Data Interchange secure reliable end-to-end delivery of HMRC files for Atkins

Taking just three months to design and implement, Data Interchange provided Atkins – an international design, engineering and project management consultancy company – with a bespoke managed service. Replacing its legacy EDI (electronic data interchange) system, Data Interchange delivered a dependable solution that enabled Atkins to submit real time information (RTI) to HMRC securely and efficiently.
First established in 1938 as a civil and structural engineering design company, Atkins has grown to become one of the world’s premium project management consultancies. Gradually expanding its range of services over the years, Atkins now employs 18,000 people globally, with approximately 4,500 working in the UK.
Prior to contacting Data Interchange, Atkins had been using an ISDN connection to send its payroll information to HMRC. Whilst this had worked in the past, Atkins needed to upgrade its hardware components, which meant a new submission method would also be required. An additional consideration was that HMRC had introduced several changes and were subsequently issuing penalties for late or incorrect submissions. Reinforcing its decision to move away from its ISDN connection and legacy EDI system, Atkins recognised that a newer, internet-based protocol would deliver a faster, more robust and less expensive service.

The Data Interchange Solution

Atkins was very clear about what it was looking for in its new solution. Speaking about its requirements, Kelly Willoughby, Product Specialist at Atkins explained: “We were looking for a safe and secure solution that removed our previous dependence on an external ISDN connection provider and mitigated the risk of receiving any late submission penalties from HMRC.”
Having received a list of recommended solution providers from HMRC, Atkins approached Data Interchange and was immediately impressed. “The first contact we made was an overwhelmingly positive experience”, recalled Kelly. “We were in unfamiliar territory and Data Interchange reassured us by listening to our concerns and addressing them directly, right from the start”. 
Data Interchange recommended a monitored managed service consisting of a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) connection and corresponding mailbox, set up on the Dinet integration network. Unlike Atkins’ previous ISDN connection, the solution allowed the submission of files to HMRC over a secure internet connection. This removed any uncertainty caused by slow processing speeds, whilst increasing file and connection security.
An additional managed service element was incorporated into the solution to safeguard against late submission penalties. By monitoring the end-to-end connectivity between Atkins, Dinet and HMRC, Data Interchange can inform Atkins of any other external factors that may affect the timely submission of their payment files. With this additional layer of reassurance, Atkins can focus on its core business, knowing that it will be alerted to any transmission or connection downtime issues straight away. 
To support Atkins’ transition from its legacy EDI system to its new managed service, the solution was deployed remotely and in two stages. After the SFTP connection and mailbox were profiled on the Dinet integration network, a period of testing between Data Interchange and Atkins was carried out. This confirmed the integrity of the file transfer process and assessed the end-to-end connectivity of the service before the go-live date.

The Benefits

 Following the testing phase, a series of one-to-one Dinet dashboard training sessions were provided to help the payroll team maximise the round-the-clock visibility of their submissions. “The training sessions were really beneficial to us because we were able to hit the ground running and check the status of the service at any time”, enthused Kelly. “We could run analytical reports and configure specific alerts for each of our file transmissions – it was just brilliant!”
The Data Interchange solution has modernised Atkins’ EDI system whilst remaining compatible with the consultancy’s pre-existing software and so eliminating the need for any additional expenditure. The SFTP connection made the delivery of Atkins’ employee data to HMRC quicker, more secure and reduced the file processing times owing to the faster connection speed. The proactive monitoring of the service ensures continuity, providing Atkins with the peace of mind it was looking for. Kelly reflects: “As a global brand, our reputation is imperative. The Data Interchange solution is everything we could have wanted; it’s very straightforward to use, incredibly reliable and ensures our submissions to HMRC are sent on time.”


Next Steps

For further information, please contact a member of the commercial team
+44 (0) 1733 371311