Financial Times

 

FT HEADQUARTER REFURBISHMENT DELIVERS STATE-OF-THE ART IT INFRASTRUCTURE AND FLEXIBLE WORKING

 

| MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS

| LONDON

| 140,000 SQ FT

| IT INFRASTRUCTURE & PROJECT MANAGEMEN

THE PROJECT INVOLVED:

  • Ongoing liaison between the business and the Professional Team members to reduce project risk in managing swing space in a BAU environment
  • Design of IT infrastructure to support convergence and VoIP technology 
  • DR connectivity and integration with back-end CER systems  Rigorous Project and Programme Management for day-to-day project control and delivery of objectives in line with expectations and budget requirements. 
The FT UK Headquarter refurbishment project had several objectives: to provide an enhanced state-of-the-art environment and IT infrastructure for our workforce; to reduce costs spent on the premises elsewhere; and, to adopt flexible working methods throughout the business. We employed PTS Consulting to help manage the refurbishment and IT implementation since its Consultants are experts in their field.
— Jon Wright, Project Director, Financial Times

The Financial Times, one of the world's leading business news organisations was seeking to refurbish its headquarters as One Southward Bridge. The office, measuring 140,000 ft2, is home to 1,500 staff but would need to allow for further expansion.

PTS was engaged on the project to help project manage the refurbishment and assist with the design and installation of the new infrastructure. As employees needed ongoing access to critical data and the company needed to function 24/7, all project work was carried out in a 'Business As Usual' environment. 

IT INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN

Since the migration to the new networking and equipment would happen gradually, the design of the new IT infrastructure was of extreme important. It needed to link with the FT's existing back-end equipment and allow the FT to embrace new VoIP technology. The Client also required connectivity to two DR sites to provide secure back-up and resiliency.  PTS Consulting helped plan the design of the Central Equipment room; the Server Equipment rooms and the Structured Cabling system. New hot-desk drop-down bench areas were incorporated into the design to support new collaborative working methods. 

PROJECT & PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT

PTS Consulting’s Project Management role involved overseeing the installation of the new infrastructure and facilities, liaising between the Facilities, IT, Mechanical and Electrical and Professional Teams. PTS Consulting’s involvement also extended to the creation of a comprehensive “Professional Team Information” document for all members of the Project Team to use and follow. Due to the complexity of managing swing-space and staff moves in a BAU environment, rigorous day-to-day project procedures, processes and reporting were put in place to meet critical deadlines. The physical facility and technology move required continuous engagement with the business. Good communication between PTS Consulting and all levels of the business ensured the teams could account for  that the differing expectations and needs of all internal departments. 

The project involved 4,500 user moves along with the refurbishment of all internal departments and public areas including lift lobbies, reception areas and dining rooms

Jon commented: “Of paramount importance at this stage of the project was the move of the FT’s Critical Production Department. This department is vital to the business since it manages the production of the printed newspaper, as well as the electronic version, FT.com. We just could not tolerate any loss of connectivity for this department. PTS Consulting thus developed an in-depth implementation plan for this particular area – with extra resilience built in. With PTS Consulting’s help, the IT implementation for this area was tested meticulously before the switch over was made, making the transition to the new system seamless.” Move Management: PTS Consulting also conducted a feasibility study on the use of an alternative property as swing-space. This allowed the FT to compare the benefits of reducing the project programme to the investment required while making sure that that the swing space used could adequately meet FT’s business environment and IT requirements."

With PTS Consulting’s help, the FT will see the refurbishment of its entire 140,000 ft² headquarter premises while its 1,500 users continue to work in the premises, full time. The new IT infrastructure will allow the FT to embrace improved working facilities, VoIP technology and flexible working methods. 

Jon concluded: “The FT UK Headquarter refurbishment is a pioneering project for the Pearson Group in terms of improving the way we work. Following PTS Consulting’s assistance with this first project in London, we’ve now got three other similar transformation projects planned for other locations around the world.” PTS Consulting is a global IT Consulting and Project Management firm that specialises in converged IT Infrastructure. Since 1983, PTS has delivered vendor-independent, bespoke solutions to some of the world's biggest names from strategically located offices in 11 countries. Our expertise in converged IT, Audio Visual, Physical Security and Critical Systems Infrastructure enables our clients to enact business transformation and realise their strategic objectives. Our highly motivated global team has delivered over 12,000 assignments in 85 countries and our commitment to success makes the difference between mediocrity and excellence on mission critical projects.