Background
Background

Client Profile

Mandarin Consulting delivers expert coaching support to provide graduate job and internship opportunities in London, the UK and beyond.

They offer career coaching, cross-cultural training, recruitment and business consulting to enable ambitious Chinese students and graduates to launch and progress their international careers.

Client Testimonial

“We are very happy with the service that Simultech IT has provided us. Simultech IT provided outstanding support through the Office 365 & desktop refresh projects which made a significant difference to our business. We have seen an increase in productivity from our staff. Their team are efficient, professional, reliable, and they solved all our IT problems. Thoroughly impressed with the services given, looking forward to working with you in the future”

Executive Summary

Mandarin Consulting is a rapidly growing international company who require professional IT support that will develop with them.

Simultech IT has delivered ongoing IT support services, a desktop refresh and cloud implementation. Achievements include:

  • Microsoft Office 365 cloud migration of 135,000+ documents
  • Reduced costs and improved performance with a UK desktop refresh
  • Custom SharePoint development to meet client requirements and drive collaboration
  • Office 365 and Windows 10 training of over 150 users in the UK, USA and China
  • Professional helpdesk has improved IT Support response times with fast resolution of issues

Mandarin users report increased collaboration and productivity, and describe Simultech IT as a trusted long-term business partner.

Background

Evolving IT Needs Due to Rapid Growth

Mandarin Consulting (Mandarin) is a rapidly growing company with locations in the UK, USA and China, and over 150 staff worldwide.

As a small business, Mandarin were able to succeed with minimal outsourced IT support. As the company developed, the available support could not keep up with Mandarin’s needs. Mandarin experienced problems in three areas:

  1. Collaboration – existing practices, such as storing documents on local servers and hard drives made it difficult for users to collaborate, especially across international office locations.
  2. Equipment – old equipment and inconsistent desk-top set-ups caused performance issues and undermined productivity. It was challenging to work from home, with one user describing the situation as a “nightmare”.
  3. IT support – users had lost confidence in the existing support service and were unable to resolve issues quickly or satisfactorily.

Mandarin needed an IT company that could meet their increasing support needs, provide strategic advice and deliver projects to help them maximise their efficiency.

Executive Implementation and Desktop Refresh

Simultech IT started working with Mandarin in April 2016.

They ran two projects to tackle the issues around collaboration and performance, a cloud services implementation and a desk top refresh. Simultech IT ran the projects alongside one another so that Mandarin could benefit as quickly as possible, and to minimise business disruption. Both projects were delivered within two months.

The refresh project began with a review of UK equipment and set up. Simultech IT discovered slow running laptops on different operating systems (e.g. Vista, Windows 8). Users could not be managed via Active Directory, and security updates had not been applied.

Simultech IT upgraded all hard drives to solid state drives and installed Windows 10 on all laptops. Anti-virus and internet monitoring software (iSheriff) was rolled out.

The cloud implementation project focused on the migration of documents from the server to Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint.

The biggest challenge was the data cleanse and migration of over 135,000 documents. Simultech IT migrated the documents into an archive library in SharePoint. They created new document libraries based on Mandarin’s department names and worked with users to help them populate the libraries with current documents.

Simultech IT delivered bespoke SharePoint design, with a landing page in Mandarin’s brand colours. Other features included:

  • custom rotating news carousel
  • announcements
  • world clock
  • workflow to alert Mandarin coaches when relevant documents were created and edited

Training was well planned and thorough for both the cloud implementation and the desktop refresh. It was identified as a critical factor for both projects.

In the UK, Windows 10 and Office 365 training was provided face to face in a classroom style to department teams, and on a one to one basis to senior staff and champion users.

Office 365 training was delivered over Skype for Business to users in the USA. Skype was not an appropriate tool to deliver training to Chinese users due to the language barrier. Instead, a UK champion user provided training in China.

All users received help materials, and Simultech IT provided floor-walking in the UK. A professional helpdesk using time stamped acknowledgements and regular reporting provides all users with ongoing responsive support.

Background

Improved Productivity, Increased Collaboration and Reduced Costs

Mandarin now describe their IT services as “professional” and “super easy”. Benefits include:

  • Office 365 and SharePoint make it easy for users to access email and documents from home and share information between different global offices. Documents are less likely to be lost, reducing risk and inefficiency. Users collaborate anywhere and anytime.
  • The desktop refresh has introduced consistency, security protection and professional asset management. The decision to upgrade hard drives rather than buy new equipment has kept costs to a minimum while improving performance and productivity.
  • The professional helpdesk has resulted in fast response times to support requests, and users report expert friendly interactions. A monthly meeting where Simultech IT report to the Mandarin board keeps everything on track and identifies potential improvements and cost saving for future projects

Simultech IT is an IT company who care about delivering the best possible service, pay attention to the details, and build trust with users. They have demonstrated this in their high delivery standards for Mandarin.

Mandarin view their relationship with Simultech IT as a long-term partnership, and Simultech IT will continue to support Mandarin as the business evolves.