BLOODHOUND SSC breaks the connectivity barrier with Virgin Media Business

BLOODHOUND SSC’s Bristol-based headquarters needed a communication system that could keep pace with the demands of designing, building and testing a supersonic car. Virgin Media Business has installed a 1GB fibre optic network, giving BLOODOUND’s team of engineers the technology they need to share their success, and educate the next-generation of scientists at over 5000 schools from across the country.

With the land speed record firmly in their sights, the network is delivering super-fast internet services and a digital telephone system to BLOODHOUND’s 50 strong team. It’s making it far quicker and easier for staff to share test and design data and boosting the organisation’s education programme by enabling open source information sharing with schools, colleges and universities.

BLOODHOUND’S old 3MB internet connection wasn’t providing nearly enough bandwidth to support the engineering and communications team. With so much information to be shared with partners, engineers, the media and schools up and down the country, waiting for images or video clips to be sent over a sluggish internet connection was frustrating and a massive drain on productivity.

Thanks to the new network, staff can now upload and download huge files in a matter of seconds. With the extra bandwidth they’ve also begun holding videoconferences instead of wasting time sitting in traffic jams on their way to and from meetings. What’s more staff are no longer office bound, they can choose to work from home or access their emails on the move over a secure Virtual Private Network.

Virgin Media Business worked closely with BLOODHOUND’S team to understand exactly what they needed. As a result they were online and up to speed in a very short space of time. Now that phone and internet connectivity has been taken care of, the team can concentrate on smashing records and inspiring and educating the engineering talent of tomorrow.

Sarah Covell, technical centre manager, BLOODHOUND SSC explained: “From uploading video files and sharing 3D CAD drawings, to making a simple phone call, the network has completely changed the way we work. We’re holding meetings via Cisco Webex videoconference, saving us time and money, and Q&As with schools and colleges are easier to organise and host. We estimate that it’s upped our productivity levels by about 15% because we’re able to do things in parallel and aren’t spending time travelling to and from meetings.

“It’s also improving our work-life balance too. Our Lead Mechanical Engineer is based in Ireland, but had to live down here and travel back to see his family at the weekend, hardly ideal. He is now able to work on drawings, communicate with the office and connect to the server in Bristol from home. Being able to offer this kind of flexibility is helping us to recruit engineers and experts from much further afield.” She concluded.

Mark Heraghty, managing director, Virgin Media Business said: “BLOODHOUND’s mission is not just to develop a cutting edge car, it’s also working hard to educate and inspire the next generation of young engineers, scientists and business leaders. That’s why Virgin Media Business is delighted to be powering the project with a network that’s boosting productivity and easing communication. As a result, the team are finding it much easier to share information, internally, and with partners, the media, and universities. With the right technology in place the team can concentrate on smashing records and educating the engineering talent of tomorrow.”

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