Contact us today 01444 250 404 / sales@e-mpower.IT

Case Studies

As a favor to one of our clients, E-mpower.IT were asked if we could help out local company Heat Mat Ltd who were having some IT problems, here’s how it went.

 

Heat Mat Ltd, Burgess Hill

Heat Mat Underfloor Heating

E-mpower.IT To the Rescue!

Burgess Hill based Heat Mat has been in business for more than 16 years and operate as one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of electric underfloor heating in the UK. Originally starting up with just 3 employees the company has grown steadily and now employs 18 staff in total. They sell to businesses acting as a distributor to electrical wholesalers. Their company is unique in that not only do they supply electrical underfloor heating but, Heat Mat are also involved in the manufacturing process including the spec and design of their products. As well as providing quality electrical underfloor heating, they also offer wall heating mats, mirror demisting pads, ice and snow melting systems for driveways and more.

David Green, the Technical Director has been with Heat Mat, more-or-less right from the start. Even back then they realized a key part in running a growing small business was ensuring the right level of  IT Support was in place. David commented “Unlike lots of companies, we acknowledged the importance of having a professional IT Support company looking after the IT side of our business. IT has a key role to play in helping our business grow successfully whilst enabling us to embrace new technology along the way”. This was refreshing to hear, since many businesses take a while to adopt such a management approach and rely on individuals from within to provide the IT Support alongside their full-time day job. It can work up to a point, that is, until something unforeseeable happens. Then the phrase “if only we had a professional IT Support company” springs to mind.

However, things can go wrong even if you have a reputable company in place and recently, Heat Mat experienced some IT problems that could have resulted in a bill for an additional £3,500. Heat Mat were in the process of carrying out the annual PAT testing of their electrical equipment and, all was going well until the electrical contractor tested four PC’s that were linked to the same electrical source. Unfortunately, once the PAT testing had been completed the PC’s went offline and could not reboot and/or were no longer able to attach to Heat Mat’s server. To suddenly lose four working PC’s in a busy office created somewhat of a problem for Heat Mat.

Heat Mat contacted their IT Support company as the electrical contractor believed it was nothing to do with the PAT testing they had carried out and, failed to understand how a simple PAT testing procedure could damage all four PC’s. Heat Mat’s IT Support company spent a significant amount of chargeable time looking at the PC’s and trying to find out what the problem was, this involved onsite visits, changing their network cards and implementing a range of other viable solutions but, nothing worked. The IT Support company decided that due to the age of the PC’s, the most economical solution for Heat Mat would be to purchase four replacement PC’s at a total cost of around £3,500!

Understandably, David Green was not too happy about this, as he felt there was a direct link between the PAT testing and the PC’s going wrong. However, the electrical contractor insisted they weren’t to blame and suggested they call in their own IT Support provider –
E-mpower.IT; to look at the fault. E-mpower.IT are also based in Burgess Hill, and have nearly 20 years’ experience in providing Managed IT Services and IT Support for small to mediums sized growing businesses

E-mpower.IT’s Technical Director, Ian Allward, was more than happy to help. Having worked for at the company for almost 13 years and a total of nearly 20 years’ experience in the IT Services and IT Support field as a whole, he has plenty of experience in dealing with even the most difficult IT problems. Ian felt sure there was a clear reason for the problem and avoid the necessity for Heat Mat to purchase replacement PC’s.

The four PC’s were dropped off at e-mpower.IT’s offices on Victoria Road Business Park. Ian’s priority was to understand the problem and come up with a fix that would get the client up and running again as soon as possible. Once installed in the workshop, a physical inspection was carried out of the motherboards and the power supplies were tested. All PC’s passed, which indicated there were no hardcore issues i.e. the physical components of the PC’s were fine.

Next, the network cards were replaced, the PC’s still didn’t work – this indicated that it was likely to be a software issue. Hence, various software checks were run, which ruled out all the common issues that might be causing the problem. However, after further investigation it was noticed that the antivirus/security software wasn’t working correctly. In our experience antivirus/security software often embeds itself into the Windows network e.g. Firewall. As a result, Ian decided to uninstall the antivirus software. This worked as the PC’s sprang back to life and the problem was fixed.  All four PC’s were up and running within a couple of hours of investigation and fault finding, before being returned to Heat Mat. The relevant antivirus/security software was also re-installed correctly to enable them to operate safely. Once onsite, Ian checked the four PC’s again to ensure there were no further problems.

Ian confirmed, the core problem did not lie with the age of the PC’s, and confirmed “these were all a decent spec and suitable for general office use, I’m pleased we were able to fix the PC’s in a timely manner”.

E-mpower.IT Director, Jaffer Lokhandvala also commented, “I am delighted that e-mpower.IT were able to help Heat Mat and draw upon our expertise and experience combined with our problem-solving capabilities.” He continued by saying “It’s not just about the technical skill and capabilities but also about how you approach a problem, which is often the magic ingredient when getting to the bottom of a stubborn fault.”

