IT equipment, licenses and server virtualisation.
Over the last decade, Total has provided IT equipment for SPAR UK’s central office, including PCs, servers, storage and software licensing, as well as handling projects such as its server virtualisation.
At a Glance
SPAR is the world’s largest international food retail chain. In the UK, it is the leading convenience store group, with nearly 2,400 stores and a turnover of more than £3 billion.
Each country’s local SPAR organisation is owned and managed independently. SPAR UK is owned by five retail distribution companies, with a central London-based office providing buying, marketing and administration support to the distributors and stores.
SPAR UK’s central office needed an IT provider that could act as a reliable, trusted partner, and work as a one-stop shop to meet the company’s IT needs.
SPAR has been working with Total as its main IT provider for the UK central office for ten years. Total provides PCs, servers, storage and other equipment, as well as consumables such as printer toner. It also provides services for SPAR as required, such as cabling and managing the company’s software licensing.
SPAR works with Total on larger projects from time to time, for example on a major migration into a virtualised VMware environment, which required a new server and storage infrastructure.
Jim Nuth, IT Manager comments, “Total’s consultant helped organise the migration, recommended what kit was required, and planned what we needed to do – we got a lot of help from Total. With the virtualisation project complete, SPAR reduced its number of physical servers by 80%. The main benefit is in easier and faster data recovery, as Jim explains, “Now, we can recover a whole server in a couple of minutes with half a dozen button clicks – before, recovering a physical server involved retrieving backup tapes, and could take days.”
We’ve stayed with Total over the years because we have such a good relationship.
Total is responsive, and understands what we need – if we require something urgently, we just call them and we know it’ll be there the next morning, or even the same day if needed."
Jim commented that Total is good at keeping up to date with the latest technology and newest products, and he says, “They have the right technical people, and I can get information when I need it.
Total can find us anything, including obsolete products – it doesn’t just have to be what’s in stock at the main distributor. In the past, they’ve even sourced items that were no longer being made!
We’ve got more projects coming up for which we plan to work with Total, such as migrating to a new IP phone system. I feel confident that whatever I throw at them, they can help. The relationship with Total is more like working with a friend or colleague than with a supplier – it’s always a good, friendly atmosphere, and I can phone, text or email whenever I need. I would recommend them unreservedly.