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Kevin Watts, Crystal Palace FC, Commercial director

Perfect Save Over the years, having suffered a rocky path running the business with an unreliable IT system, and IT support technicians more akin to back street car mechanics, Simon Pardo and his company Computer Care have turned my IT nightmare into a dream. I’m delighted to have their involvement and expertise dedicated to the Club. What I liked about Simon straightaway was his easy manner, and the fact that he was nothing like the IT people I’d been dealing with. He persuaded me that Computer Care could do a better job for a better price than a tender I already had in my possession. He also said that, once the new system was in place, I would it would need very little in the way of ongoing maintenance. His unique tariff-based support charges appealed to me, with a rollover of unused service hours and no additional commitment to call outs. A happy transfer Now that Computer Care are on board with us, and I’ve had time to reflect on my decision to go with them, I can safely say it’s been the best decision I’ve made in my entire career at the Club. The installation went very smoothly, and the business downtime was minimal. If anything, Computer Care they did the opposite of what I’d come to expect from IT companies I'd dealt with in the past: they under-promised and over-delivered. And I suspect they spent more time on the job than Simon originally anticipated, but they didn’t charge any more for that time, which has helped build trust. I’ve also heard good things from other staff members in my team, who say that that Computer Care are the most approachable, non-condescending and affable bunch of people you could meet. The agony and the ecstasy IT is so integral to the general functioning of any business that it’s crucial for the systems to be properly maintained. Before Computer Care, if our IT system experienced any problems, the downtime while it was being sorted out was usually one or two days, and that used to happen almost every month! Since July, when Computer Care joined us, we’ve had just half-a-day of downtime. So not only have they been cheaper on price, not only have they done a fantastic job, they are also preserving the company’s reputation and helping it to save money. Today, I can tell anyone, hand on heart, that if they bring their laptop to Crystal Palace FC for a conference they’ll benefit from a glitch-free wireless connection. A year ago, I couldn’t have made that promise. The change is all thanks to Computer Care. Our Customer Resource Management (CRM) has also improved. We’re now going into second-phase development under the auspices of Computer Care. Everything is slicker and we have the capability to send out more sophisticated e-shots to clients and customers. And if there is a problem of any kind, all we I have to do is connect with a technician via our intranet, which links directly to Computer Care’s site. They then access our system, and attempt to fix the problem remotely. If they can’t resolve it remotely, then they come over to fix the problem on site. And they only charge per hour worked. When you’ve been paying a minimum £400 fee on every callout, regardless of whether an IT problem is resolved or not; or you’ve paid a fortune talking to somebody on the phone who couldn’t get to the bottom of the issue, it doesn’t take long to work out that Computer Care delivers a fair, flexible and highly competitive service. Having had so many bad experiences with IT, Computer Care has been a breath of fresh air. These guys should be shouted from the rooftops. They’re beyond unique.

Adrian Little, IT Manager, Fonehouse

We were initially put in touch with Simon Pardo, the founder of Computer Care, through a friend of a friend. That was around three years ago. At the time we were looking for a Windows server specialist for an ad hoc project. Since then, we’ve got to know Computer Care very well, as individuals and as a company. They’ve written our customer relationship software, which has been very successful, and have been facilitators in the improvement and maintenance of our computer systems. When we managed customer relations from a call centre, Computer Care was on hand to provide enhancements and ideas. They’ve always been keen to find out what it is we want to do before they attempt to come up with any solutions. It’s never a case of ‘computer says no’. If they don’t understand what we want, we’ll work through it together – so we make good progress as a team. One of the things Computer Care did for us was enable multiple users to manage our extensive customer base, which included the storage and recall of important customer notes as well as the process activity. The changes have certainly made us more efficient. But I’d go even further than that, and say that much of our increased efficiency stems from the fact that Computer Care are such an easy bunch to work with. They get onto system issues very quickly, which means they often alert us to problems rather than us alerting them. When problems do arise, we’re always well informed of what those problems are and how long it’s likely to take for them to be resolved. Computer Care never gives any sense of false hope, which has been our main complaint with outsourced IT companies we’ve used in the past. We’ve developed an excellent relationship with Computer Care that strikes a healthy balance between laidback informality, and actually getting things done at a business level. I’d never have any hesitation in recommending them for the valuable service they provide.

