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AKA Design Ltd

The Client

AKA Design Ltd are an industry-leading, highly specialised studio interior and technical furniture design and manufacturing business based in North London. They design and manufacture bespoke studio furniture and related services for Broadcast, TV and Film industries worldwide and have been a Managed IT client of Ratcliff IT for over 10 years.

The Problem

AKA Design wanted to improve their cybersecurity in order to better protect their company from the threat of data breaches, cyber-attacks, malware, and phishing scams. The company required a comprehensive and bespoke cybersecurity solution and wanted to partner with a business able to create and manage their cybersecurity requirements alongside their IT needs.

The Solution

AKA Design clients include blue-chip media companies, who demand the highest levels of service and protection from their partners and suppliers. It’s imperative that their partners have highly robust, regularly tested and maintained cybersecurity measures in place.

The Results

With the highly robust cybersecurity solutions implemented, AKA Design is able to share securely, highly confidential information with their clients and shareholders. They’ve benefitted from the introduction of more transparent processes and systems to safeguard the AKA Design team and data. AKA Design can prove to clients and prospects their dedication and investment into the security of all data. This has become even more of a necessity, with many of the team now working remotely. Without these cybersecurity measures, an employee may have not recognised, and interacted with a malicious communication, site, or link. Such an action may have inadvertently exposed the company systems, and potentially suppliers, and clients. The ramifications of which could have catastrophic. For AKA Design, it is now “unthinkable” to have no cyber protection.

“Ratcliff IT has proved to be a reliable and fast-acting IT Partner. The team actively offer advice and ensure that our staff, clients and partners, benefit from the solutions they’ve initiated.”

“Ratcliff IT work hard to ensure that AKA Design gets the most out of what technology has to offer.”

“Ratcliff IT constantly prove themselves to be proactive and go the extra mile for their clients.”

Case Study: Triton Building Restoration

An IT Department to rely on for Triton Building Restoration

With a reputation for heritage and quality workmanship, Triton Building Restoration have traded in London for nearly thirty years. High profile projects include the Royal Exchange, The Foreign and Commonwealth Offices, the Lyceum Theatre, the Athenaeum Club and the Criterion Theatre. Having worked with Ratcliff IT for over four years, they have come to rely heavily on the skills and expertise of the team.

‘Ratcliff IT deal with any issues quickly and efficiently. They will always offer to do anything they can to help, even if it is not within their remit. They know our names and we know theirs, so there is never a need to quote PC numbers. We have regular contact and that makes a real difference to know they only a phone call away.’ – Lauren Creswell, Office Manager.

As experts in their field, consistently delivering high profile projects, Triton Building Restoration need an IT support team they can rely on to ensure operations run as smoothly as possible. Offering a bespoke personal service, Ratcliff IT have become an extension of the Triton Building Restoration team.

As an outsourced IT department, Ratcliff IT manage the day to day requirements for Triton Building Restoration at a far lower cost than employing an internal IT Manager. Up to date with all latest developments in IT security policy and cyber-attack prevention, Ratcliff IT also work in the background to protect their business with regular security updates and data back-ups. In addition, Ratcliff IT will recommend and implement strategic changes to their IT infrastructure to improve the efficiency and productivity of the business.

Different approaches were needed to meet Triton Building Restoration’s complex requirements. Some staff are based in the office, whilst others are located remotely on-site. To work as efficiently as possible, Ratcliff IT migrated their daily operations across to Office 365. This allows easy access to email and applications from any location and on any device. The Ratcliff IT team planned the transition to ensure there was minimum disruption to the business.

‘When we moved our email across to Office 365, it was almost like it didn’t happen. We were amazed, the move was perfect!’ – Lauren Creswell, Office Manager

Download Triton Building Restoration Case Study

Case Study: MHA

Seamless migration to Office 365 and new IT Network for MHA

Based in Bloomsbury Square, WC1, MHA London are an opportunity led property development and investment company offering their clients exceptional quality service. When they identified the need for a new IT system including a move across to Office 365, they contacted James from Ratcliff IT to plan a new solution.

MHA moved from their previous cloud provider with the team from Ratcliff IT managing the transition from start to finish.  With email deemed critical to the day to day running and management of MHA, it was essential that there was to be no break in the email communications with clients and partners. Ratcliff IT implemented the move to Office 365 with no downtime or impact to the business.

Bill Singh, Finance Director comments ‘The move from our existing email service to Office 365 happened seamlessly. Ratcliff IT dealt with everything directly with our previous supplier and it was all complete within one week’

In addition to addressing the cloud email solution, Ratcliff IT also executed a complete network swap out for MHA. The previous system was slow and unreliable with frequent IP address conflicts. As a result, they experienced periods of downtime which began to impact business productivity.

