The ‘Banking Department’ of Harrods department store opened for business in 1893, offering customers of the Victorian age a place to transact their financial affairs with comfort and convenience whilst visiting Knightsbridge. The ethos of the bank, then as now, was to extend the customer service and experience for which the store had become renowned to the provision of banking services.
In 2016 Harrods Bank had reached capacity at their Knightsbridge site and the building was being converted into an apartment complex, so they needed to seek new premises in Central London. A new location was selected on Hammersmith Road and the daunting task of moving premises begun.
As the Bank were the last tenants in the building there was an urgent need to turn this move around quickly and as a 24x7 business operation it was imperative the move went smoothly. In order for this to happen they needed to work with an experienced supplier that could manage the entire relocation process and keep their vital IT infrastructure and office equipment operational with minimal downtime.
Harrods Bank had been a longstanding client of IT managed service provider, Storm Technologies. When the project was agreed they naturally looked to strategic alliance partner, IT Document Solutions to work alongside them to facilitate the move of vital IT infrastructure, documents and office equipment.
The project was complex in its nature and involved three independent providers working together to provide a one stop service to the customer: Storm, ITDS and relocation specialist TIO. Mark Dansie, an ITDS senior technical project manager, was assigned to the role of managing the project and created a detailed project plan. With careful coordination each partner company knew exactly what their roles and responsibilities would be to ensure a seamless move for the Bank.
Working together seamlessly, Storm undertook the decommissioning of all technology, including critical computing equipment and servers. ITDS provided project management services and TIO carried out the physical move ensuring everything was carefully packaged and loaded safely. All equipment was stored safely overnight and then delivered and recommissioned by Storm engineers the following day. Due to the critical nature of providing banking and investment services to their high wealth clientele minimising downtime was extremely important, so the relocation activities couldn’t start until the Friday evening. There was also the added time pressure of needing to be completely finished and the keys of the building handed back to the landlord that evening, so that the building work could start the very next day, hence there was no room for slippage in any part of the plan.
Throughout the project the team coordinated closely with Harrods Bank internal project team and IT support, to ensure the plan was on track and all milestones were being reached, to ensure a smooth transition to the new premises.
Harrod’s Bank business of tracking stocks and investments meant there could only be limited downtime and there was no room for error, everything had to work first time. There were stringent timescales to adhere to, requiring out of hours’ support and because of the 24x7 operation, there was a very short window of opportunity to move the business to its new premises. Thanks to IT Document Solutions and Storm Technologies the business had a seamless move and they were fully operational at their new site the following day.
IT Manager, James Tewes from Harrods Bank concludes: “We were extremely happy with the relocation project that IT Document Solutions and Storm Technologies completed for us. It was vital that we got this right first time and the timescales were incredibly tight. Their project management was seamless and we were back up and running within the agreed timescales, which was a huge relief. ITDS working in partnership with Storm provided the reassurance of dealing with an established and trusted supplier with a strategic alliance, which meant we could deal with one central team. I would be happy to recommend IT Document Solutions to other businesses.”