Horton Housing manages more than 30 different housing, training and support services across Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and North Yorkshire. It provides specialist support and quality accommodation for the most vulnerable in society including people who are homeless, young people, older people, people with mental health problems, people with drug and alcohol addiction, refugees, gypsies and travellers, and ex-offenders.
Horton Housing wanted to enhance its managed service desk, improve its cloud-based backup and disaster recovery regime and undertake a migration to Office 365 across the organisation.
As part of Horton Housing’s wider three-year strategy, the organisation wanted to enable all its employees to work effectively remotely by introducing the productivity functions of Office 365 tools such as PowerApps and MS Teams. This would allow Horton Housing to maintain effective communication and collaboration across the business and adopt a better way of working without affecting its clients.
Furthermore, Horton Housing needed a support service that was flexible, adaptable and great value for money.
Following a tender process, in which the Central team provided a detailed overview as to the methodology and approach, Horton Housing selected Central to implement a flexible, inclusive IT support package to enhance its operations.
The first task was to take on the existing IT systems so that Central could quickly provide support assistance. This included the installation of 24/7 monitoring and patch management to bring Horton Housing under Central’s umbrella of support services.
Central implemented a comprehensive support package that included reactive support from its Service Desk along with a Proactive Monitoring Service which provides a 24/7 monitoring solution. A full Patch Management Service was also implemented to eliminate any issues and enhance Horton Housing’s user experience and productivity while addressing technical debt. Central also carried out an in-depth analysis of Horton Housing’s current systems and suggested a methodology for moving to new cloud-based backup and disaster recovery systems. It also provided managed service support for the disaster and backup solution.
The organisation needed to update its backup and disaster recovery facility to allow their IT team to achieve Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) far in advance of their previous systems.
Additionally, Central provides 52 days a year of both off-site and on-site professional services, which includes responsibility for fulfilment of ICT projects that are fundamental to Horton’s organisational goals.
An agile, collaborative IT service that adds value and supports Horton Housing’s three-year strategy aiming to make significant improvements to support its staff, volunteers and clients. The IT systems that have been implemented not only made a huge difference during the COVID-19 outbreak, but they will make a difference for years to come.
Horton Housing now benefits from a flexible IT support service that can be adapted to changing circumstances. This allows its IT team to choose support days as and when they are needed, maximising the allocated support time to work on projects that add value.
Since securing the contract, Central has performed upgrades that assist Horton Housing in moving forward with its ICT function towards an improved user and customer experience. The proactive support solution investigates problems before its users are aware of them, addressing technical debt and reducing downtime across the board for all its users.
Backup and disaster recovery are now provided via a private cloud which can be flexed up and down to suit Horton Housing’s requirements. RTO and RPO times for backup and disaster recovery have improved significantly. It is now around a maximum of two hours.
“We made quick enhancements to Horton’s support levels and infrastructure, helping their team to progress with strategic projects and assisting them to move forward with their goals.”
John Blackburn, Operations Director, Central.
“The team is approachable, personable and the service they offer is comprehensive and excellent value for money. It has been a pleasure working with them so far and we look forward to working with them over the next three years.”
Mark Spencer, Head of IT, Horton Housing.