About The Investment Association
The Investment Association is the UK’s trade body for the investment management industry with the stated intent of making investment better. From its office in Holborn, The Investment Association’s 65 staff support over 200 members with policy advice, technical guidance, research, public policy and other membership services.
At 1pm on Wednesday the 1st April 2015, The Investment Association’s internet and telephone connections went down. The organisations Chief Operating Officer, Jack Knight was in the process of calling the ISP to identify the cause of the problem when a colleague interrupted him; “He told me that I might want to take a look out of the window, urgently, and when I did I saw brown smoke and realised straight away that the problem was not superficial.”
Due to the office’s proximity to a fire that was making headlines already for its scale, two hours later, the electricity to the entire building failed and the emergency services called for a complete evacuation. Along with all of the other companies in the same location, The Investment Association sent all employees home.
Knight was faced with the challenge of getting the business back online and operational as quickly as possible – amid a very uncertain situation without a clear schedule for accessing the site.
Knight explains that Luminet had always been marked for a back-up plan in such a business continuity circumstance, having previously investigated the options with 4G mobile connectivity and discovering that it could not handle the organisation’s bandwidth requirements. At 9am, the morning after the evacuation (with the fire still blazing), just as Knight was about to call Luminet, he received an email from them asking if he required help. “I replied to Luminet immediately – yes please, send me a quote!” describes Knight.
The Investment Association’s priority on that first day was staff safety. With no access to the building still, all staff were asked to stay at home. The management team had a conference call to discuss its approach, working out how to keep the organisation running for its members. It was quickly apparent that connectivity for the staff to enable them to work remotely and then on site, once they were permitted to return, was of paramount importance. The whole neighbourhood was affected by the fire so Knight knew that it would be a priority for all authorities and suppliers to get such a large area back in operation, but he was keen that they were independently proactive in finding their own solutions to avoid delays.
The fire was finally extinguished on the Friday (having started on the Wednesday) and the Luminet team was on call all weekend, ready to go with the installation as soon as site access was granted by the emergency services.
Finally, on the Wednesday afternoon, one week after the fire had broken out, access to the building was secured. The Luminet team arrived on site at 5pm to install the wireless antenna onto the building’s roof and by 7pm it was fully live. The next day Knight was able to move all phone calls onto a SIP service via the Luminet link so that phone lines could also be restored. Perfect timing for the staff returning to work.
Knight: “Everyone reponded to our requirements with a real understanding of the urgency. Luminet was able to make it happen in a way I have never known before from its industry. The installation was safe and professional but it prioritised speed (which is why our cable initially ran in through a window!). The moment that connectivity was restored, 90% of our problems were solved.”
The Investment Association continued to work with its Luminet connection for weeks after the fire, handling business as usual and without reported issues from staff or stakeholders.
Finally, on Tuesday 21st April – a full three weeks after the fire severed the Fibre line, the primary line was reconnected and the Luminet network and SIP services handed back the primary connection role seamlessly.
Knight concludes; “We aren’t getting rid of the Luminet connection now it’s there. We can now have the peace of mind that with a completely independent back-up network, if another situation arose that severed our Fibre line, we would experience no downtime at all as the Luminet network would take over. Of course, the Luminet guys have already come back to run the cables through a more conventional route into the office, so we can now shut out window again!”
Summary of key benefits:
- Urgent disaster recovery for business affected by the Holborn fire
- Replaced Fibre connection within hours of getting access to the building
- Business continuity solution now in place with backup bandwidth completely independent from the primary Fibre line
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