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Costain drives highway contract

Engineering solutions provider Costain has secured a new contract with Highways England to help with smart motorways and software solutions such as ESDAL (Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads), which allows hauliers to plot a route and also alerts the authorities to abnormal loads being carried across the country.

The challenge was to deliver a solution that would meet the UK authorities’ requirements, which are complex, and to identify a partner who could host the service, as Highways England did not itself want to host the systems. Data requirements meant the host had to be UK-based with a partner who understood Oracle and Microsoft Windows access points.

Costain underwent a formal selection process and selected NaviSite to host and roll out the ESDAL application. Key to the company’s selection was NaviSite’s ability to deliver a hybrid cloud system, rather than putting everything into a private environment. It had to ensure security and robust service level agreements which would adhere to the strict data regulations applying in the area.

NaviSite and Costain worked closely on the technology to create an agile project working on the NaviCloud sphere as well as physical Oracle platforms to host Costain’s ESDAL system. NaviSite’s role was to set the platform up in addition to the operating environments, clustered Oracle databases, networks firewalls and to ensure adequate testing.

The result has been the provision of the application as well as the chance to open up new business opportunities with existing customers.

One of the notable elements of the contract is the timescale. The hybrid cloud platform from NaviSite enabled a faster-than-usual delivery time and the company’s existing in-house skill set certainly helped in this; in the event the procurement, build, test and delivery happened in the space of eight weeks.

ESDAL is now available as a free service to local councils, government departments and private companies through Highways England’s ESDAL website.