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.