Graham Yeomans, Partner, Moulton Johnson Chartered Accountants

We came across Computer Care through a referral. At the time we needed some backup assistance to our in-house IT and wanted to upgrade our networks, with ongoing support thereafter. We were wary of getting involved with any outsourced IT company, mainly because whenever we’d come across IT providers in the past they failed to understand what we needed to bring our system up to speed. But when we met with Simon Pardo of Computer Care, he listened carefully to what we were saying and understood what we wanted. I’m a gifted amateur when it comes to IT, and I’ve got a good grasp of how our particular system works, so I asked Simon a few technical questions to make sure he wasn’t like some of the other so called ‘IT experts’ I’d met – many who genuinely didn’t know the difference between a server and an operating system – and his knowledge and expertise were spot on. He listened intently, and immediately understood our system and the ways that it could be improved. More than that, he didn’t try to blind us with techno-babble; he talks in straight terms and makes everything easy to understand, which is the mark of a real professional. Computer Care good for morale Computer Care has improved the reliability of our systems and facilitated the growth and efficiency of our business. With the old system, if the hard drive died you’d have to restore the backup to a new one. Today servers are in place, with redundancy built into them. This means you can lose two out of three drives and still keep your business-critical data. While the chances of this happening are very small, it gives real peace of mind to know that our crucial information is so well protected. But what’s even more impressive is that if one of our databanks fails, Computer Care knows about it straightaway. Often, before we even find out what’s happened, they’ve already flagged up the fault, ordered a new drive and come in to replace it. Now that’s service. Computer Care is like our ‘all seeing eye’, remotely parenting our system to avert imminent disaster. Because of this, I never have to worry about the system because they do that for me. Business Critical - with Confidence With a chartered accountancy firm such as ours, with more than one office, the careful storage of data, and the efficiency of the computer systems are vital. I’d even go as far as to say that these things have an impact on staff morale. Since Computer Care has started looking after our IT, I’ve actually noticed a change in the staff, who are now more confident in our IT setup than before. Knowing that problems can be quickly and efficiently sorted out means they worry less about data loss and downtime. And where staff members always used to look to me to fix IT glitches, they’re now getting in touch with Computer Care directly, which gives me more time to focus on other things. Ultimately, the work Computer Care has done has reduced employee frustrations at computer screen level, and increased their overall confidence in our company. I can only attribute that to the fact that we made a very wise move when we decided to outsource to Computer Care. Quick and cost-effective In addition, Computer Care is very competitively priced. We pay by the hour, and never feel like we’re getting a raw deal or being seen to after higher paying customers. They’re also quick and reliable. We phone them with a problem, and they sort it out by linking straight into our system to begin the troubleshooting process. Often, the next time we hear from them is when they’ve fixed the problem, so it’s really like having your own IT department on tap, only without the high in-house cost. Today, our offices are going through a systems and network development programmer, which is ongoing, and Computer Care is overseeing the project. So far we’ve seen a marked difference in the reliability and speed of the system. The networking has been re-optimized, and the access time to the servers has halved. The whole system is now more robust and more reliable, both in terms of external and inter-office connectivity. And we have the ability to connect with the databases of our separate offices via a secure intranet, so as long as we have a wireless connection to our laptops, any authorized person can access files from wherever they are. What Computer Care has put in place has given everyone at Moulton Johnson increased flexibility. And because Computer Care is able to access the system from outside, it saves travel time for them, which saves downtime for us, not to mention being better for the environment. However, if there’s a problem that can’t be solved remotely, they always come in to fix it.

John Harridge, MD, Harridge Executive Search Ltd Recruitment Company

Life is much easier since we started using Computer Care as our outsourced IT department. We had a previous agreement with a larger company that provided three levels of service. But we had major frustrations with the company. We were paying for services we weren’t using, and not being given advice on the things we wanted advice on. The company advised us to put a separate telephone line to remotely access our server – an unnecessary cost to our business. Still, I had to physically resolve any technical problems. If I did have a problem with my laptop, I would end up being instructed by how to fix it over the phone. Things such as reloading CDs, reconfiguring my computer, rebooting my laptop were all done by me. I spent endless hours trying to sort out IT problems when I should have been getting on with my own business. There was a lot of personal downtime for me that would have been far better spent in other areas. In addition, response times to problems were often a day or more, which was also disruptive to business. Computer Care put an end to all our grievances by providing us with a simple, honest, flexible and professional service. Computer Care asked us what we wanted, starting with our needs and working from there, which, after everything we’d been through, was a breath of fresh air. The actual solutions Computer Care had to the problems we had were also much more comprehensive. For instance, when our internet service provider changed our ISP locations without letting us know, and our emails stopped coming through, we called Computer Care and told them about it. They checked the ISP address and reconfigured the router, and our emails started to come through again. They solved the problem quickly and seamlessly, and best of all they did it with almost no input from me at all. Lastly, when it comes to pricing, we now pay for the hours we use rather than paying a retainer, which works much more effectively for our business. After all, why pay for a service when you’re not using it? Computer Care shares this ethos, too. For all of these reasons, I recommend them highly.

Lucy Binding, Managing Partner, Policy Matters

Why did you Choose Computer Care? We were looking for an IT company who could provide us with a flexible service that could meet our unique business needs. We are a growing virtual business with no central office and associates working across a wide area so fast and reliable communication is of the highest importance to us. Computer Care addressed our business needs head on, listening to our problems and addressing them in turn. They talk plain language not jargon and their friendly service makes them very approachable; they help us to use our resources more efficiently. How has Computer Care’s Service Benefited Your Company? Computer Care have taken the potential headache out of I.T. All I.T. related issues are directed to a single point of contact and rapidly dealt with; it’s really like having your own I.T. department. Also we rely on them to advise and assist us when developing solutions or services for our clients - such as developing a business continuity website and externally hosting it for us or building budget impact estimators to support the new treatments that our client’s are introducing to GPs and hospital doctors in the NHS. Have There Been Any Key Business Issues That Computer Care Have Helped You With? Indeed, we used to communicate sending documents for review and editing via POP3 e-mail, which meant lots of large e-mail attachments and many document revisions flying around. Knowing what one another were doing was also very manual and time consuming. Computer Care looked at our requirements and proposed that we use Microsoft SharePoint as a document management system and that a server be purchased and hosted at their offices. With the use of SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange we can now easily share, review and modify documents on our server over the internet, we are notified immediately of changes to these documents via e-mail. Also using our own exchange server means we can share ‘Calendars’, have ‘Out of Office’ messages and e-mail redirection to cover holidays etc, this gives us a more professional image. Now we’ve made this commitment there are many more features we can take advantage of in the future as our business dictates. How Would You Sum up Your Experience of Computer Care? We could not manage without them. Computer Care have been a fantastic company to work with and have met, and often exceeded our expectations. We have full confidence in their ability and technical ‘know how’ and would highly recommend them to any business, whether they are virtual like us or more transitional, that is looking to outsource their I.T. services.


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