Institute of Directors



Institute of Directors

 

The Institute of Directors (IOD), supports, represents and sets standards for individual company directors in the UK. Its membership of almost 53,000 encompasses every sector of UK industry, as well as education and healthcare. Members represent 95% of the FTSE 500 companies, while 70% of members are from SME’s.

A constant stream of advisory, policy, and information materials requires the IOD’s publications department to work at optimal productivity. By 2005, this was being accomplished by 16 Mac users, connected through their own server, sharing data via SAMBA with 280 PC users, who were linked by a separate server.

 

Prompt response, consistent support

Attracted by SupportPlan’s extremely competitive rates, coupled with a promise that its Mac engineers have never missed a support deadline since the company began in 1991, the IOD’s IT manager Richard Swann signed a contract for 12 months.

Competitive rates do not necessarily represent value for money, but in the following months, the IOD clearly benefited from SupportPlan’s unique combination of low costs and exceptional service. ‘We were very impressed not only by the promptness of response, but also by the consistency of the support’ explains Richard Swann, ‘Our Mac users were able to build up a strong working relationship with the regular team of experts from SupportPlan.’

Standardisation = efficiency

While monitoring glitches and executing fixes, SupportPlan developed a clear perspective on the IOD’s Mac system. As with any organisation where each user evolves an eclectic mix of software to meet highly individual needs, the result was an unwieldy and difficult-to-maintain collection of programmes. SupportPlan was able to improve the efficiency of every Mac desktop by creating a standardised environment that contained the OS, applications and many user settings. Each machine was upgraded to Apple’s latest computer operating system, OS X. SupportPlan negotiated advantageous software deals, ensuring that the entire upgrade was within budget.

A similar disorder of software had accumulated on the desktops of the IOD’s PC’s, and it was the 280 PC users who were the next to benefit from SupportPlan’s expertise. Standard Platform, a product by SupportPlan, allowed the creation of a standardised XP desktop and server infrastructure. Each PC desktop was immediately easier to maintain and simpler to update. This was achieved within the set deadline, with minimal downtime and including a half day XP familiarisation session for all users.

 

Reconciling a mixed environment

Connecting Macs to a PC platform is notoriously tricky – and it was this task that SupportPlan tackled next. By installing Windows Server 2003, SupportPlan delivered a Standardised Environment for both Mac and PC users which has proved reliable and adaptable enough to prompt the IOD to renew its original 12 month contract for three years.

SupportPlan continues to resolve engineering and software issues in the IOD’s mixed environment, ranging from colour calibration for the Mac users in the design department to PC problems for the editorial staff. Richard Swann says ‘What’s unique about SupportPlan is that they’ve combined detailed insight into how they could improve our systems with a response rate to any problems which is second to none.’

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Support Plan has been a highly valued supplier to APR Communications, supporting our luxury PR agency from 1997 until 2018 when the company merged to become ANM.

We cannot recommend Support Plan more highly.  Not only have Support Plan provided an impeccable service; they have also been a true partner of the agency providing excellent counsel re our IT requirements and valuable cost-saving advice.

The team are very responsible and always go the extra mile in providing technical solutions in a user-friendly manner.

We wish Lance and the Support Plan team our best and have been honoured to work with them.

Annabel McAvoy, Managing Partner, APR Communications LLP

All unforeseen problems were handled smoothly and calmly with the expertise of the engineers…[SupportPlan] sold me solutions and not technology.

Reginald Thompson, Conran Design Group Ltd

SupportPlan are fast, efficient, friendly and very knowledgeable. They have resolved any problems I have thrown their way and in quick time.  I would recommend them to any company.

Design Manager, Colliers International

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.

Neil Hickford, Four IV Design

I work in a very busy marketing team. Knowing that SupportPlan are there to help us, in case of any problems has always been reassuring. They proved it one day when my Mac broke down as I was facing a tough deadline. Not only did SupportPlan swiftly replace the faulty computer, but their engineer also transferred all my files to the new Mac, enabling me to get back to work right away.

Claudia Mansaray, Marketing Communications Executive, Alzheimer's Society

I had the opportunity to work with your engineer via telephone today. I was so impressed with his helpfulness, knowledge and professionalism that I felt that I should send this email complement. Who ever hired him made the right decision. I will certainly be recommending your company to any other company I work with.

John McCrudden, MSc MCSE ACTC JNCIS-ER, "IT Infrastructure Specialist", Mitie Business Services

SupportPlan’s engineers have the knack for solving problems quickly by asking jargon-free questions that make a user feel like an IT expert.

Christine Holdforth, Manager, Corporate Publicity and Design Studio, Department of Education and Skills

SupportPlan is unusual in that the ‘top man’ is much more hands on with his clients than in other comparable organisations and is happy to step in when required. The engineers are responsive in a crisis and devote themselves to solving the problem efficiently.

Irena St John-Brooks, Managing Director, Pension Publications Ltd

SupportPlan are a rare breed in that they genuinely understand creative agencies and how we use IT in the business. They provide all our day-to-day IT support in a seamless and proactive way as well as advising us at a strategic level.

Financial Director, Salter Baxter

We were very impressed not only by the promptness of response but also by the consistency for the support…our Mac users were able to build up a strong working relationship with the regular team of experts from SupportPlan.

Richard Swann, IT Manager, Institute of Directors

I thoroughly recommend SupportPlan for whatever creative IT needs you may have…their expert knowledge is worth their weight in gold, let alone the service and range of services they back this up with. They are and always will be constant to my working life, as they have never let me down.

Neil Carter, Studio Manager, Penna Plc.

It’s reassuring to know that I have the breadth of skills of the SupportPlan team to back me up when I need them.

Gareth Perry, Group IT Manager, Eaglemoss

I have no hesitation recommending SupportPlan. They have maintained our computers for 12 years and they have ensured that any problems are resolved on the same day so we experienced as little down time during working hours. Their technicians are extremely knowledgeable and are always polite and helpful.

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