Linklaters LLP has signed what is described as a 'multi-million pound, five year deal' to outsource its Colchester-based data centre infrastructure to SAVVIS, a global provider of IT infrastructure services. Under the terms of deal (which does not involve any staff transfers – in fact one of the reasons for the move was to free Linklaters' IT staff from routine admin work so they could focus on more client-facing projects) SAVVIS will host a number of Linklaters' business critical applications including knowledge and document management systems, finance, web and email systems, as well as providing internet bandwidth and archiving facilities. This is the fourth Linklaters data centre to be outsourced in recent years (the other three cover the firm's UK, US and Far Eastern operations) and while SAVVIS deal mainly supports the firm's Continental European operations, it also covers a number of global systems including the SAP financial and practice management system.
 
“SAVVIS core business model is to deliver resilient and secure IT infrastructure services for its customers, so its level of expertise and available resource was a key factor in our decision making process,” said Simon Gilhooly, Global Head of Technical Systems at Linklaters. “In the longer term, moving to a selective managed services model with SAVVIS will improve efficiencies and capacity management.” Gilhooly went on to say the equipment at Colchester was starting to reach the end of its life and that the combination of sizing issues (just how big would the infrastructure have to be to support the firm's needs in five years' time) plus all the technical issues associated with building data centres made the hosted option more attractive than continuing to do it inhouse.

“Selective outsourcing with SAVVIS is great for firms like Linklaters as it is an efficient way for them to manage costs and drive economies of scale whilst increasing availability and scalability,” said Richard Warley, Managing Director International for SAVVIS. “It will enable Linklaters’ IT team to focus on delivering value-add projects back into the business.”