About McLaren Construction Group

£650

million in annual revenue

700

employees in Essex, England

2001

year founded

Introduction

McLaren Group is an international, award-winning construction, property and development company operating in the UK and UAE. McLaren is passionate about creating spaces that inspire and serve customers – and it shows. The firm’s London region has won contracts worth over £240 million since the onset of COVID-19 despite recent market challenges. McLaren was also named as the main contractor at Aldgate Place, a 136,000 square foot project including residential apartments, professional offices, retail and leisure space.

The Challenge:

McLaren Group’s innovative, customer-focused approach to construction and property development is evident across many of its projects, including Leicester City Football Club’s new training grounds. This huge redevelopment project on 185-acres includes 21 playing surfaces, a large floodlit main pitch, and state-of-the-art training, medical and sports science facilities for the Premier League team. How does a company with such visibility add business value and remotely protect its workforce across multiple sites? With iboss.

 

The construction industry presents specific challenges to IT departments as the number of building sites in operation at any one time varies. With worksites differing in size, quantity and scope, companies experience significant expenses to ensure their data centers remain uncongested as traffic is backhauled.  McLaren recognised the need to remove data center bottlenecks and streamline operations by transitioning its hybrid cloud architecture to a full cloud model in 2019. Further, the company’s environment presented distinct challenges with its remote sites using 4G and IoT devices.

 

Daniel “DB” Blackman, Head of IT at McLaren explains, “As part of our transformation, we invested in Citrix SD-WAN technology and moved away from MPLS to software-defined networks to provide each site with direct internet connectivity for resources including Microsoft 365.” However, doing so required each location to backhaul other internet traffic via McLaren’s last remaining data center to ensure internet breakout occurred effectively. With SD-WAN, the firm needed a solution that delivered cloud or SASE-based security and next-generation internet filtering. It was particularly important that McLaren find a solution that could address Zero Trust efforts, given the company has significant construction site IoT traffic and cloud-enabled solutions including WiFi and switching technology.

The Solution:

McLaren Group selected iboss over other market options in part for its ability to integrate directly into its Citrix SD-WAN environment, enabling internet breakout not just for Microsoft 365 and the edge but for all internet traffic.  DB continues, “iboss stood out from the crowd, not only offering a client, but also a GRE or IPsec VPN tunnel for those devices.” McLaren could prevent backhauling and ultimately closed its on-prem data center, resulting in tremendous cost savings and a move to a true cloud environment. DB was impressed that iboss is an engineering-led business, whereas he noted the other vendors were more sales-focused without many technical experts who could directly address their concerns.

We removed data backhauling, closed our data center and secured a mobile workforce in a moment of need when COVID-19 changed our working practices.

Daniel Blackman
Head of Information Technology

McLaren initially utilized iboss to secure its branch offices and construction sites before COVID-19 struck. When employees needed to work remotely because of the pandemic, however, the company’s data center firewalls started to fail under congestion, since they weren’t designed for remote working on a massive scale. Various business users had to be disconnected from the network at peak times simply to manage workload. As a result, McLaren expedited iboss delivery to the entire workforce through the client; within a few days, every endpoint in a construction site or remote device was secured by iboss.

iboss stood out from the crowd, not only offering a client, but also a GRE or IPsec VPN tunnel for those devices. McLaren secured branch offices and our brick-and-mortar sites from the edge. iboss enabled us to truly have a cloud-first strategy.

Daniel Blackman
Head of Information Technology

The Results

DB puts it best: “We removed data backhauling, closed our data center and secured a mobile workforce in a moment of need when COVID-19 changed our working practices. McLaren secured branch offices and our brick-and-mortar sites from the edge. iboss enabled us to truly have a cloud-first strategy.”

 

Integrating iboss into the Citrix SD-WAN enabled true agility and scalability for McLaren. The firm can scale the number of construction sites – no matter how many are active at one time – without the burden of considering the impact on fixed services such as data centers. McLaren’s IT team is free from wondering how or when technology will be scaled or how budgets are affected.

 

Throughout its cloud journey, McLaren Group continues to receive advocacy and guidance from iboss. DB states the Technical Support team is “second to none. It’s all how the vendor responds to the customer, and we’ve had a fantastic response every time.” If any issues arise, his team contacts iboss directly for resolution. Given the importance of providing seamless remote access to McLaren’s employees, iboss continues to provide the firm with resolute guidance and technical support throughout every stage of the SASE journey. With the increase in mobile workforce devices, the organisation is evaluating how to extend iboss into, as DB says, “every new journey we embark on.”

Highlights

Direct integration with Citrix SD-WAN environment provides internet breakout for Microsoft 365, the edge and all internet traffic

 

Elimination of data center helped McLaren realize increase in value while moving to a full cloud model

 

True agility and scalability with iboss enables the company to scale construction sites without impacts on fixed services or expenses

 

SASE-based security and next-generation internet filtering address McLaren’s efforts with Zero Trust access around site IoT traffic and cloud-enabled solutions

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