Needless to say, David from Heat Mat was particularly happy having his four PC’s up and running at no charge from e-mpower.IT and without having to fork out for a hefty bill of £3,500, which had been the alternative solution proposed by Heat Mat’s IT Support company.


See how we’ve helped our clients with a range of IT problems and find out what our clients are saying about us 

James Pendleton Estate Agents, South London

James Pendelton HomesWe have supported James Pendleton Estate Agents (JPEA) in becoming a multiple award winning multinational company. In 2002 they were a small, ambitious estate agent and letting company with one branch and plans to grow. Their focus was to recruit quality staff and offer exceptional customer service.

JPEA acknowledged early on that PC’s and specialist software would be core to their development strategy. However, due to their lack of IT experience and expertise, their PC network wasn’t being ‘managed’ in a focused way resulting lots of pc downtime, including pcs not starting up, slow performance, problems sending or receiving emails and losing contact with their software database. This compromised their strong customer service ethos, and damaged both staff morale and confidence in their IT system.

Initially e-mpower.IT was approached to fix their immediate IT problems within their modest budget. The IT problems were effectively solved – system up-time was significantly improved and staff morale rose. Also, now if staff had an IT problem; they could pick up the phone, talk to us and we would solve it.

JPEA were so impressed with how we worked that e-mpower.IT was recruited as their outsourced rapid response IT Department.  14 years later, they have nine offices employing over 70 staff and e-mpower.IT continue to offer IT help and advice, performing tasks including:

  • Converting their offices to the latest Voice over IP telephone technology, resulting in massive cost savings
  • Laying network cables
  • Supply and setting up of internet connections and firewalls
  • Providing PC hardware and software

e-mpower.IT also assists with their growth, project managing planning and installation and configuration of their IT infrastructure, enabling JPEA to operate more efficiently.

 

Agile-IP, CroydonagileIP

Agile-IP a European Patent & Trade Mark Attorney was set-up by a group of lawyers, whose only previous experience of IT Support had been with their own internal IT Departments in previous companies. Therefore, when Agile-IP started, help was needed in building an IT infrastruture including: hardware, software, networking the office, emails, a domain name and web hosting. e-mpower.IT were able to assist with their request.

However, before embarking on any work, a detailed discussion was held which not only covered their physical requests but also growth plans and the overall strategic development of the business. e-mpower.IT presented a range of fully costed options for consideration and were selected to complete the work.

Agile-IP now has:

  • The option of being able to work remotely using their laptops or mobile phones whether they are travelling overseas or in the UK
  • The provision of docking stations in the office
  • An office based PC looking after bespoke software applications, data storage, administration and accounts

e-mpower.IT continue to work for Agile-IP as an outsourced IT Department offering support and guidance from both an IT and business perspective. We are the single point of contact working hard to simplify the management of their IT infrastructure, providing cost-effective solutions and advice. Agile-IP can now concentrate on providing the best possible service to their clients.

 

Martin & Co, Burgess Hill

Martin & Co, Burgess HIllMartin & Co are one of five award winning estate agency and lettings brands operating as part of the Property Franchise Group – the largest and most successful property franchise in the UK today. The Burgess Hill franchise was recently taken over by a new Franchisee – Steve Boyes.

Steve was keen to review the IT infrastructure and on recommendation approached e-mpower.IT for assistance.

E-mpower.IT completed an initial audit of the Burgess Hill branch which gave Steve total visibility of his network, allowing him to manage the IT infrastructure more effectively, better plan for upgrades and budget with greater accuracy.

The audit also formed the basis of a more detailed discussion which not only covered their physical environment but also growth plans and the overall strategic development of the business. It very quickly became apparent that there was a real need to implement a resilient data management and back up system to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster, be it fire, flood, theft or otherwise.

Part of the upgrade path included replacing ageing PCs, particularly those running a version of Windows no longer supported by Microsoft, as well as ensuring all computer equipment was covered by enterprise level antivirus software.

E-mpower.IT presented a set of value for money options for consideration and were subsequently given the go-ahead to complete the remedial work.

Martin & Co now has a hybrid data security and backup solution comprising:

  • A dedicated Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for centralised file storage
  • NAS device spec’d with multiple hard drives configured to provide an additional level of data resilience
  • Full data encryption protocol for increased security
  • Data stored locally ensuring Martin & Co retain full control
  • Data backed up automatically offsite to the Cloud to align with the revised  disaster recovery and business continuity policy
  • Workstations protected with enterprise level anti-virus software

E-mpower.IT continue to work for Martin & Co as an outsourced IT Department offering support and guidance from both an IT and business perspective. We are their main point of contact working hard to simplify the management of their IT infrastructure, providing cost-effective solutions and free, no obligation advice. Martin & Co can now concentrate on providing the best possible service to their clients.

