Shiner Case Study

Requirement: Fully-Managed Support Service

As an existing GCI customer for close to a decade, Shiner experienced substantial business growth and required an enhanced level IT service from GCI.

The Client

Shiner Ltd is one of the UK’s leading distributors of skateboards, action sports goods and clothing. The company has had a customer-centric approach for over 35 years, with its “In Full, On Time, In Spec” mantra guaranteeing first-class speed and efficiency. A 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art warehouse holds stock from almost 50 different high-quality lifestyle brands, supplying hundreds of retail independents and leading chain stores across Europe.

GCI have supported Shiner for almost a decade since an initial Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV project in 2008 and have subsequently completed other projects, including moving the company’s IT environment to GCI’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Blade as a Service (BaaS) offerings. Shiner had been utilising GCI’s Flexible Support Service, billed as an annual fee plus pre-paid hours. This gave the company flexible access to GCI’s entire skill base as well as the 24/7 Service Desk provision – incorporating 24/7 monitoring – but with Shiner only paying for the time that it used. While this had worked very well in the past, offering a cost-effective enhanced level of remote support only when needed, Shiner had seen a significant increase in the level of assistance required.

So that Shiner was able to concentrate on the successful running of their business and more strategic IT projects, as well as reducing support costs and introducing security and network monitoring, the company decided to migrate to a Managed Services package that would pass the day-to-day running, management and maintenance of the IT environment over to GCI. The company also wanted to secure a fixed cost which included all the elements they needed, accessible at all times, so it they would be safe in the knowledge that its IT was in safe hands round-the-clock.

Technical Solution

GCI recommended that Shiner Ltd move to a Fully-Managed Service package, which would ensure that the company would continue to receive its 24/7 support and monitoring but also have a fixed-price, all-encompassing service rather than ad hoc support.

The Fully-Managed Service package includes a number of additional features not contained within Shiner’s previous support contract, the most advantageous of which being Proactive Watchpoints. These pre-emptive scheduled System Maintenance tasks identify any issues so they can be resolved before they have a chance to negatively impact on the business, decreasing downtime and the number of incidents, with automated tasks to further reduce the cost of the service. Additionally, the Silver tier of service is enhanced with detailed reporting and on-site Service Delivery Management meetings to drive forward Shiner’s IT environment.

Success and Company Benefits

Shiner Ltd now has an inclusive service at one fixed price, saving the company money compared to its previous Flexible Service. Shiner can also take advantage of the additional features, such as the aforementioned Proactive Watchpoints, which maximises the value of its investment. The company can also feel secure that the day-to-day running of the IT environment is being taken care of by GCI, leaving it free to develop the business and take a more strategic approach to its IT.

Richard Staite, Operations Director at Shiner Ltd, commented: “As a fast-moving business that distributes products all over Europe, any downtime in our IT systems can be disastrous. As the business grew so did the reliance on our IT, and GCI’s Fully-Managed Service provides us with fixed-cost, fast-acting support, whilst the Watchpoints give us confidence that our systems will always perform at their best and mitigate against the possibility of outages.”



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