Nigel Phillips

Managing Director

As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), you might be surprised to find us promoting the business model of a dedicated on-site, in-house IT team. After all, the normal business model of an MSP is to provide remote support and to visit when needed or at scheduled intervals. The one size fits all MSP solution whilst having many advantages, for SMBs may not fit quite as comfortably for larger organisations or those with complex IT needs. It can be especially challenging for companies that are highly compliant and process driven. This forces a lot of organisations to maintain the status quo and continue with an in-house team and all the associated issues surrounding employing people with the correct skills and ensuring those skills mature.

I was recently in a meeting with a company that has had its own in-house team. The team had been there for about 5 years, they had the knowledge of the entire system (in their heads). When something creaked or groaned they knew exactly where the pressure point was and enacted the normal work around. The CEO told me “The IT room might as well have been Merlin’s cave, I have no idea what was happening in there, just that I had to accept what was being told and continue paying the same salaries for diminishing skill sets”. The IT team were very good and very knowledgeable but they were bored, complacent and at least one of them was starting to look for another position.

Westgate’s business model has been evolving over the years and we supply a number of companies with a fully managed dedicated on-site IT team. Backed up with a professional fully compliant Service Desk and the additional technical resources to handle either the triaging of requests or take on the escalation of the more complex issues.

 

So how does that Work in Practice?

Typically Westgate provide a dedicated Service Delivery Manager (SDM), who is the main communication channel between the stakeholders and the IT Team. The SDM makes it their responsibility to understand the business needs and complexities, ensuring that every element of IT within the organisation is managed  including all third parties. In many cases, the SDM also coordinates releases from the Development Team on to production.

The Engineering Team in our typical example consists of a 3rd Line Engineer, a 2nd Line Engineer and a DevOps Engineer; this team is the on-site presence and understands the IT of the business fully. All requests are logged on The Westgate Service desk. Approximately 60% of requests into the service desk are handled by the technicians at our head office, freeing up the in-house team to get on with the more complex tasks, improving the system and ensuring compliance is followed to the letter. The Head Office Security Team take ownership of the security, performing regular vulnerability scans and ensuring everything is fully patched.

The Service Delivery Manager meets with all departments on a regular basis to ensure that IT works for the whole business, mapping out improvement plans and ongoing strategies.

Our Unique Customer:

Westgate have a unique customer that we started supporting remotely around 6 years ago, based from our head office in Bath. The contract soon evolved and required Westgate to adapt their support model in order to provide IT support aligned with the clients business goals. An on-site Engineer was soon recruited to deliver support from site, followed by a second onsite resource.

The client had already invested heavily in new IT infrastructure, software and systems but decided they needed to do more. After some detailed analysis and with the help of an external consultant from PWC, the client decided to outsource IT services to Westgate. This included taking on a whole new host of services; support within their AWS environment, system releases, database administration, triaging applications logs to a number of different partners associated with the client. As standard, Westgate provide a dedicated Service Delivery Manager to oversee the account and a DevOps engineer to support the in-house applications. This is a brilliant opportunity for Westgate as it elevates us to innovation over maintenance.

Westgate have proven they’re able to adapt to change to always support our customer’s needs, securing a long term partnership. Our client gets on with running their business, dedicating their time to the business whilst the Westgate team and all our supporting resources make sure IT is not only fit for purpose but that it grows and adapts to the clients unique business.

We now have a number of clients utilising this business model, in some cases we have smaller teams on site and in others larger, there is no one size fits all.

If you’d like to hear more about this business model, see it in action and discuss how we can tailor it to your unique business, please get in touch.

Published: 13th July 2020