Somerset Care Case Study

Requirement: Fully-Managed Service

Somerset Care required an IT partner that could not only offer round-the-clock support and monitoring, but understood the challenges and considerations faced by one of the largest not-for-profit care companies in the UK.

The Client

Somerset Care is an award-winning, not-for-profit care organisation operating across the South of England. It offers residential, nursing and dementia care for older people, community support to people living in their own homes, and provide care and support to adults with physical and learning difficulties. With a head office in Taunton, Somerset Care covers Somerset, Wiltshire, Bath, Hampshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight. With circa 4500 staff in almost 50 care homes and offices, the “out-of-hours” nature of the support it offers means that the organisation required IT support outside the 9am-5pm service provided by its previous IT partner. Approaching the end of its existing IT support contract, Somerset Care felt it was a good time to review its service options, and invited GCI to tender for the contract alongside a number of other companies.

Somerset Care’s existing IT provider was a small company that didn’t have the resource to support the organisation’s expansion and continually-growing needs. This had been causing technical issues and unsatisfactory response times, as well as poor management and maintenance resulting in gaps in server patching, backups and antivirus protection. As a business which supports vulnerable people, it was imperative that it has reliable and robust IT support. The key considerations for Somerset Care were to uplift its support to a 24/7 service not supplied by the incumbent, as well as to be a first contact point for all IT incidents and to work with Somerset Care’s own IT teams to provide 3rd party support. GCI were selected to become Somerset Care’s IT partner due to broad technical engineering capabilities, many years’ experience in working with other organisations in the care industry, and the added value of 24/7 support and security monitoring as standard.

Technical Solution

GCI recommended their Fully-Managed Support Service to Somerset Care, as this level of Managed Service contains all the elements of support required and more. In addition to the round-the-clock support provided by the Service Desk teams, GCI also offer 24/7 security monitoring as standard. Powered by AlienVault and offering real-time threat intelligence, this best-of-breed technology is updated every 30 minutes with the latest information from the AlienVault Labs, whose algorithms analyse thousands of pieces of data to not only identify and protect from emerging threats and vulnerabilities, but to predict the likelihood of “Zero Day” malware; that is, malware which has never before been reported.

Another feature of Somerset Care’s Fully-Managed Service is the addition of maintenance tasks that can be run “out-of-hours”, ensuring the minimum amount of disruption. For instance, Proactive Watchpoints are scheduled to run and flag up issues for resolution, allowing GCI’s technical experts to address them before they have a chance to negatively impact on business. They are also designed to increase system performance and uptime - a must-have for a company that cannot afford downtime. Other tasks that can be done outside of normal working hours are essential patching and antivirus updates. An additional benefit to Somerset Care is GCI’s Service Desk platform, ServiceNow. Any end users experiencing problems can easily log a ticket on the phone or via the web portal, which are then passed to GCI for resolution. Should they need to collaborate with Somerset Care’s internal IT teams, the platform allows for seamless transfer of tickets between the two companies.

Success and Company Benefits

Somerset Care now has an IT support service that is there to support it round-the-clock - not just during the usual 9am-5pm business hours - as well as providing a number of extra services to keep the IT environment healthy and its end users supported.

Keith Crocket, Assistant Director IT & Business Systems at Somerset Care, said: “GCI stood apart from the other IT companies we invited to tender because of the valuable services they offer as standard, including 24/7 security monitoring and alerting. They also have a wealth of experience in working with care providers, so we were confident they would understand the challenges faced within our industry. We were also impressed by the amount of detail that goes into their out-of-hours services, such as the Proactive Watchpoints. We look forward to partnering with GCI!”

 

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