Progressive Building Society chooses managed service to improve delivery of IT operations in order to focus on customer needs

21 Jan 2021 Financial Services

The Progressive Building Society is an integral part of the life of Northern Ireland. Born out of the merger of five tiny societies, it first opened its doors under the ‘Progressive’ name in 1914. The society continues to grow through strong and vibrant leadership, and counts itself amongst the ‘Top 10’ building societies in the United Kingdom with assets of over £1.6 billion.

The Challenge

Many of the business critical internal applications are deployed using a Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktop platform. As early adopters of server and desktop virtualisation, The Progressive Building Society had developed a relatively small, but capable in-house IT department. As demand from users and customers grew, the adoption rate of new technology also accelerated.

The in-house IT department recognised that their core function was to support the needs of their customers, aligned to critical applications, rather than the infrastructure that housed them. The Progressive sought a move to a more suitable support model which provided a proactive managed support solution, offering ownership and uptime guarantees on core infrastructure.

Service Overview


Spend more time on core business application and improve end user experience


Managed Service

  • Improved end user experience
  • Proactive managed support
  • Increased capability for backup and disaster recovery

The Solution

The Progressive Building Society had previously engaged in upgrade projects spanning multiple hardware and software platforms. This led to recognition of the need to continuously improve upon staff training. With the focus on maintaining the internal service levels of their own demanding user community, the Progressive Building Society preferred to outsource this element of support.

The Managed Service solution presented a blended approach, incorporating proactive reviews of the in-scope environment whilst maintaining the reactive function of customer lead call logging, akin to a typical reactive service desk.

As part of the managed service , we worked with the Progressive IT team to develop a Change Management procedure which applies a risk category to every requested change. Understanding the risk enables Progressive staff to make correct and appropriate decisions in relation to the IT environment thus ensuring the customer is protected both in terms of data integrity and the service available.

We implemented an independent monitoring and management stack, accessed by key contracted support staff over a secured, private and dedicated network connection. This ensures only Progressive traffic is transmitted over the MPLS and also provides a direct route into the management infrastructure. With no reliance on primary or secondary network connectivity, we can guarantee constant access to the environment, even in the event of total MPLS failure. Our monitoring software reports in “real-time”, enabling contracted staff to build intelligence based profiles of the Progressive environment. In depth understanding of the data enables staff to model the trend analytics to ensure issues related to typical hardware and software failures are avoided through proactive resolution practices.

The robust managed service provided strengthens our ability to support our business and members and helps us to focus on our digital proposition and our new ways of working.

Monique Silva – Head of IT †


The solution implemented has increased confidence in the capability of the backup, disaster recovery, and virtualisation platform’s ability to execute in line with customer demand. Progressive are assured that common risk areas are continually reviewed, with a daily resolution eliminating any repeat issues.

† The customer reference was provided prior to CANCOM in the UK&I becoming Telefónica Tech in the UK&I and the names have been changed for ease of reference.

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