Investment group TDA Capital chose Total as its IT partner, providing support and IT management for multiple companies in the UK, as well as supporting email for users in Italy, and supplying hardware and software. Total is now working with TDA on its digital transformation strategy, migrating servers, applications and storage into the cloud.
TDA Capital is a private investment holding company based in London, with group companies specialising in international luxury goods, hospitality and travel. This includes operating a group of iconic hotels in Italy, and a new e-commerce business.
TDA Capital is growing fast and recruiting new staff, but found it was being held back by its IT support. Its existing supplier struggled to meet TDA’s needs for a fast response, and it was not taking pro-active steps to resolve recurrent problems.
“We had big plans, and were about to expand and bring in new businesses,” says Badreddine Laroussi, Group Chief Information Officer at TDA Capital. “As well as supporting our day to day operations, we also wanted to find a partner who could be part of our digital transformation strategy, which included migration to the cloud, moving to Microsoft Office 365, hosting our infrastructure, and getting involved with our e-commerce business.”
After reviewing four potential suppliers, TDA chose Total Computers. Badreddine explains, “We chose Total for two reasons: the relationship, where we found they were very approachable compared to others, and the cost, where Total was competitive, and prepared to accommodate our budget.”
TDA Capital now uses Total to manage its server infrastructure, monitor storage and provide third line technical support to its IT Manager, as well as buying all of its hardware and software for the UK via Total.
This includes managing host servers, which are virtualized using Microsoft Hyper-V, at both the head office and a secondary site, as well as the virtual guest servers. Total also monitors network attached storage from Thecus at both sites. Additionally, all of the company’s email, for users in the UK and at the Italian hotels, is handled via Microsoft Exchange servers in the London office, which are managed and supported by Total.
“In the transition to Total, they were very flexible, including waiting for us to be ready when things at our end didn’t go smoothly,” says Badreddine. “From their side, Total made the onboarding process as professional as possible.”
With a hotel business and an e-commerce site, TDA needs to operate 24x7, which requires the highest standards of reliability and availability from its IT. Previously, at least some of TDA’s users were experiencing downtime almost every day – now, this has been almost completely eradicated with a more stable environment, helping staff productivity to increase.
“Total picked up on things that needed doing in an initial Infrastructure Health Check, and they have resolved some issues long-term so they are not recurring,” says Badreddine. “Reliability has improved and downtime has decreased.”
“The support from Total has been great,” says Badreddine. “Before, if we had issues on a weekend they might not be resolved, but now we have peace of mind from Total – they fix all issues within the time agreed in our SLAs.”
“The only time you can rate a service is when you have problems, and you see how the supplier reacts,” says Badreddine. “We actually did have a critical situation, with a major Exchange outage out of hours at the weekend, and Total passed the test – they responded and solved the issue on time.”
“Total are friendly and open-minded, and don’t hide behind an attitude of ‘this isn’t to do with us’ – they do what they can to help us and provide advice,” says Badreddine. “Raising a ticket is easy, so my IT manager knows he is in safe hands and is free for other tasks, rather than spending all day trying to call someone.”
“Our Service Delivery Manager at Total is really helpful, we talk a lot and it’s a very personalised service, which I like,” says Badreddine. “After the Exchange outage, he called me to update me by phone, rather than just by email, and he’s approachable – if there’s a ticket open for an issue, I can call him for peace of mind, and he answers his mobile.”
TDA also sees Total as a strategic advisor, able to provide expert advice. Badreddine says, “We had meetings to discuss strategy and how we’d like to move forward, and Total were very helpful – for example, when we were discussing Azure, they brought in their Microsoft specialist to two meetings, and he gave us a vision of how it would work, how licensing is managed, and what the best option would be for us.”
For the future, TDA is talking to Total about its digital transformation. Badreddine comments, “We plan to move to the cloud with Office 365, and online storage with Azure, and to migrate our file and print servers and some applications – there are a lot of areas, and we expect Total to be our main partner on all these projects, in both the UK and Italy.”
Badreddine also plans for Total to become more involved with TDA’s e-commerce operations, and to provide broader support for its end users. This will also include helping handle growth, with an office move planned soon to cope with rapidly increasing staff numbers.
“The relationship is working well,” comments Badreddine. “Total have been presented with some difficult challenges, and have passed with flying colours, with our Service Delivery Manager taking it all in his stride.”
“Other companies might tell you they’re a partner, but when it comes to it they’re just a supplier, and everything they talk about has a cost, but Total aren’t like that,” says Badreddine. “We see Total as a partner – it’s not just a label, it’s something you feel.”