“We wanted knowledge behind the market we didn’t have. I haven’t time to keep updated on the latest technologies. We wanted a team which could provide that expert knowledge and also maintain a forward-thinking approach.” He adds, “We chose Ziptech because everyone else spoke to us about how they fix problems. Ziptech told us how they prevented problems in the first place.”
Yan Simpson, IT Manager
Facilities management company Just Ask runs a small, in-house IT department with an IT infrastructure supporting in excess of 50 employees. Struggling to keep up with day-to-day tasks, IT Manager Yan Simpson appointed Ziptech as IT services partner, allowing his team to focus on strategy and management of internal projects.
The mission to find an IT services partner began at a time when the business need to achieve Cyber Essentials Accreditation and GDPR compliance. Added to this, there was a mix of laptops and hardware across a number of sites which needed to be consolidated and standardised.
Yan says, “We wanted knowledge behind the market we didn’t have. I haven’t time to keep updated on the latest technologies. We wanted a team which could provide that expert knowledge and also maintain a forward-thinking approach.”
He adds, “We chose Ziptech because everyone else spoke to us about how they fix problems. Ziptech told us how they prevented problems in the first place.”
Winning a new contract meant that Just Ask needed to act quickly to recruit additional staff, however office space was tight. Ziptech’s first project was to install MS SharePoint, Teams, Office 365, then to support an office move one week later. The new office had three networks which needed to be consolidated. Impressed with the speed and smooth project management, Yan says, “Ziptech did everything. It was as if I only needed to tell them it was happening and then I could sit back and watch. We were kept up to date with timelines and dependencies using a really simple spreadsheet. They have been fantastic. It even came in under budget. From that point in time, we have never looked back.”
Since then, Ziptech has helped Just Ask make a further move to consolidate premises, moving four business units under one roof. By this time, Ziptech’s engineers had a working understanding of Just Ask’s business requirements and the move, which involved over 50 computer users, was completed from planning to the finish line in under two weeks.
One week later, the UK was placed under lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Yan says, “The technology strategy Ziptech recommended has played such a big part in helping us get through pandemic; home-working began immediately with no disruption to our service.”
Maintaining ‘business as usual’ through lockdown successfully proved that Just Ask’s technology is helping the business improve its internal operations and service levels. Yan says, “The big thing is the utilisation of Teams with Sharepoint. Our previous document repository was clumsy. What we have today is incredible. It is as easy for me to collaborate with someone from my home to theirs as it is if I sat next to them.”
Just Ask’s daily team briefings take place on Teams. The meetings can be recorded, notes are made in the system and automatically filed for reference. Just Ask also uses the Chat feature to log service issues on a dedicated team channel.
The partnership model which has proved successful for Just Ask and Ziptech means that Yan has access to the same team of engineers on a daily basis. These engineers dedicate time to proactively managing Just Ask’s IT infrastructure and ensuring the system is kept up to date and compliant with Ziptech’s own Best Practice models. Additionally, he receives two service visits a month from his own dedicated IT Manager who deals with updates, audits, security, as well as flagging and addressing additional user requirements. This dedicated IT Manager brings the latest in Best Practice from Ziptech’s Service Desk and applies it to the business.
Ziptech also provides Just Ask with access to the same Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who meets regularly to review the KPIs recorded by the IT Manager and test the relevance of the current IT strategy in line with evolving business needs. Yan says, “It’s a service model that really works for us and allows us access to Ziptech’s skills at a range of levels.”
“If you employ one person you get one person’s exposure to the market, with Ziptech I get 25 people’s experiences. They’ve done a really great job and we wouldn’t be where we are today as a business without them.”
Yan Simpson, IT Manager