Tate Enterprises The big picture

Tate Enterprises

The big picture

Tate, the national museum of British and Modern Art, is a network of four art galleries: Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate Modern, with Tate Online, a complementary website. As part of this three thousand-people organisation, Tate Enterprises, the London-based trading subsidiary of Tate, has the mission to manage publishing, product and retail within the company.

There are about hundred and fifty people working at Tate Enterprises where Robert Read, Operations Director, is in charge, among other things, of supporting a Macintosh-based publishing team of close to twenty researchers, editors and producers. The team puts out tailor-made catalogues for every exhibition and publishes sixty to eighty art books per year, using a system of sixteen Macintosh computers.


SupportPlan in the Limelight

In 2007, Tate’s Macs were a tad in tatters and the organisation decided to look for outside support. SupportPlan was appointed after a systematic, careful research into IT support companies and following a thorough selection process where candidates were appraised for their depth of support, their hardware and software expertise, their proximity to London to guarantee quick call-outs, and for the ratings given by existing customers meticulously interviewed by Tate. SupportPlan ranked first on this last criterion and this was what convinced Tate that it was the right choice. SupportPlan started with a complete analysis of the existing Macintosh infrastructure that resulted in a series of practical short- and long-term recommendations, including the installation of a new server with a backup solution, the centralisation of data and font management, and the standardisation of hardware and of system and application software across all users.

“SupportPlan helped us to define a three-year system and application development strategy, and to develop a workable budget”, declared Robert Read. “We now have the right tools to do our job effectively. It required a significant up-front investment but, in the long run, we will be more efficient.”

SupportPlan Provides Solutions

Implementing the recommendations has led to huge reduction in the number of problems experienced by the publishing team, to better compatibility and to easier access to data. Tate also appreciates the fact that a SupportPlan engineer is assigned to their organisation. He quickly established a good relationship with the Mac users and he knows the whole Macintosh network inside out. Therefore, with the outsourcing of the Macintosh support, Tate also benefits from the ‘insourcing’ of a very valuable technical resource.

“Our SupportPlan engineer is great with users. He doesn’t overwhelm them with technical jargon. Knowledgeable, personable and with a good attitude. In a nutshell: very easy to work with”, says Robert. “He often pops in, even if there is no problem, and the Mac users always learn something new. Lately, one of our editors had a pressing problem related to fonts. It was quickly solved and the critical deadline was met.”

This short article epitomizes what SupportPlan brings to its clients: the combination of the expertise to help them define the best Macintosh-related strategy with the dedication to solve problems quickly and efficiently. All that in a friendly, yet professional way.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Our clients range from corporate giants, to hundreds of smaller businesses, many of whom rely on us to be their virtual IT department. They know we will never compromise on providing the right person for the right IT challenge and that’s why we’re the obvious first port of call when IT support is needed.

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