Today, to manage the built environment effectively, you have to digitise it in some way. We’re training drone pilots to give us digital images of areas… putting GoPro cameras on the front of trains to survey lines. It’s becoming much more of a digital environment. For us, it’s about using tools to get a better view or control of scope and scale.
Bill Price, Systems and Technology Director at Costain
Costain is one of Britain’s foremost engineering solutions providers, working to improve the nation’s quality of life by delivering integrated consultancy, asset optimisation, technology and complex delivery services, in vital areas such as rail travel, energy, water, highways and more.
Costain provides a complete end-to-end offering, encompassing all aspects of design, construction, engineering, maintenance, facilities management, integrated consultancy and innovation across the life cycle of its clients’ assets.
Harnessing digital technology is central to achieving this vision. Through the effective capture and analysis of data, Costain generates vital insights that allow it to optimise clients’ infrastructure usage, respond to challenges quickly and deliver outstanding results for UK citizens.
Daisy’s deep, all-round expertise in complex IT integration makes it a natural partner for Costain. The relationship stretches back over a decade, during which Daisy has progressed from supplying relatively simple break-fix telephony services to the operation of a full IT service desk, which combined 25% cost savings with improved SLA delivery.
Over time, the partnership has expanded to include several upgrades to Costain’s IT hardware and systems (covering more than 3,000 assets and accompanying software) and a combined IT support contract with its own full-time service manager and on-site support teams at the business’ Manchester and Maidenhead offices.
Costain has always been forward-thinking in its approach to IT and data systems. As the group has moved towards an end-to-end, data-driven and holistic approach to infrastructure management, it has been quick to draw on Daisy’s knowledge to facilitate the delivery of crucial applications and maximise the effectiveness of its offer.
To meet the demands of Costain’s new technology-intensive working methods, Daisy has helped the group’s internal IT team migrate much of its digital estate to Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure platform.
This allows Costain to deliver complex technology in a new and seamless way to the whole of its business – a total of 5,000 users. Meanwhile, the adoption of Microsoft 365 has helped to enhance data sharing and collaboration across the organisation.
In addition to managing its own internal applications, the group has been able to use the Azure platform to provide key solutions direct to its customers. These include document management, project controls and access to public enquiry information.
In addition, Daisy has also taken on the management of Costain’s mobile telephony requirements, including the provision of Microsoft 365 for phone to 3,500 individual users, ranging from office-based support staff to engineers in the field.
“Today, to manage the built environment effectively, you have to digitise it in some way,” said Costain’s Systems and Technology Director, Bill Price. “We’re training drone pilots to give us digital images of areas… putting GoPro cameras on the front of trains to survey lines. It’s becoming much more of a digital environment. For us, it’s about using tools to get a better view or control of scope and scale.”
Daisy has played a central role in changing Costain’s business to a technology-driven, end-to-end model that fully supports its brand. The migration to a cloud-based delivery approach will reduce the need for future large-scale systems upgrades, while hardware outlay is also likely to reduce.
Operational efficiency, by contrast, is undergoing a transformation.
The relationship is founded on trust, and a shared commitment to service excellence. By building a deep understanding of Costain’s business and future strategy, the Daisy team can contribute in an empirical, ongoing way to the planning process, keeping the business where it wants to be – at the forefront of technological innovation. Continuity of personnel has enhanced this atmosphere of collaboration, with Daisy’s account director having worked with Costain from the earliest stages of the relationship. Daisy’s service manager takes regular part in senior management meetings and members of Daisy’s on-site team are known at all levels of the organisation, from chief financial officer to security staff.
This is not a project-based or sales-based relationship. Instead, Costain views Daisy as a strategic partner for IT, technology innovation and ongoing business support. This puts Costain, and by extension a vital swathe of UK infrastructure, in a position to thrive, well into the future.