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Bedford Pumps is one of the first to move its on-premise 3D CAD/CAM product design system to Azure Virtual Desktop…

….Driven by the global hardware and computer chip shortage, and a need for hybrid working.

Bedford Pumps, a  British manufacturer of robust pumping plants  for the water and waste water  industry, has become one of the first companies in the UK to deliver its 3D CAD/CAM product design systems via Azure Virtual Desktop as a work around to the challenges of the pandemic.

Implemented by Foundation IT (FIT), infrastructure specialists, the system has given the manufacturer’s design team the necessary computing processing power to cope remotely with the complex designs of computer-aided design and engineering programmes, leading to increased productivity and staff morale.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Bedford Pumps struggled to procure powerful, 3D capable laptops or desktops for their design team as staff began working from home. The lead time on delivery of suitable computer hardware, particularly computer chips, was  long  and  unpredictable and, at its worst,  simply  unknown,  while costs were  inflated.

The company  also had issues with  teams  using existing machines from home during the pandemic.

“We needed a quick resolution to prevent any downtime and ensure our business  could  continue to design and deliver products,” says Alix MacDonald, Head of Design at Bedford Pumps.

“Foundation IT helped us to overcome  these challenges by leveraging modern cloud computing advances and cloud-hosted Azure Virtual Desktop to digitally transform our CAD/CAM system and ensure we could continue to design and deliver products.

“The system has enabled our product designers to operate remotely from any location and has enabled us to extend  the  use of our legacy hardware which also has environmental and cost benefits. Overall, this solution has given us a massive boost in the way we operate. It has also enabled us to onboard new staff members much more quickly, saving time and hardware costs,” says Alix.

Jim  Walters, a  Support Analyst at  FIT, explains that there was a high degree of collaboration between Bedford Pumps and FIT.

“While we have been involved in many AVD deployments, the concept of running 3D modelling software on virtual desktops was new, so there had to be some iterative testing influenced by user feedback,” explains Jim.

AVD has now been adopted in full and other lines of business applications are streamed to users via this method.

“In time, this will become our only method of accessing corporate resources,” says Alix.

“The wider benefits became apparent as the system was deployed. Not only does the system work reliably, with fewer crashes, but the performance has also been consistently high which, in turn, has boosted productivity considerably. The result is that we have a scalable, flexible solution which is a major benefit as we want to grow as a business in the next five years and we now have a method of adding users to the platform as and when needed.

“It has also created a level playing field in that every team member has access to the same processing power and software capabilities,” says Alix.

About Foundation IT 

Established in 1996, Foundation IT (FIT) provides IT infrastructure managed services with particular focus on Microsoft, including Azure, Windows Virtual Desktop, O365, Teams, AD, Exchange. We’re at the beginning of a digital revolution and FIT’s role is to provide a robust and agile service so that its clients can focus on innovation. FIT’s services are designed for people who believe their IT Infrastructure should be consumed as a service.

FIT is focused on people who want a trusted partner to manage their infrastructure. Its highly experienced, certified and innovative IT team offers comprehensive ITIL best practise support and advice for building and maintaining world class IT infrastructures.

Operating seamlessly with IT teams, FIT provides a high-quality, reliable, compliant and secure range of IT Infrastructure services for legacy, core and cloud.

FIT’s diverse range of clients include Cynergy Bank, Enstar, Russell & Bromley, St John Ambulance, Toyota Financial Services, The Kennel Club and ZSL – London Zoo.

Foundation IT is a Microsoft Gold Partner for Cloud Competency, ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 accredited.

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