Ratcliff IT implemented a new IT network solution to overcome these issues.  They introduced a new firewall and managed network switches allowing the IP traffic to be virtually separated to eliminate these issues. The new serviced office set-up is now safe and secure, with the level of downtime significantly reduced.

To reduce the risk of downtime even further, Ratcliff IT recommended and implemented a Datto business continuity solution. Datto gives MHA complete peace of mind that if a data disaster occurred such as a ransomware or virus attack, their data and information systems would be restored within minutes.

Bill Singh, Finance Director concludes ‘I would highly recommend Ratcliff IT to any business looking for a personal IT service in London. The team are great. Any niggling issues that occurred along the way, were nipped in the bud very quickly. Excellent!’

Download MHA Case Study

Case Study: AGL

Building a solid IT infrastructure with AGL

Located in London’s West End, Angermann Goddard & Loyd (AGL) is a commercial property consultancy offering the full spectrum of property services, with an applied specialism in retail. They are a team of industry specialists and chartered surveyors who have built up a solid client reputation in the market. Their business operations rely on a solid IT infrastructure to deliver a premium service to investors.

AGL contacted Ratcliff IT following a personal recommendation when going through a difficult period with their previous IT support provider. From the outset, Ratcliff IT started the process of getting to know the AGL business, how they work and how they operate, so they can recommend the right IT solution for the business.

“The good thing about a small local company is they can get to know us and understand how we work, which always helps to solve any issues very quickly.” comments Robert Cooper, Director, AGL.

Following a detailed assessment of the business and systems in already place, Ratcliff IT recommended starting a new system, building their IT foundations from the ground up. New servers and networks were set up to create a pristine environment, with a complete business migration across to Office 365. This provides AGL with the latest Microsoft Office software, business class email with archiving and compliance features. The Office 365 email migration took place over a quiet period to ensure minimum disruption to the business during the transition.

“The Office 365 migration went smoothly without a hitch. There was barely any downtime during the process, which was a surprise. Once set up, the team at Ratcliff IT helped us to adjust to the new system.” states Robert Cooper, Director, AGL.

The IT system at AGL is maintained and proactively monitored by the IT support team at Ratcliff IT, providing a fully managed service, as if they have their own IT department at the end of the phone.

“The team at Ratcliff are always jolly, smiley and helpful. They are very responsive which is a refreshing change.”comments Robert Cooper, Director AGL.

Ahead of the July 2016 deadline, Ratcliff IT upgraded all Windows desktops to Windows 10. Upgrading before the deadline reduced IT expenditure for AGL and having the latest Microsoft operating system provides the business with an added level of protection against IT security threats.

“Ratcliff provide us with a great personal and professionally managed service which is not expensive when compared with other providers in London. I would highly recommend them.” Concludes Robert Cooper, Director, AGL.

Download AGL Case Study

Case Study: Consortium Investment Management LLP

Creating a bespoke IT system for Consortium Investment Management LLP

Located in Central London, Consortium Investment Management LLP are an FCA authorised organisation specialising in structuring, operating and managing onshore investment schemes for private equity and pension investors. When the management team wanted to demerge their operations from a larger parent company, they needed an IT partner who could efficiently and securely transfer their existing systems across to a new operation.

Consortium Investment Management LLP worked with an external IT consultant to select the right partner. From a shortlist of three, the management team selected Ratcliff IT on account of their clear understanding of IT for small business and personal approach.

‘Ratcliff IT offered a bespoke and personal service. They didn’t try to sell us a costly cloud solution. They simply gave us what we needed.’ Ben Hobbs, Managing Partner comments

As part of the new set-up, Ratcliff IT recommended a move to Office 365 as an easier way of accessing email, together with office based servers for files and applications. Ratcliff IT seamlessly transferred the IT operations, setting up their new system. They took care of the Office 365 email and software migration including a bespoke line of business, CCH and Sage applications.

‘The move to the new system was painless. Minor issues were dealt with very quickly and efficiently by the team at Ratcliff IT’ stated Ben Hobbs, Managing Partner.

Ratcliff IT provide an ongoing managed IT support service for Consortium Investment Management LLP to ensure the business continues to run smoothly.

‘It was good to have a trustworthy partner to hold our hands throughout the process of transferring our IT operations. They continue to have our best interests at heart and I am very happy with the excellent service they provide.’ concludes Ben Hobbs, Managing Partner.

Download Consortium Case Study

Case Study: Access Solutions Scaffolding

Managed IT support for Access Solutions Scaffolding

Based in Greenwich, Access Solutions Scaffolding provide advice and scaffolding solutions for clients in the London and South East. They pride themselves on offering a highly efficient service to their customers with a reputation for quality. Established in 1999, the company relied on a family friend to look after their IT systems. As the company grew, there became an increasing need to outsource their IT support services.

Ratcliff IT were recommended to Access Solutions by an existing client. Ratcliff IT initially met with the management team to assess the current IT infrastructure and identify the support required.

