Knowing the company
Founded in 1996, Bell Integration is a fast-growing IT services and consulting company with annual revenues of close to £170m; it’s at the forefront of helping companies drive costs from their operations and improve their ability to engage with customers - either by supporting the growth of their channels to market, or by aiding their responsive and service quality. Currently with 450 permanent employees and over 50 associates employed in locations in London, Portsmouth, Wokingham, Stevenage, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Singapore, Hyderabad and many based directly at customer sites.
Bell Integration needed to upgrade their ERP system for a number of reasons; they were running an old version of Navision that was limited by 32bit technology and no longer supported by Microsoft. They had also had a large increase in the number of users, and were planning for an even larger increase. The system they were using had issues with security and performance, with database locking issues and complete outages a regular occurrence. They found the system slow and outdated – and with the planned expansion it was essential to have a system robust enough to grow with the business.
To keep upgrade costs down and manage their ERP systems effectively, Bell decided on a three-year upgrade lifecycle strategy.
The Ocean Dynamics team implemented the first upgrade to NAV 2013 RTC in 2014. “We wanted a company that would keep us current,” explains Chris McIntosh, IS Manager; “the team at Ocean Dynamics were experienced in areas of NAV that we were not, and could demonstrate a different way of using NAV, ensuring we get the very best from the system.”
Following the gap analysis by the Ocean Dynamics team, the implementation of a demo database, deployment of the UAT database, retraining of staff, comprehensive testing and departmental sign off, the upgrade went ahead on the agreed cutover date. “The Ocean Dynamics team were with us every step of the way,” says Chris – “providing onsite support on day one, and dedicated support for week one. It was reassuring to know that we could fully rely on them during that critical time.”
As part of the Bell Integration business continuity plan, they then upgraded to NAV 2017. A three-month plan was put in place which covered a full data upgrade and step through from NAV 2013 to NAV 2017.
TS Support Manager Matt Donaghy said, “the upgrade project was executed superbly well and Ocean Dynamics provided all necessary resources and project management to mitigate risk and ensure a smooth transition, it couldn’t have gone better!”
With a 150% increase in users since the 2013 upgrade, Bell were delighted to see no noticeable decrease in performance. This crucially meant increased stability and uptime. They saw an improvement in productivity with its more intuitive and user friendly role tailored client. They experienced improved data management and performance, increased visibility of reporting, and optimised financial and warehouse reports; all contributing to refining their business processes.
The upgrade to NAV 2017 continues to provide additional features and functionality allowing Bell to easily integrate the solution into other business applications and the Microsoft-centric platform that they operate, from SharePoint through to Office 365. Bell are aware that the growth of their business constantly pushes resource limits and the integration of these essential systems into their core processes helps to ensure their continued success.
Manpreet Gill, Finance Director at Bell said; “we were extremely happy with the service from the Ocean Dynamics team; from the very beginning of the project through to the ongoing support on a day to day basis, they were the first proactive rather than reactive company we used which is very refreshing. The level of hands on support we received from them is above and beyond what we expected.”