Nyrstar gets speedy network from BT Engage

The world's largest zinc producer managed to get a network set up and business running in just three months.

Nyrstar logo

CASE STUDY: After acquiring two market leaders, zinc producer Nyrstar had just three months to sort out the firms' IT and networks.

Company Background

Nyrstar became the world's largest zinc producer when it took over the zinc and lead smelting assets of the two market leaders, Belgium's Umicore and Australia's Zinifex. It also became a major player in the lead producing market. Combined, it generates more than one million tonnes a year.


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Following the takeover of Umicore and Zinifex, Nyrstar had operations and joint ventures in Australia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the USA. However, the company needed a base close to the London Metal Exchange (LME), the world's premier non-ferrous metals market.

The company had a three month deadline to get the set up finished, complete with IT and telephony infrastructure.

Rob Jongstra, infrastructure manager at Nyrstar, said: "It was vital that we set up an executive office in London because the LME is where zinc prices are negotiated on a global level. It has been proved in the past that it is beneficial to have an office where the market is so you can speak to investors and bankers and react very quickly to market changes."


After purchasing offices in Soho, the company chose BT Engage to provide the full infrastructure, on recommendation from HP.

"We threw BT Engage IT a challenging timeline from which they couldn't deviate and they said it was not a problem," Jongstra said. "BT Engage IT was also able to provide a total solution from design right through to implementation and support and that was important because we did not have time to deal with a lot of different suppliers."

BT Engage IT supplied and installed pre-configured HP ProLiant servers, pre-imaged HP desktops and notebooks and HP Multifunction Printers backed by a HP Smart Printing Services contract, into the executive office.

It also included a Cisco Unified Communications Solution, including switches, IP telephones and secure wireless LAN which allowed for contact between the UK office and its more established centres in Belgium and Australia.

It finally arranged the provision of BT landlines as well as O2 contracts for all of the staff members.


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The major benefit of this provision by BT Engage IT was a boost to the business of Nyrstar. It needed a base in London as soon as possible and the company provided that to deadline, allowing improved operations and a ready-made solution when staff arrived to the site.

"BT Engage IT had a very good project manager who made sure everything was done on time," Jongstra said. "Getting this building commissioned and up and running quickly was critical to our ability to trade efficiently. It was absolutely vital and it was achieved, thanks to BT Engage IT. Their overall performance was very good."

There is also an initial three-month support contract in place to keep things running smoothly for the meantime and it is likely to be extended.

Nyrstar has also employed BT Engage IT for a future Microsoft SharePoint project and may well use them for server virtualisation later on, the company said.

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