Humbly Grove Energy Ltd. owns and operates the Humbly Grove Gas Storage and Oil Production facility in Hampshire. To facilitate the company’s sale by the previous owner, Pro Drive was asked to set up a new IT data centre, along with major desktop upgrades, within a very tight timescale.
The result of Pro Drive IT’s involvement has been the successful sale of Humbly Grove Energy, with minimal interruption to business operations. This included the smooth transition of office staff to remote working, which has been crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Humbly Grove Energy has been producing natural gas and oil at its Alton facilities since the discovery in the early 80s and has been a Natural Gas storage site since 2005. This contributes to balancing gas supply and demand within the national gas transmission system (NTS) in the UK.
The sale of Humbly Grove Energy relied upon its IT, which was heavily integrated with that of its parent company, being separated successfully and within a very short timeframe.
Paul Jordan, Operations Director at Humbly Grove Energy, commented: “The transaction couldn’t have been carried out unless we were confident that the company would have robust, standalone IT. As Humbly is a critical part of the UK energy infrastructure, storing a substantial amount of the UK’s natural gas, it was key that there could be no downtime or interruption to operations from this IT project.”
Pro Drive IT listened to the project requirements and used our expertise and experience to calculate a sensible proposal with system design, project management, costs and timescales fully described.
• Finance and maintenance systems extraction from the previous owner’s data centre.
• The creation of a brand new data centre environment and the migration of all data.
• Email migration to Office 365 from the previous owner’s systems.
• PCs were reconfigured and updated.
• Tough negotiation with 3rd-party vendors to control costs.
The work was completed on time and on budget and there was very little interruption to the operation of the business. This was despite the speed at which the separation work was done (at a week’s notice) to facilitate the sale of the company.
Bruce Penson, Managing Director at Pro Drive IT, said: “Fortunately the work was completed just before the awful COVID-19 pandemic hit. We’d implemented the new remote working systems and, crucially, Office 365, which provides great collaboration tools like Teams. This allowed Humbly Grove Energy to transition their office staff to home-working, whilst maintaining close contact with the operational team on-site, within days rather than weeks.”
Pro Drive IT provided support and training to help the Humbly workforce get up and running with Microsoft Teams. This meant they could communicate with each other – and clients – effectively, wherever they were working.
Paul Jordan concludes: “We continue to work with Pro Drive IT due to the level of support received through the acquisition process. We have the peace of mind of knowing that they are a trusted advisor and look after our IT demands, ensuring our productivity is maintained whilst reducing the risk of failure and also reacting to any downtime rapidly."