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B4 Parking

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Business IT system support and technology consulting for the UK’s most technological advanced car park.

B4 Parking in the centre of Birmingham is an underground car park: safe, bright, ticketless, innovative and controlled by technology, where excellence is a minimum requirement. As we support the owners’ IT systems elsewhere our management team were brought in as technology consultants.


B4 Parking isn’t your typical car park. It’s a place where you can simply show up and park safely. You can create an online account in advance then reserve a car parking space. If booked in advance a confirmation text message and email is sent to you the day before you arrive. An LCD screen at the barrier welcomes you and directs you straight to your reserved parking place. Indicated by a light, as you arrive at your parking place, another LCD screen greets you by displaying your registration number.

The entire place is heavily reliant upon technology and the principals, Chatham Billingham, needed a company that would not only be able to cope with the need, but proactively suggest technology solutions to address their very specific challenges.

Specifically the partnering IT company needed to be able to:

  • Identify the IT systems that were needed to control the entire operation
  • Source and evaluate the other technology partners
  • Source and evaluate the hardware and software needed
  • Create, with others, a robust and sustainable system capable of running a 24/7, 365 days of the year service
  • Ensure seamless integration between two platforms necessary for such an innovative project
  • Maintain and support the IT systems implemented for a projected 25 year lifespan

Chatham Billingham’s Principals retained Dragon IS on both a consultancy basis and as lead in the project management and implementation processes.

“We knew the skills were there and so was the tenacious drive and absolute determination to get everything 100% right.”

Dragon Information Systems offer complete IT support with service contracts that ensure you have a dependable IT system when you need it.

Having a wide range of skills and technical experience, we can successfully implement lead in the management and implementation processes of a range of technology projects.

Finding Technology Solution

We started out be establishing a full and thorough understanding of the company project from a cultural perspective before meticulously planning every last detail. The research into, and identification of the exact technology solutions needed to realise B4 Parking’s innovative vision, stretched into two years of solid research into the likely technology partners, the hardware and software required and its ability to deliver the high standards demanded.

We accompanied Chatham Billingham on research trips to, what were then, some of the most highly advanced parking destinations in Europe to see how things operated under stress first hand, no stone was left unturned in pursuit of excellence.

Once we were convinced of the way forward recommendations were made and accepted and the process of integration, testing, refining, reviewing and further testing began.

After three and a half years of work the result is the best car parking experience possible, available to all. B4 Parking is a place for people first and foremost, but also a place where they can leave their cars, securely and safely.

The ability to integrate all the different elements of the systems across two different platforms and make them operate seamlessly on a Private Cloud was a non-negotiable necessity.

The two separate IT platforms that run the entire operation are mission critical with data flowing between them constantly every millisecond of the day. The ANPR cameras, barrier systems and back end systems integrate seamlessly and the billing platform is fast, accurate and above all secure. In this environment, systems failure is not an option.

The business’s success is down to, and entirely dependent upon, the robust and dependable critical systems infrastructure Dragon IS specialise in.

Whilst the technology is all around the customers, it is not intrusive. B4 Parking is a well-lit and secure environment, making female drivers in particular feel very safe. Everything is of the highest quality from the lifts, the floor surfaces and CCTV cameras through to the lighting, LED instruction screens and payment systems.

“We didn’t quite realise what the technology requirements entailed but Dragon were able to piece it together perfectly and to identify and procure the most effective pieces of the jigsaw and subsequently get it all working seamlessly – just as we wanted,” says Alan Chatham, Principal at Chatham Billingham. “They are an excellent company to work with and we trust them implicitly.”

Why Choose Dragon IS?

Chatham Billingham had complete faith in the capabilities of Dragon IS and chose us specifically because we:

  • Supported other areas of their business.
  • Could create a critical system infrastructure that delivered consistently.
  • Delivered dependable, robust and sustainable IT systems.
  • Gave them remote access to cost effectively run the entire operation.
  • Expertise to manage and maintain these systems.

Get in touch with us today for all your Technology Consulting needs.

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