Girlguiding, the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, chose Total to deliver a full managed service at five sites, including service desk and on-site engineers. As well as providing excellent value for money, Total has enabled Girlguiding to optimise systems reliability and improve IT service.
Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, encompassing the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers. Through adventure, friendship and fun, it aims to empower girls to be their best – as it has been doing for over 100 years. Girlguiding has half a million members and around 300 employees across five sites in the UK. This includes a distribution centre, shop, and training and activity centres.
Girlguiding was nearing the end of its IT managed service contract and was keen to improve the quality of service it was receiving. The service handles all its IT needs, providing infrastructure, applications hosting and support for its UK employees.
Following a comprehensive tendering and selection process involving 12 suppliers, Girlguiding selected Total to provide a fully outsourced, managed service. This includes hosting and managing systems in Total’s data centres, which operate as a hybrid cloud with Microsoft services running in Azure, including Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365. Total also provides all service desk and IT support for Girlguiding, with weekend support as required, as well as on-site engineers at the charity’s two main sites in London and Manchester.
Martin Wilson, IT & Projects Manager at Girlguiding, says, “We chose Total for two reasons. Firstly, the quality of its offer – we evaluated bidders using a scorecard, and Total came out best, helped by the fact that it had very clear processes in place.”
“Secondly, Total came in at a price lower than its competitors, and significantly less than the provider that ranked second for quality of offer,” says Martin.
To prevent any disruption to Girlguiding’s operations the service transition was timetabled for Christmas, with the technically challenging infrastructure migration taking place after Girlguiding’s staff had finished work for the holidays. Total successfully completed the migration in just a single night and ahead of schedule. Girlguiding’s staff returned to work in the New Year having experienced no disruption at all.
Total has also provided Girlguiding with the expertise to undertake a series of projects and infrastructure improvements.
“Total joined at a pivotal time, as we were just developing our 2020 strategy, and we needed a partner to help support that and underpin the strategic work,” says Chris Lord, Head of IT at Girlguiding. “They've helped us with a number of transformative projects, which have all gone smoothly, including migrating over 400 mailboxes to Microsoft 365 and Exchange Online, and implementing a new cloud-based Mitel phone system.”
Total has also helped Girlguiding with a complete hardware refresh at its distribution centre, and with providing laptops so staff can work from home – a project which had to be accelerated at short notice due to COVID-19.
As a charity, with around 100,000 volunteers, Girlguiding has a different way of working from a commercial business. Chris says, “Total understands this, and got to grips with our culture – they’re very flexible, and able to adapt as our plans change.”
Total has put in place new systems to help users report problems, including by online portal, phone or in person, and everything is logged and reported on. As well as weekly management meetings, more formal monthly Service Review Meetings enable Chris and Martin to track progress and performance, which so far has shown that Total has hit all its service level agreements (SLAs).
“Performance of the IT systems is great,” says Chris. “Our end users have definitely noticed an improvement in service levels, and our senior managers say that Total’s service is far better than that of our previous provider.”
“Total has the scale to meet all our requirements, but we still feel like their largest customer,” says Martin. “They’re big enough to manage, but small enough to care.”
“Working with Total reduces the overall cost of IT service delivery, saves us time by dealing with suppliers on our behalf, and frees us up to work on things for the business,” adds Martin.
“I’ve had a lot of experience with outsourcers, both good and bad, and I’ve even worked as a Service Delivery Manager, so I can appreciate what good service looks like, and I’ve never heard a bad word about Total,” says Chris. The interaction with the internal team has always been positive, and they're good value for money compared to other managed service providers.”
“We’ve built up a great relationship, with regular service delivery meetings, and there’s been consistency in the team, so we can talk to the same people throughout,” says Martin. “What's really good is when we do have an issue, which is inevitable, Total will own it all the way through until it's solved – it doesn't get passed from one person to another.”
“There’s really good engagement from Total, with a consistent team who know us well – they’re always at the end of the phone, and I can always get a response,” says Chris.