Engineering firm SS Tube Technology is used to operating in high-octane environments, supplying the automotive and motorsport, aerospace and defence industries among others. Since replacing its old ADSL copper-based broadband system with a new Gigaclear pure fibre network, SS Tube now has a high-powered Internet connection, which not only facilitates faster and smarter working but has lowered IT support costs in the process.
SS Tube Technology employs 55 people across two sites in Witney and Eynsham in rural Oxfordshire. The company designs and manufactures bespoke, advanced tubular fabrications and thermal management systems. While its products are used in high tech environments, SS Tube’s broadband connection was operating at the opposite end of the scale.
“The Internet connection on our old BT line was terrible,” says Brian Matthews, business process and quality manager, SS Tube Technology. “We were getting one to two megabits per second (Mbps) if that. Using the Internet for sourcing materials and research purposes was frustrating. Accessing the company’s virtual private network (VPN) remotely was painful but more importantly, with the majority of our orders coming in via email, the slow Internet speeds were curtailing our reaction times.”
SS Tube looked for alternative broadband solutions but there was nothing else available within the firm’s immediate vicinity. That was until Gigaclear, the ultrafast, pure fibre broadband network operator, announced plans to bring its network within reach of SS Tube’s Witney site.
“When we compared the costs of Gigaclear to what we were already paying for a vastly inferior service, we were keen to move forward with the new offering as quickly as possible,” continues Matthews.
Once connected to the Gigaclear fibre, installation of the new network was straightforward. SS Tube Technology’s IT support firm liaised with Gigaclear directly and the connection was up and running quickly.
“Gigaclear has improved how people work together,” adds Matthews. “The VPN is more functional as people can work off-site and still access the system. Information is flowing easier around the company and we’ve been able to introduce Skype calls to communicate with customers in their preferred manner. Furthermore, visitors to our offices can easily access their own networks which improves the perception others have of us as an organisation.”
One benefit that SS Tube didn’t initially foresee with the new network was the impact fast broadband would have on its IT support arrangements.
Matthews explains, “Previously, when we had IT problems, our support firm would have to physically drive to our premises in order to fix them. Now this can all be done remotely. We’ve since been able re-negotiate onto a lower cost maintenance contract as a result.”
The benefits of Gigaclear go beyond the fast Internet speeds being achieved presently, as Matthews concludes:
“We’re going to implement a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system which will be installed off-site. This would have been unheard of with the old broadband connection. It’s reassuring to know that Gigaclear can easily accommodate the additional pressure that the ERP will place on the network and support the firm as it evolves.”