Four IV Design
Neil Hickford, Digital Design Consultant/Senior Artworker
Four IV Design is a highly successful consultancy that specialises in graphics and interiors. The company is better known for designing interiors for highbrow clients although various projects have covered graphics and interiors. Four IV’s clients include Burberry, Liberty, the National Portrait Gallery, Harvey Nichols, New Look and the Arcadia Group. They have undertaken a substantial corporate ID project for Mulberry including the redesign of the interior at the Bond Street branch and the press advertisements. Graphically, the retailer’s identity has been updated and applied across stationery, mail order and packaging. Through this project, Four IV has helped this luxury goods retailer to become an international brand.
SupportPlan & Four IV
We met Neil Hickford, the Senior Artworker, at their stylish offices in EC1. Due to the nature of the business, Four IV is largely a Mac environment. Neil has taken on the dual role of artworker and IT contact. He admits that whilst IT is not his forte, he is the most technically minded person there. Neil had worked with SupportPlan at a previous company and recommended them to Four IV. "When I first came here it was apparent that they needed SupportPlan as there wasn't a network or server. We had one printer. It was all pretty basic and there were only a dozen people here." SupportPlan oversees the IT support for Four IV as, like most consultancies, they don't have a dedicated in-house IT team. So how does SupportPlan help Neil? "I'll call SupportPlan's helpline and ask them for their recommendations and trouble shooting advice." He added, "A simple phone call to SupportPlan can save me a lot of time. I also know that if a colleague has asked an IT related question that I'm unable to answer, I can rely on SupportPlan to promptly solve the issue."
SupportPlan Provides Solutions
Neil explained how this company has changed. "As we grew there was a need for a server as I had to back up all the Macs every night and it just took too many hours out of each day." At this point Neil contacted SupportPlan who sent in engineers to install a server, "It was a huge thing to do and they did it in a few days." How did this affect his day-to-day running of the business? "It made everything more manageable as I only had to deal with the one server rather than forty different computers — it made life so much easier." Even if the server connection goes down Neil says that he knows that SupportPlan will be there quickly to sort it out.
SupportPlan has also resolved their email and network connection problems. Four IV had been sold an unusual email system that wasn’t working and they required an independent assessment from SupportPlan. A replacement email system was installed and all is now running smoothly. Neil has since asked them back to discuss their working practises and how their systems could be updated. He stated, "They are always helpful and give the right advice. I like to keep up with technology but need to know that it’s right for the company. SupportPlan has tried and tested many systems so I’ll know beforehand if something is right or wrong for us before we pay out for it."
Finally, Neil remarked, "I rely on SupportPlan. Even though I’m able to carry out certain tasks, it’s reassuring to know that SupportPlan is on the other end of the phone if I need them for back up."