How a charity saved £210,000 by spending £16 with IT specialist Solort

Recently, while working at a client – most of the staff complained about slow computers affecting their day to day productivity. Management mentioned upgrading their entire estate of PCs to laptops. Knowing their current infrastructure and seeing an opportunity to save the client some money – I recommended a different approach. I assessed the departmental needs of the staff members at the site, checked the equipment and found that with a £19 memory upgrade and tailoring the client’s software needs I could both improve the user experience and save the client money. 

Having managed a total of five clients over the past year and a half I’ve developed and used my interpersonal skills to build a trust based relationship with all my clients’. 
This offered me a chance to prove my team leading and project management experience. After agreeing with the client the direction to take with the upgrade, I worked on a plan of action and a project scope. I then worked with the third line team to create the tailored software package for the client, managing the development time and testing with early adopters on-site. 

Due to the fact that the initial software package had bugs, I had to manage customer expectations, engineers’ re-builds and the early adopters who were already working from those machines. I had to liaise with the service desk manager, the client and engineers to agree a new deadline for fixing the bugs in the package and rebuilding the machines. Nonetheless, after agreeing a new deadline I then liaised with their account manager to agree a new timescale, budget and deadline. 

Due to the scope of the work, in-place upgrades had to be carried out ensuring minimum down-time for users working. To adhere to the plan, computers had to be built on a swap-out basis – meaning that an already built PC would be swapped with the users, then their PC would in-turn be upgraded for the next user. 

To lessen engineer time spent at each staff members desk during the swap-out period, I wrote an easy to follow before and after guide for staff members to follow before their computers where removed and how to get started with the new computers. I also created an asset spreadsheet for the client where they could track the build process, number of computers, serial numbers, staff assigned and other essential information. 

Working for an MSP and being the on-site engineer/project manager I’ve perfected the skill of managing complex support requests with a variety of clients in sectors such as; Travel, Charity, Recruitment, Hospitality and Law. 
Thus, being aware and adhering to different types of policies come natural to me, polices such as Password Policy, Accessibility Procedures, Corporate Social Responsibility and various ISO certifications of which I have to retake on a yearly basis. This also includes GDPR certification. 

After a successful roll-out I’ve planed and currently in the process of an extensive monitoring and review with staff to find out any pain-points and suggestions for improvements. Regularly co-ordinate system upgrades following change control processes to be carried out by internal, third-party suppliers and the client. 

Working under pressure has been a character builder for me, it has allowed me to develop an ability to focus while making decisive decisions. For instance, while managing the aforementioned project there were multiple bugs in the first two software builds – after spending some time trying to fix these bugs and re-deploying, I made the decision to scrap the build and start from scratch with a hand picked list of applications to be included in the package. 

Being able to build a relationship with all stakeholders is key for the success of any project. As with any project there are always unforeseen circumstances that could impact on the deadline meaning a good relationship is needed with stakeholders in order to negotiate a new deadline that works for all. 

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