BGL GROUP CASE STUDY

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The BGL Group logo

The BGL Group are a leading digital distributor of insurance and household financial services. From humble beginnings in 1992 when it was founded by Douw Steyn, it has grown from an insurance underwriter with a team of 30 into a £585 million-a-year turnover business employing more than 3,000 staff.

Today, the company operates several well-known brands across two divisions:

  • Price comparison
  • Insurance distribution and outsourcing (IDO)

Best Known for Compare The Market

It is best-known for comparethemarket.com, one of the UK’s biggest price comparison websites, and is responsible for turning Aleksandr Orlov and his furry meerkat friends into household names. Across the channel, it operates a French-language version of the comparison site called LesFurets.com.

On the IDO side, its partnerships arm Junction is the UK’s biggest insurance outsourcing business with its almost 2.5 million customers including M&S Bank, O2, Lloyds, and the Post Office. While through its BeagleStreet.com platform, BGL has transformed life insurance from a complex and time-consuming process into something that can be arranged in a simple ten-minute online journey.

Compare the Market logo
Reception sign of the BGL head office in Peterborough with building in the background

Many Sites Across the UK

BGL has 11 sites in total, including its headquarters in Peterborough and other locations including London, Wakefield, Sunderland, and Paris. They have micro data centres across all of these sites which ensure all IT, telephone systems, and websites run optimally.

Power loss in any of these data centres would mean an exponential loss of revenue for BGL. For instance, if its HQ in Peterborough was to lose its energy supply it would cost the company around £100,000 an hour.

Telephone Connectivity and Web Data Is Critical for the Business

Further to this, losing telephone connectivity and web data would be a huge issue for customer service. Because comparethemarket.com is purely an online system, it means users would be unable to use the services or contact customer support.

To ensure that power loss doesn’t occur, BGL relies on several Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units across all of its sites, with the main power units based at its headquarters.

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3D UPS icon with Legacy Products logo above from Specialist Power

Legacy Systems Causing Problems for The BGL Group

BGL’s previous uninterruptible power systems consisted mainly of legacy UPS units, which were around 15 years old. This meant the batteries’ service life was decreasing, the capacitor bank was starting to fail on the UPS, and the fans were consistently failing and requiring replacement more often than they should.

Since the company has been growing exponentially in recent years, having such an unreliable solution was out of the question.

 

Downtime for the BGL Group Is Not an Option

It was clear that the existing units needed an overhaul, and in 2017 the Facilities Management team at BGL Group decided it was time to replace the units. But as BGL operates 24/7, 365 days a week, having any downtime was simply not an option.

They needed a robust and reliable UPS solution, along with expert engineers who could fit the new units with minimal disruption.

24/7/365 logo with two arrows going around with a telephone icon
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Expert Advice From Specialist Power Systems

As an independent supplier of UPS systems, the BGL Group had already used our UPS maintenance services on its previous units, so when it came to selecting a new UPS, they asked us for our expert opinion.

After an extensive Site Survey our recommendation was that Riello UPS units would be the most suitable option for BGL’s requirement for a dependable solution.

All Riello UPS equipment is held in the UK at its warehouse and training facility based in Wrexham in North Wales, which means that parts can be dispatched from UK stock, as soon as needed.
 

Adam Baverstock, Sales Director at Specialist Power Systems, highlighted a few of the key reasons why:

“The quality, the price point and the speed of being able to get the equipment together was massively key for the customer. Also, the fact that there’s a great three-year warranty on all the Riello UPS equipment and that the parts are readily available, we knew we’d be able to deliver the solution to BGL quickly and be able to fix any issues without holdups.”

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Riello Master HP online UPS from Specialist Power Systems

How We Implemented the New Units

The major priority was to upgrade the main systems which are located at the Peterborough headquarters, so these were the first to be replaced as part of the project which began in the summer of 2017.

The communications room named Bretton in Fusion House had four 60kVA units before the project started, installed in an A&B N+1 configuration. These were prioritised for replacement due to the fact that they were at the end of their lifecycle and operating inefficiently.

The legacy units were replaced with Two 60kVA’s and two 100kVA units which were down rated to 60Kva to suit site installation conditions which required two of the UPS to discharge air from the top.

Specialist Power Systems were tasked by BGL with zero downtime when installing the new Riello UPS units, this meant working overnight across two nights. To ensure no downtime occurred, everything was kept live with one pair of UPS’s and with a very tight window to carry out that installation.

Everything went successfully and by the morning of the second day all the UPS were back online with two new power systems, without any disruption to BGL’s systems.

Further to this, in December 2017 the BGL call centre in Peterborough named Fusion House had two further 60kVA units replaced in Pegasus 3, the installation was carried out again over two nights without any downtime.

Riello Multi Sentry range of online UPS from Specialist Power Systems
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Arthur Reavey, Facilities Manager at BGL, said of the installation:

“The implementation process was smooth across all the sites. The decision to switch to Riello UPS was simple for us as the technology is exceptional and we have experienced no downtime, which is crucial to us given the nature of our digital business. The support from Specialist Power Systems has been really strong, anytime I’ve ever had an issue they’ve been there that day, if not within a couple of hours.”

Benefits of a New Riello UPS Installation

Since the project began, all UPS systems in the main data centres have already been converted to Riello UPS units, which now support the central infrastructure. 

The new Riello UPS units run far more efficiently compared to the older ones, which reduces energy waste, cuts electricity costs, and causes less environmental impact.

However, the main benefit for BGL is the reliability of the Riello UPS units which assures their peace of mind that no downtime will occur.

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Arthur continues:

“There’s a greater feeling of resilience and therefore less risk to the systems. Functionality is also really simple, so for team members looking to do weekly checks on them, they look at the screen display and its simple to go through the actual system to find out the load readings, the autonomy etc.

The Riello UPS units can’t be faulted. The quality is excellent for the price point and we have not had one issue since they were installed. It’s historically proven that they are exceptional units so I’m happy to use them in the future.”

Leo Craig, General Manager at Riello UPS, says of the project:

“Our UPS units are used across many different sectors that run critical operations, and BGL is no different. In partnership with Specialist Power Systems, our promise is to provide a high-quality, reliable solution with expert maintenance, and I believe that’s what we’ve delivered to the company.”

 

 

 

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If you wish to find out more about any of our previous installations or would like to speak to us about working with us to make sure your critical power is protected then give us a call on 01234 851155 or email [email protected] to speak to an expert today.

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Enquire Today

For more information, please call us on +44 (0) 1234 851155 or send us a message below.

Enquire Today

For more information, please call us on +44 (0) 1234 851155 or send us a message below.