Gloucester Rugby

Find out how Gloucester Rugby are transforming their business operations with the use of Microsoft’s Modern Workplace.

One of the most established, well known rugby clubs in the world, Gloucester Rugby are a professional sporting organisation that play in England’s top division of rugby, as well as in the top European rugby competition.

Gloucester Rugby have recently gone through a period of transformation, with the aim of delivering a world class experience to its fans and its partners. Recent initiatives have included ongoing investment in the rugby squad and coaching setup, a club rebrand, a dedicated conferencing and events team, a new hybrid rugby pitch and a new fan experience, including ultra-fast stadium Wi-Fi and a Club App.

To help deliver on this transformation, Gloucester Rugby embarked on a procurement process to replace their existing technology provider. After a detailed tender process, Gloucester Rugby chose First Solution as their core technology provider.

Gloucester Rugby is one of the most high-profile businesses in Gloucestershire and very much the hub of the community. This profile means they need to be very strict in terms of their cyber security posture. Their core customers are members of the public, meaning they need to be very careful in the management and security of personal data. The business also has a requirement for strict adherence to PCI and GDPR regulation.

A critical part of the operation is home matchdays, which often involve over 15,000 spectators at their ground, Kingsholm stadium, and live coverage on TV. These events usually take place at weekends or evenings. It is vitally important that IT operations perform during these matchdays. Gloucester Rugby also need to manage their core business operations at Kingsholm, their stadium, and their player training facility at Hartpury University.

A new management team was put in place in Autumn 2019. The team developed a highly ambitious strategy to be successful both on and off the field. The team identified that embracing new technology was key to supporting their strategy and would be essential in increasing operational efficiency and staff productivity

  • A 36-month strategy was agreed to take Gloucester Rugby into the Cloud and develop a ‘Modern Workplace’ based on Office 365 and Microsoft best practice, whist ensuring that the businesses critical data was kept secure.
  • First Solution delivered their state-of-the-art Managed IT Support Service to enable operational excellence, whilst simultaneously raising defences and lowering costs. This included a service desk to help users with issues, a 24/7 network operations centre to manage core infrastructure, and scheduled onsite engineers for both site visits and cover for matchdays.
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery processes were implemented, and a number of next generation cyber security services we rolled out within the business.

“We are a unique business in many respects and have a unique set of IT requirements. First Solution have designed and implemented a solution that improves our day to day operations now and has given us a platform that we can build upon for the future. We are a sporting institution that has a lot of ambition, both on and off the field. First Solution are the right technology partner to help us achieve our aspirations”

Alex Brown, Commercial Director, Gloucester Rugby

First Solution has delivered against Gloucester Rugby’s high expectations, showing its ability to be commercially and operationally adaptive to Gloucester Rugby’s needs. Gloucester Rugby’s move to Office 365 has made the business more agile in their IT Operations, whilst improving the communication and collaboration amongst their staff. The implementation of a Technology Strategy has allowed management to make informed decisions around technology and provides a common framework and language to help communicate to key stakeholders.

Alex Brown, Commercial Director ‘We are a unique business in many respects and have a unique set of IT requirements. First Solution have designed and implemented a solution that improves our day to day operations now and has given us a platform that we can build upon for the future. We are a sporting institution that has a lot of ambition, both on and off the field. First Solution are the right technology partner to help us achieve our aspirations’

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