Greater Manchester CSU signs contract with ANS

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Manchester-based IT solutions provider ANS Group has beaten off tough competition to secure a new multi-million pound contract providing cloud computing solutions to 12,500 NHS employees.

The three-year deal will see ANS develop, install and support a ‘private cloud’ platform for the newly formed Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) after a competitive five-way tender process.

The Greater Manchester CSU has been operational since October, and was formally established on the 1st April 2013, as part of the Government’s ongoing restructure of health and social care. The new body will be responsible for providing support services to Greater Manchester’s 12 new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which will replace the region’s ten existing Primary Care Trusts (PCTs).

As part of the deal, ANS Group will implement its award-winning ‘Infrastructure 3.0’ data centre design, which is based on FlexPod architecture. It offers a multi-tenanted private cloud computing platform for all CCGs across Greater Manchester, hosted by Greater Manchester CSU.

The new infrastructure consists of Cisco UCS Blades, NetApp storage, full VMware virtualisation and Cisco Nexus switches. The combined benefits of consolidated storage from NetApp’s de-duplication and thin provisioning with VMware’s virtualisation technology dramatically reduces the physical server count, which was key to the solution.

The changes mean that IT infrastructure previously used by the existing PCTs will be standardised, rationalised, integrated and consolidated – driving efficiencies to help meet NHS targets. The move will allow NHS Greater Manchester’s CCGs meet their IT costs targets by 35% by reducing cabling, power and cooling to the data centre, cutting IT maintenance time and cost, limiting network management time and reducing future capital expenditure.

Paul Sweeney, Managing Director at ANS Group said: “It’s great to see Greater Manchester CSU leading the way as being one of the first CSUs in the UK to implement a unified cloud platform. I expect this model will be emulated by many other CSUs and NHS bodies nationwide. It’s also fantastic for ANS as a Manchester-based business to be involved in this project.”

Peter Moseley, IT Director at Greater Manchester CSU, said: “ANS Group understood what Greater Manchester CSU wanted in terms of a ‘private’ cloud-based platform, which would enable the CSU to support the CCGs in Greater Manchester. Not only are they providing more for less, but their knowledge in the NHS is second to none”.