CANCOM UK provide IT services to a wide variety of global customers across a range of sectors.
In the summer of 2019, CANCOM UK were approached by a US affiliate to assist Kontoor Brands Inc, a major fashion retailer (owner of Lee Wrangler and other household brands) to deploy strategic green-field data-centre co-locations as part of a major IT transformation. Kontoor intended to deploy four new IT-centre locations, two in the United States, one in Hong Kong (“APAC”) and one in the Netherlands (“EMEA”). Each location would host on-premise IT systems supporting core infrastructure and Kontoor’s virtualised application estate.
CANCOM UK’s role was to deliver the EMEA and APAC IT locations. Working in conjunction with Kontoor’s IT service partner (a major global IT service provider), CANCOM UK was to procure, ship, install and build the required IT systems in each location. This included core LAN and WAN networks (including APIC fabric), SAN storage, Wintel compute platforms, Nutanix clusters and IBM P-Series servers. Additionally, CANCOM UK would supply and install all of the structured cabling required to support the deployment in the co-lo data-centre.
To assist with this major delivery, CANCOM UK approached their long-term partner, NewWorldTech who were asked to provide end-to-end project management and technical design services to CANCOM to help assure the Kontoor Brands delivery. NewWorldTech deployed a Project Management and Design team to work with CANCOM and the Kontoor management team to develop and agree the scope of the project and produce a detailed and comprehensive statement of work. CANCOM’s expert team of technical specialists worked with CANCOM’s partners in the target regions to define the technical deliverables and the project requirements to be able to present to Kontoor a comprehensive and holistic project approach.
Following their standard and well-proven “Project as a Service” methodology, NewWorldTech, on behalf of CANCOM, then worked with Kontoor, their IT service provider and CANCOM’s partners to develop a detailed Project Definition. This was facilitated via joint technical and planning workshops conducted across all parties and multiple time-zones and delivered a detailed and comprehensive set of plans, resource profiles, Risk, Assumption, Issued and Dependency registers and the Project governance framework.
NewWorldTech and CANCOM technical specialists worked to produce high-level designs for the EMEA and APAC deployments, including detailed “port-by-port” cable schematics, SAN / storage designs and deployment designs for Nutanix clusters and the AIX P-Series environment. In parallel, CANCOM UK’s expert procurement and logistics teams worked on the complicated procurement and international shipping processes, leveraging many years of expertise and experience along with local contacts to facilitate the hardware delivery processes across the globe.
The programme delivery required the coordination of multiple IT partners across differing time-zones to deliver the implementation plans. Identifying the potential challenges of global, multi-party deployments, NewWorldTech and CANCOM worked with the diverse stakeholders to produce detailed, hour-by-hour implementation plans for each of the in-scope locations to ensure efficient delivery. The detailed plans covered the shipping logistics, the day-by-day cabling and racking plans, item and port-level installation tasks, network and compute configuration tasks, testing activity and client handover/sign-off tasks. Given the multiple participants, NewWorldTech and CANCOM developed comprehensive RACI matrices to ensure that all parties knew how they contributed to the overall delivery. To further mitigate the risks associated with global deployments, a robust communication, issue management and reporting framework was deployed around the implementation phase to ensure timely issue resolution and escalation.
Despite challenging timeframes, logistical complexity, multiple delivery partners and external challenges (an unstable political climate in Hong Kong for example) the EMEA and APAC deployments were delivered to cost, time and specification. NewWorldTech’s Programme methodology and the global, subject-matter expertise within CANCOM resulted in a successful deployment for Kontoor Brands and excellent customer feedback for CANCOM UK along with the establishment of a long-term relationship with a major global company.