 

Select School Travel, Burgess Hill

Select School TravelWhen Select School Travel approached e-mpower.IT in 2015 they were about to embark on an ambitious growth plan which would necessitate a rapid increase in staff numbers and the associated IT infrastructure.

During e-mpower.IT’s discussions with the directors of Select School Travel, it became clear that the existing IT infrastructure was no longer fit for purpose. It was agreed that their existing IT systems would be the weak link in the achievement of their growth plans. Of particular note were the slow performing Windows Vista-based PC’s, coupled to an ageing Server with what was at best, an ad‐hoc and unreliable backup regime.

E-mpower.IT conducted a full systems audit which immediately identified a heavy reliance on locally stored documents with no coherent backup solution, while the email platform was provided by a legacy system which was no longer supported by Microsoft.  The IT network by today’s standards was running on a slow 10/100mb backbone.

The audit gave rise to a proposal from e-mpower.IT to migrate the current server-based setup across to a Windows 2012 Essentials Server domain with a full image based backup solution. The desktop pcs and laptops would be replaced with new units running Windows 7 64 bit, taking full advantage of the increased RAM available to these machines. As part of the solution, e-mpower.IT recommended that the email service would be migrated to Hosted Exchange – a cloud based messaging platform designed specifically for business as a low maintenance yet cost effective solution. In addition it is particularly useful for a mobile workforce as well as providing ‘working from home’ capability.

As a Dell Premium Partner, e-mpower.IT sourced and installed a Dell PowerEdge server together with Dell all-in-one workstations and Lenovo laptops to form the basis of a reliable, cost effective, IT infrastructure. Upgrading the network to Gigabit speed and migrating to our Cloud based Hosted Exchange email system ensured there was flexibility and capacity to allow for rapid expansion. A robust image based data backup solution rounded off the package, ensuring systems and data were protected against possible loss/failure.

In conclusion, the improvements were implemented and the revised IT infrastructure has been instrumental in allowing Select School Travel to grow from four staff to in excess of twenty staff, with a similarly impressive increase in both turnover and client numbers in a very short space of time.  E-mpower.IT continue to provide advice and act as a sounding board for the management team, as well as providing day-to-day technical support to ensure the systems are kept in tip top condition and to give Select School Travel the confidence to continue developing their business into the future.

 

Testimonials:

Martyn Bowden, Managing Director – Select School Travel.

“Since our launch in April 2015, e-mpower.IT have been an extension of our team – going above and beyond to help us maximise the efficiency of Select. The longevity of our relationship has continued to strengthen since upgrading our system, and long may it continue!”

 

Alisdair Brown, Equus Property.

“I run a small business and have been with working with e-mpower.IT for over 10 years. During that period we have made a huge amount of changes to the way our IT works.

E-mpower.it have always offered reliable IT support when needed whether it be on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. They offer guidance relevant to my business, including whenever I have had questions on the future in terms of IT.

I would have no hesitation in recommending them to another business”.

 

Commercial Contractor

“As a business start-up it was imperative that we engaged with a reliable and proactive IT company. Having worked with e-mpower.it previously, we were fully aware of their customer focused attitude, this allowed us to discuss our requirements and implement our needs for the business on schedule and with full support available at any time. We have had numerous discussion with all of the staff at e-mpower.it and find them all to be courteous, knowledgeable and very communicable.

As the business moves forward we look forward to working with e-mpower.it for many years.”

 

Nick Blythe, The Paella Fella – It’s as much about the service as it is the solution

Paella FellaTrying to get things done, achieved and ticked off your ‘To Do List’ for me as the owner/director of Paella Fella is always challenging.  I always feel that my role is to make the working life of my team easy so they can get on with their work unhindered and hit our growth targets and objectives. As a dynamic and growing event catering company, e-mpower.IT have been instrumental in planning, constructing and supporting an IT environment for us that does just that.  We have a good working relationship whereby we talk earnestly about our plans and problems and challenges, and the e-mpower.IT Team listen carefully, before coming back to us with properly deliberated solutions for Paella Fella.

You also have to consider how reliant we are nowadays on our IT and infrastructure to make sure our business runs smoothly.  One small hiccup, a little glitch somewhere can automatically increase the heart rate and stress levels, because it distracts you from getting the job done.

Well, I have to say that e-mpower.IT solves that one for us, too.  They have always been quick and thorough in responding and resolving issues when they arise.  Taking the stress away and allowing us to get on is a massive plus for me and my team.  It’s as much about the service as it is the solution.

I am grateful to the e-mpower.IT team for providing both and look forward to continuing and developing a good working relationship.

 

Contact us today 01444 250 404 / sales@e-mpower.IT

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