BT equips vital London base for world’s largest zinc producer

" It was essential to our business that we set up an executive office in London within a three month timeframe. We needed an IT partner who we could trust and who could provide a total service from design through to implementation and support. We chose BT and they did an excellent job. "

Rob Jongstra, Infrastructure Manager, Nyrstar

Business Challenges

When the world’s largest zinc producer, Nyrstar, was formed, it was vital to have offices close to the London Metal Exchange where world zinc prices are fixed and trading is conducted.
Nyrstar had no UK presence so an office had to be found and provisioned with a complete IT and telephony infrastructure in just three months.

Key Relationship Features

BT combined technical skills with a human approach that appealed to Nyrstar and promised to meet the deadline.
BT is vendor independent but maintains strong strategic alliances with main suppliers so it can cherry pick leading edge solutions that are an exact fit with customers’ needs.


BT provided a complete IT solution with full roll out capabilities:

  • Speedy delivery met Nyrstar’s vital time constraints
  • Flexibility and agility combined with an understanding of customer requirements resulted in a well-tailored solution
  • Nyrstar now has a London base that is vital for its efficient daily trading

With wholly owned operations and joint ventures in Australia, Belgium, France,the Netherlands and the USA, Nyrstar was incorporated in Belgium and will be floated on the Belgian Stock Exchange. However, it also needed a base close to the London Metal Exchange (LME) which was established over 130 years ago in the heart of the City of London and is the world’s premier non-ferrous metals market.

London Base Vital


“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,” explains Nyrstar Infrastructure Manager, Rob Jongstra. “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.”

Having acquired premises in Soho, Nyrstar had just three months to install a total IT and telephony infrastructure from scratch and after getting down to a shortlist of two, the partner it chose for the job was BT. “We needed a reliable ICT partner in the UK and we got a BT reference through a contact at HP in Melbourne,” adds Jongstra.“For me, the initial contact is always very important and we just clicked. They had a unique combination of technical knowledge and a human approach. Another major factor was their close relationship with Hewlett-Packard, which is our prime hardware partner.”

Tight Timeframe

“We threw BT a challenging timeline from which they couldn’t deviate and they said it was not a problem. BT 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,” adds Jongstra. BT rolled out a total infrastructure to the new executive office that included supply and installation of pre-confgured HP ProLiant servers, pre-imaged HP desktops and notebooks and HP Multifunction Printers (MFPs) backed by a HP SmartPrinting Services contract. A Cisco Unified Communications Solution, including switches, IP telephones and secure wireless LAN was installed and the whole landscape was set up so that contact could be maintained between offices in the UK, Umicore in Belgium and Zinifex in Australia.

Good Job Well Done

BT additionally arranged for the necessary BT lines to be provided and sourced O2 mobile phone contracts for staff and the whole job was completed within the tight timeline of just three months.

“BT had a very good project manager who made sure everything was done on time,” adds Jongstra. “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. Their overall performance was very good.”

An initial three month support contract is in place and is likely to be extended. Nyrstar has now engaged BT for a Microsoft SharePoint project and future work may also include a server virtualisation exercise.

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Further information on how we helped Nyrstar


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