Car fleet firm drives IT consolidation to Dublin


10 Aug 2006

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LeasePlan Corporation, a provider of car fleet management services, has consolidated its entire IT function for Europe at a data centre based in Dublin, creating close to 100 jobs in the process.

As part of a globalisation strategy, LeasePlan Corporation decided to consolidate its 21 European sites into LeasePlan Infrastructure Services (LPIS), a data centre operation based in Dublin. In turn, LPIS commissioned IBM to deliver a hardware environment comprising several eServer products — i-Series; x-Series and storage systems — in order to facilitate the merger of LeasePlan’s European IT systems. It is one of the largest i-Series deployments in Europe.

Over the past four years, LeasePlan has made a multimillion euro investment in ICT systems and IBM has worked closely with the company since 2003 to provide the hardware, software and technical support for all phases of the IT consolidation project. The current support contract does not have a finite time frame but is an ongoing and increasing relationship.

Explaining the reasons for the consolidation, David Ryan, managing director of LPIS, said: “Fundamental to our globalisation programme is to offer the same look and feel, applications, support and customer relationship management activities. By having one single centre we’re able to do that. We get quotations for business on a Saturday night and it’s easier to be able to offer that from a single European centre.”

It will also be easier, faster and more cost efficient to roll out web applications to all of the company’s European operations from one location, Ryan added. “We build it once, host it once and deploy it everywhere,” he said. In addition, the consolidation has led to consistent levels of service and improved costs.

Ireland was one of three countries in line to win the deal. Although the identities of the other two shortlisted countries are not known, it is understood that they were not low-cost locations in eastern Europe.

According to Ryan, the reason for locating in Ireland was due to the “maturity of the IT support landscape” in the country. “The after-market is important here in Ireland; if you buy something, you are likely to get world-class support for it,” he told siliconrepublic.com.

The consolidated IT infrastructure is now fully live and is supporting all of LeasePlan’s European operations. Just under 100 employees have been taken on to run the operation from Dublin. “The employment was wholly driven by the consolidation,” Ryan confirmed.

By Gordon Smith