Metropress (part of DMG World Media)
Justin Massie-Taylor, Production Manager
This publishing company has been going strong for thirty years and is now part of The Daily Mail Group. It created a newsletter for the antiques business, the Antiques Trade Gazette which has been the market leader for the last twenty years. The subscriber-based magazine has become an international publication and is shipped to sixty-four countries each week. The company has expanded the range of publications (all antique trade related) and staffing has subsequently grown from seventeen to fifty-six in the last five years. Also, new staff have been taken on as the company has embraced new technology to work on their web projects. Ten years ago, this type of publishing was a fairly manual process but technology now plays a significant role in this business. This meant that a good service resource was required
Based in Shaftsbury Avenue, this division of DMG World Media share an IT resource with the Daily Mail Group. This provides them with an engineer from the central pool three days per week. They also have in-house training sessions and Justin Massie-Taylor, the production manager, oversees the IT needs of this division.
SupportPlan & Metropress
They’ve used SupportPlan for a year and were thrilled to find a company that they could rely on. Justin remarks, "I’ve found previous IT support suppliers frustrating as they were lacking in expertise, and the actual companies failed to give feedback on new technologies or developments. We tended to end up paying very high premiums and we’d only use them three or four times a year." With SupportPlan they are on a monthly retainer (Pay As You Go) and Justin buys block units. He generally uses their telephone support but engineers are called out if any major problems occur, or for consultancy.
Justin is the main contact with SupportPlan but he says that they liaise very well with the individual managers. The engineers also have to report back to the IT director, who is based in Harrow, which Justin says has proved useful, "We collate information from SupportPlan that can then be used for other parts of the group."
SupportPlans Provides Solutions
So what has SupportPlan delivered to Justin’s division? "We decided to review our requirements a year ago and went for SupportPlan as they’ve been used successfully elsewhere within the Daily Mail Group." He continued, " We like them because they are extremely helpful and the level of expertise is higher than other companies we’ve used. It’s good to know that they’re constantly there if we need them."
Justin likes the fact that SupportPlan offer different solutions to problems or to a project. This is invaluable because he just wouldn’t have the time to check out all the new systems. SupportPlan are currently in the middle of a fairly big audit for Justin and he has every confidence in their handling of it. The project is to update their main database and servers. Justin explained, "We’re predominately Apple Mac and the new Mac OS is out. Apple haven’t done anything so dramatic in years so it’s important, from a commercial point of view, to get this done."
Justin recalled a recent situation when they bought a new data base software, "We didn’t have any experience of using it so SupportPlan came in and set up the server for us and carried out the initial installation." He continued, "If we have a problem with it now we know that they're there to help and it’s given us the breathing space to actually develop the product itself. If it hadn’t been for SupportPlan we would’ve had to buy someone in as a full-time resource." Justin laughed, "I’m rather singing their praises! That’s unusual for me to praise service resources because in the past other companies have been very frustrating."