As a world renowned designer and manufacturer of innovative measuring, LED, and electronic products, Trumeter Technologies Ltd relies on the smooth operation of its product development, sales and manufacturing operations. Ensuring its IT systems are 'in tune' with the demands of running a global business supplying 31 countries worldwide, Trumeter has made the switch to highly resilient, cloud-based services provided by CMS Group.
Global Market Leader
Trumeter was founded in 1937 in Manchester, UK, to support the textile industry with mechanical based length measuring equipment. Today, the company is acknowledged as a world leader in distance measurement, length measurement, and electronic counters and measurement.
It is also a major supplier of LED automotive lighting systems for Jaguar, Ford, and Range Rover, Evobus and Aston Martin, including the innovative touch activated, overhead LED lighting for the new Range Rover Evoque.
To keep pace with demand, in 2003 Trumeter began moving manufacture to Penang, Malaysia, and currently sources more than 90% of its products from it’s Malaysian supply partner, Innovative Design Technologies Sdn Bhd.
IT Systems Evolution
Trumeter's IT systems have evolved from fat-client desktop PCs to thin-client Citrix based systems, simplifying data sharing and systems management. At Radcliffe, Trumeter had two racks of servers providing IT services to its UK sales and product development, the Malaysian factory, and it’s Florida sales and distribution centre in the United States. When it was time to upgrade the IT hardware and software Trumeter's IT Manager, Ivor Stones, considered the options.
“We'd reached the upper performance limit of our existing systems and needed to invest in new hardware and software. The question was: Do we install and manage the systems in our own office with the overhead of managing, maintaining and backing-up the systems or do we switch to a Cloud-based virtualisation service point where the day-to-day running of the systems are handled in a secure data centre and with access over the Internet?
“Given the pace at which our business is growing it made sense to opt for a Cloud-based service where we could more readily scale our IT infrastructure and take advantage of the higher resilience for what had become a 24 hour, 7 days a week business operation. It also provided a solution to a more immediate problem: the office was being relocated from Radcliffe to Bury. Now that manufacturing had moved to Malaysia, the Radcliffe site was far too big.”
Moving to the Cloud
Trumeter contacted CMS Group about moving to a Cloud-based virtualisation service. “CMS Group had helped us with the introduction of Citrix thin-client 10 years previously, and continued to provide on-going support. They knew our systems and were thus able to advise on the best approach,” he said.
The CMS Group's data centre in Manchester, provides a secure, centralised facility for application and e-mail servers, high speed storage devices, firewalls and, importantly, back-up systems and associated components; ensuring fast, reliable access to IT systems.
CMS proposed that new servers be first installed at Trumeter's Radcliffe offices and the IT systems migrated from the old to new servers over a couple of weeks. This allowed the company to test that the systems were running properly before making the move from Radcliffe. Only then was the decision taken to move the servers to the CMS Manchester data centre over a weekend.
Ivor Stones said “The move to the CMS data centre went very well. It solved the hardware refresh problem and has enabled us to relocate at will without disrupting IT services to our UK, US and Malaysian businesses. Interestingly, because of the time difference, CMS also provides Malaysia with 24*7*365 support.” Recently Trumeter has re-located again to a new, purpose designed HQ, also in Bury, with enhanced prototyping, testing and pilot line facilities as well as a new European Distribution centre.
Once in the data centre, Trumeter lost no time in introducing Windows Server 2008 and upgrading to Microsoft Exchange 2010, together with iPhone integration, secure in the knowledge that in the event of a problem the system can be instantly recovered.
“Prior to moving to the Cloud we made back-ups and conducted tests to check we could restore our servers in the event of a server failure – however it was time consuming and fraught with potential problems. With the CMS virtualisation service, it takes a snapshot every night and can be restored in minutes,” notes Ivor.
Without the daily grind of managing Trumeter's IT systems, Ivor Stones' role has changed from day-to-day hands-on to taking a more strategic approach to IT. In addition to new Microsoft software developments, he's also planning upgrades to the company's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) systems for its Malaysian manufacturing operations. Given the nature of providing IT services to a global business, Ivor Stones has a 2 hour window within which to make system changes.
The CMS Cloud has freed up time for Ivor Stones to get involved with wider product development activities. An electronics engineer by training, he also has many years programing experience that is now being used in the on-going development Trumeter's range of LED systems for automotive lighting.
Taking a wider corporate perspective, Trumeter Technologies' CEO John Smith, said, “IT is an enabling tool that allows us run our business as efficiently as possible. By switching to the the CMS Cloud Service we've side stepped many of the day-to-day hardware and software management issues that don't add any real value to the business. Instead we've got a dynamic and flexible IT infrastructure that is both resilient and more suited to the demands of a rapidly growing Trumeter Technologies.”