‘When we met with James, I felt like we really were throwing Ratcliff IT in at the deep end. We were in a bit of a muddle with our IT.’ Lynn Ayiotis, Company Secretary, Access Solutions

Providing a backup and disaster recovery solution for their Server was critical for Access Solutions, as they had experienced significant downtime during a server failure. Ratcliff IT provided a complete backup solution and recommended migrating the business across to Office 365. To maintain their reputation for efficient operations, Ratcliff IT managed a change of Internet service provider to increase access speeds and reduce downtime.

‘When our emails were moved across to Office 365 we didn’t notice the transfer at all. It was all completed within 24 hours. Ratcliff IT were happy to manage everything for us, including a change of Internet provider, so we didn’t need to worry about a thing.’ states Lynn Ayiotis.

Access Solutions have 12 office based employees with a further 73 field workers out on site. Supervisors are equipped with iPads giving them instant access to emails and applications. Ratcliff IT now provide a complete managed IT service for Access Solutions giving them peace of mind that their systems are proactively maintained.

‘We are really pleased with the service provided by Ratcliff IT. They set up everything very efficiently and the team were polite and friendly to work with. I would definitely recommend them.’ concludes Lynn Ayiotis, Company Secretary, Access Solutions.

Download Access Solutions Case Study

Case Study: Simia Farra & Company

Complete IT system overhaul for faster and effective working at Essex Accountancy & Taxation firm

For over 50 years, Simia Farra & Company have provided accountancy and general taxation services for a variety of businesses world-wide. Based in Romford, Essex with 6 partners and a strong team of 30 managers, seniors and support staff, Simia Farra & Company have built up a solid reputation in providing an excellent service for all their clients. When Jamie Bell, Partner at Simia Farra & Company approached Ratcliff IT, they needed to replace an eight year old IT system slowing down their day-to-day operations.

‘Nothing worked properly and IT problems were taking up far too much of our time. We wanted all our systems just to work with no interruptions.’ comments Jamie Bell, Partner at Simia, Farra & Company.

Ratcliff IT identified the problem areas and worked with the Partners to implement a new IT strategy to move the business forward. They recommended a hybrid IT solution moving to the cloud for some functions and implementing a bespoke on premise system for the remaining elements. This involved a complete network upgrade, creating a new server from scratch and replacing the rm’s thirty-five aging desktop computers.

‘Nothing was too much trouble for the team at Ratcliff IT. They delivered exactly what they set out to, with no hidden or extra charges. They knew exactly what to do to really make a difference to our business.’Jamie Bell, Partner comments

Prior to working with Ratcliff IT, the company were using basic broadband which became unreliable very quickly. Accessing their systems remotely was barely worthwhile as the system was so slow. With over 2,000 tax returns to complete every year, reliable and fast access to the Internet is critical for Simia, Farra & Company with late submissions resulting in significant fines. Ratcliff IT implemented a new superfast broadband service and migrated the organisation across to Office 365 allowing the team to work, collaborate and communicate from anywhere using any device.

‘The process of upgrading our systems was very ordered and well planned so it didn’t affect our business. I can’t remember the last time our systems were down unintentionally. If we do have a problem, the team on the IT support help desk team are easy to talk to and empowered to deal with any issues very quickly.’ concludes Jamie Bell, Partner at Simia, Farra & Company.

Download Simia Farra Case Study

Case Study: GFC Economics

Mission Critical Data Management for London’s Leading Economic Research Consultancy

Based in East London, GFC Economics are a leading independent economic research consultancy publishing Global commentaries for large institutions worldwide. GFC Economics manages a significant volume of research data and the timely delivery of reports is fundamental to their business success.

Ratcliff IT were approached by Managing Director Liz Bright in 2014, when she searched for a reliable IT support partner. At the time, GFC Economics were facing a number of IT problems seriously impacting their business, most notably significant periods of downtime.

“James from Ratcliff IT listened to our situation and totally understood the needs of a small business. We liked his personal approach and the way he avoided using technical jargon, so we could fully understand the solution on offer.” – Liz Bright, Managing Director

Ratcliff IT implemented a complete network upgrade for GFC Economics including a new server build with a guaranteed trouble free platform for the business moving forward. With careful planning and strict procedures followed, the transition took place with minimal disruption to the business. Ratcliff IT worked with software partners Microsoft and SAGE to directly resolve any implementation issues and worked closely with GFC Economics’ preferred website provider to set-up their web hosting.

GFC Economics appointed Ratcliff IT as their managed IT support provider with full Help Desk support for all employees.

“The guys on the Help Desk have been an absolute delight. They are always cheerful, pleasant and helpful. No one ever gets irritated when we don’t quite understand a problem or do something wrong.” Liz Bright, Managing Director.

Download GFC Case Study