The speed of growth over recent years meant the IT department was extremely busy managing the day to day needs of the business, and had little time for strategy development and innovation
Managed IT Services & Journey to the Cloud
Winn Group comprises of a number of business brands specialising in all aspects of claims management including legal, financial, and healthcare services. Starting out as Winn Solicitors in 2002, the company now handles the legal side of the claims process, along with the recovery, repair and replacement of vehicles as a result of an accident, including the recovery from injuries sustained.
Based in Newcastle, the group employs around 550 people and is a multi-award-winning national business that is recognised as a leading personal injury firm by The Legal 500, who assess and rank global law firms.
Winn Group are ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus accredited for their commitment to data security and protection, with a focus on internal staff development and wellbeing.
The Challenge – Consolidation, Convergence, and Insight
The speed of growth over recent years meant the IT department was extremely busy managing the day to day needs of the business, and had little time for strategy development and innovation. They realised the time had to come to outsource the more operational aspects of IT to a trusted partner.
Says Clint Milnes, Group Chief Information Officer:
“With continual growth across the group, and to enable us to focus on business transformation and projects including secure cloud computing, we needed the continuity and assurance of a managed IT services partner to handle the day to day running of IT and technical support.”
The group needed an IT partner with the resources and manpower to provide both a managed IT service and a wider Professional Services capability to support future plans, and they asked Perfect Image (PI) to help them.
Managed Services Contract
Winn Group has an on-premise IT infrastructure of virtualised and standalone servers running critical workloads, applications and storage. PI monitor, manage, and maintain the estate on a 24/7 basis and they also look after the helpdesk for the company’s internal user IT requirements, providing triage and support for staff IT needs.
Continues Clint Milnes: “The IT industry is facing an on-going skills shortage, and running things in-house with a small team is challenging. We pride ourselves on our availability, efficiency, and reliability – business continuity and customer service are everything to us. IT staff turnover issues are no longer a concern and having access to a pool of people with specific expertise across a number of areas is a real benefit. Furthermore, it has enabled me to focus my team’s resources on the strategic development of IT services across the group, and specifically how we take advantage of the flexibility, scalability, and reliability of cloud services.”
Cloud, Azure Virtual Desktop, & Value
The business benefits of moving workloads to the cloud are well known, and moving their entire IT to a cloud-based platform is something that Winn group are actively investigating, with the help of the Professional Services team at PI.
“We’ve a desire to move everything to cloud” continues Milnes, “but we are not prepared to risk or tolerate any element of failure in doing so. We are therefore working hand in glove with PI on a number of ‘proof of concept’ projects to determine just how effectively certain applications would operate in a cloud environment. Many existing industry applications are non-cloud native, and we need to assess and test how these might work in the cloud.”
The workplace modernisation umbrella project is actively looking at and testing an Azure based solution that takes advantage of the natural integration with Microsoft 365 and all its elements, including Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). The option to have all licensing, collaboration, office applications, resilience, business continuity, and disaster recovery catered for on a single platform is compelling, but a big bang approach without rigorous testing is not something the group are prepared to risk.
Concludes Milnes: “Our fundamental drivers for this extremely important and huge transformation are business continuity assurance, ease of management, and future proofed cost efficiency. With a young workforce who are mostly office based, we are determined to give them the very best workplace experience that will then translate into even more ground breaking customer service excellence as we continue to expand. Working with PI gives us the confidence that our day-to-day operations are in great hands, and their Microsoft expertise and knowledge is something we greatly value. It’s an exciting time for us all as we push the boundaries of productive, next generation business IT services.”
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