffic, including VoIP as well as cloud date, cloud storage and cloud email services. Andrew describes the connection as “an artery without which we cannot work.”

The reason for Big Society Capital’s continued use of Luminet’s network is two-fold. Firstly, the organisation is still waiting for its Fibre line to be installed (already 10 months in the works), but Andrew is also philosophical.

“When the BT Fibre line eventually turns up, it can be our back up line and Luminet will remain our primary connection. It’s not broken, so why switch? Our Luminet service has experienced no problems and has run at a constant speed throughout the summer. It was the last piece of the jigsaw for our move, and I couldn’t be more happy.”

Summary of key benefits:

  • Emergency connectivity becomes primary internet line
  • 100MB diverse Wireless line installed in two weeks
  • No operational downtime during installation

About Luminet

Luminet provides organisations with the Connectivity, Communications, Computing and Security services that are essential to all businesses, but difficult to find without an enterprise budget. Understanding that IT requirements do not always fit stereotypical business size judgements, Luminet’s service suite is powerful and flexible, with the SLAs and customer support that every business should expect.

With innovative levels of intelligence, Luminet’s technology allows game-changing service assurance, application control, optimisation and even new business models. Bit, byte, SIM or IP level measurement, charging, prioritisation and authentication, together with best-value, industry-leading SLAs, and ISO9001 and ISO27000 certifications make Luminet the obvious choice.