The Customer

Charles Baring Young opened Oak Hill College back in 1932. His intention was to help those young men that were less financially privileged, to get the training they required for gospel ministry in the Church of England. The college started off with just five staff and ten students but has since established itself as a renowned theological college with over 200 students – males and females, from all over the world. The college is now owned and governed by the Kingham Hill Trust.

Minerva has a long-standing relationship with Oak Hill College and has been providing a range of IT solutions and support since March 2014.

Oak Hill College have their own IT department and Minerva work alongside them by providing expertise and specialist skills, allowing them to focus on other internal IT projects.

The Challenge

Oak Hill College had aging hardware which was out of warranty and no longer fit to manage the ongoing needs of the organisation. They were running on old servers and did not have an off-site back-up in place. Although their back-up device was located in another building from the main server room, it was still on the same campus and posed a risk if there was a crisis that impacted the entire site (i.e. a fire). In such a disaster, the entire data could be lost and this would cause significant disruption to the running of the college.

The Solution

Minerva did an in-depth analysis to identify the organisation’s needs, aims and budget. It was evident that they needed a complete refresh of their server hardware as well as a full off-site back up plan. We therefore supplied new, suitable hardware which was ideal for the current set up and also practical for the future, as the college data and needs continue to grow. We also reused some of their existing hardware where possible, to maximise their return on investment.

Minerva provided Oak Hill with two new servers and a SAN which were designed to both mange the current network data and software as well as handle future growth over the next five plus years.  Alongside the server hardware, Minerva supplied a NAS device for handling the CCTV recordings in a cost-effective manner, and we also implemented a full off-site backup by installing a repurposed server and storage device at Kingham Hill School which is at a separate location to the college campus.  The back-ups were set to regularly be sent to the second site location to ensure that Oak Hill had a complete back-up on site if needed but their data was also safely located at their partner school in the case of a complete disaster on-site.

Oak Hill College wanted to make these changes to their network but also needed minimum disruption to their staff and students and therefore Minerva worked around their timescales to ensure the work was undertaken during a holiday period. Minerva kept the key project contacts at Oak Hill informed at all times of the schedule of work and ensured a smooth and disruptive free implementation of the project.

The Outcome

Oak Hill College now has an up-to-date, highly reliable, stable solution that provides optimum levels of performance.  Their network is now fully backed up off-site and they can be confident that their data is safe and available if ever a disaster should occur. The college is already planning the next IT refresh project with Minerva which will focus on improving internet speeds and updating the switch infrastructure used to manage the traffic throughout the entire network.

‘Minerva have worked with Oak Hill College for many years and even after a small time away from using Minerva for outsourced IT support, it wasn’t long before we came running back to continue working together! Various successful projects have been delivered over the years, and most recently, a project to completely replace our server infrastructure on-site, including significantly improving our back-up arrangements to include an installation on another site that the charity owns. As an educational charity our budgets are tight, but Minerva has continued to work in partnership with our timeframes and constraints, whilst always ensuring we have achieved value for money and a strategic outlook for phasing investment.’ (Grant Farrant, Director of Operations and Finance)