David Lloyd Leisure Ltd (DLL) is Europe’s leading health, sport and leisure group
They serve more than 620,000 members through 122 premium clubs across the UK, Republic of Ireland and mainland Europe. More than 8,000 people work for the group, including experts in fitness, racquet sports and swimming.
David Lloyd Leisure is passionate about creating comfortable and welcoming clubs. They’re committed to building relationships, not only with their members but also their suppliers. As they progressed on their digital transformation journey, they wanted to make the move from multiple IT suppliers to a single trusted managed cloud service provider. We’d been working with the group since 2007. We’d built up a level of trust and had proven our capabilities by managing a dedicated hosting platform for some years. We were in a good place to take on a new role and help the group through its next steps.
Simplifying the IT estate
DLL’s digital platform is becoming increasingly important to interact with their members on a 24x7 basis. They were looking for a partner that could provide the availability and performance expected by their members. Another requirement was to be able to leverage cloud services to roll out new functionality quickly. Agility and flexibility were a key priority for their IT department to support application development and marketing activities.
For David Lloyd Leisure, using multiple IT suppliers had become a challenge. It was hard to manage the overall infrastructure, keep track of interdependencies and ensure the overall security and data protection.
The group was looking for an innovative and agile partner able to build new platforms in hours not weeks. There is a strong demand for easy-to-use digital applications for booking classes or courts. And DLL needs access to public and private cloud solutions with reliable end-to-end security that’s globally consistent.
We have refreshed our environment at each renewal since 2008 to benefit from the next generation stack-based data centre platform. In 2019 we consolidated our hosting environments into BT's Private Compute data centres as fully managed services. This is thanks to the strategic partnership and the great service offered by BT's team.
Sanjeeva Wimalasena, Head of IT David Lloyd Leisure
The benefits of a strong partnership
Our long-standing relationship with DLL meant that we already had a team in place that knew the business and its core applications. We used our expertise to build an agile and reliable public cloud platform tailored to their needs. David Lloyd Leisure can now quickly roll out new functionality to continuously improve the digital experience for their members. And we deliver security solutions to make sure their data stays in the right hands and protects their reputation.
We created a new Azure platform to support DLL’s DevOps projects, like expanding on the Business Intelligence to encompass the PowerBI’s advanced heuristics – a key driver that allows DLL to truly understand their user base.
They can now quickly roll out new functionality to continuously improve their members’ digital experience. Our hybrid portfolio helps DLL to simplify their billing, invoicing and support arrangements all under one contract, with one global provider.
Our team works with DLL as consultants, helping with the day-to-day technical support as well as network security. By directly interacting with DLL’s application suppliers in the development and operational phases, we ensure the optimal performance and availability of those applications.
Having worked with Microsoft for nearly two decades, we were able to combine Microsoft Azure, Office 365, VDI and our Private Compute solution for the headquarters’ IT and health clubs. DLL’s employees have secure access to essential information and applications with a consistent strong performance across all applications no matter where they are.
Game, set and match
We’re now the trusted cloud service provider for David Lloyd Leisure, and fully responsible for their infrastructure. We host and manage their cloud services. We take care of their corporate back-office systems like the club’s desktops, disaster recovery and remote access and we host member-facing applications, including the corporate website and booking systems.
This is handled by a team of professionals who are well aligned with the group’s leadership team and its strategy. We work as partners, providing the technical insight and innovation to help shape DLL’s strategic journey. We make sure the hybrid environment – including Private Compute and the new Public Cloud services through Azure – stays fit for purpose. We’re working with DLL to improve their customer experience further by delivering our new Hybrid Cloud Cost Optimisation service as well. This gives DLL insight into their cloud spend through tailored dashboards and monthly reporting, while keeping a check on efficiencies and governance. They can track any overspend, plan efficiently and allocate costs to the right business owners.
The group can now develop a roadmap for their ongoing digital transformation, as they look to continue their investment in the cloud. And we will keep supporting them with the right technology to make sure that they’re ready, whatever the future may hold.
Public and private cloud services come with their own specific benefits. We believe that hybrid cloud services can offer the best of both worlds. David Lloyd leisure was one of BT's early hybrid cloud customers to embrace and integrate a private cloud hosting platform with Azure and AWS. It gives us greater flexibility, more capabilities and it reinforces our technology partnership with BT.
Sanjeeva Wimalasena, Head of IT, David Lloyd Leisure