Barrow Consultancy and Training
How BITS helped a Training Company Undergo a Digital Transformation
Barrow Consultancy and Training is a specialist and accredited training centre based in Bagenalstown, County Carlow. Founded in 2008, they have grown from strength to strength and now offer professional training and consultancy nationwide to a wide range of clients.
Their training ranges from online healthcare, childcare, health and safety, management courses and many more. They are QQI quality assured and ISO 9001 registered. This lends credibility to the training they provide while also positioning them to provide expert consultancy services to organisations who themselves are seeking evidence of compliance such as ISO certification.
The business had traditionally been uncomplicated from an IT perspective:
– Employees used the storage capabilities of their own individual machines. Additionally, files of general interest where stored on a physical device called a Network-attached storage (NAS) that each employee could access as required. The NAS had a permission structure in place, but largely the business’ security was at router level.
– They depended hugely on a very busy traditional landline – a landline that for example received a large number of inbound enquiries from prospective buyers.
This simple setup, was adequate for their functional needs. But then Covid-19 arrived and, like most organisations, Barrow Consultancy & Training was severely impacted. All classroom-based training had to cease immediately and employees needed to start working from home.
The business initially adapted as follows:
– When no one was in the office, incoming phone calls were being forwarded to mobiles. If someone was in the office and able to answer the landline, they had no way of easily and reliably transferring the calls to the relevant remote colleague. Many calls were being missed and phone bills had quickly increased – significantly.
– Remote colleagues were emailing files to each other – with all the associated security risks.
HOW BITS HELPED
The business realised quickly that their way of operating after the arrival of Covid-19 was not practical and that it was having a negative business impact.
BITS implemented three main initiatives as part of a digital transformation:
– The phone system was revamped – moving to a fully hosted VoIP solution. Now, if the landline rings, it rings at the designated person’s remote location on their PC or laptop. That person can then seamlessly forward the call to the relevant colleague – wherever that colleague is located. To the person calling in this is 100% transparent.
– All the files requiring access by more than one person were taken off the in-house NAS and moved up into Microsoft 365. The business is now making use of the Microsoft 365 Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive offering. Now, all employees have access to their data as required – just as if they were sitting in the office.
– BITS also upgraded Barrow Consultancy’s Microsoft 365 from standard to premium. While 2-factor authentication was in place previously, this upgrade has provided enhanced data security and facilitated more efficient collaboration – allaying any unease the business might have had at losing control of their data by it leaving the building or even the 365 eco-system.
– Barrow Consultancy & Training now has a phone system operating as if all employees are sitting in the office – independent of where they are actually located.
– In addition, calls are no longer being missed. One benefit of this is that all inbound enquiry calls are answered promptly which in turn means that no potential sales are unnecessarily lost – thereby helping the lifeblood of the business.
– Data is now more secure, more accessible and better managed.
Overall, BITS took Barrow Consultancy & Training from being entirely office-based to being fully remote. They continue to be largely remote today but are now well positioned to operate in-office and/or remotely – whatever best serves their business needs.
Barrow Consultancy & Training
Bagenalstown, County Carlow
- All phone calls handled seamlessly – independent of where employees are located.
- Employees have immediate access to all data appropriate to their position – whether they are working remotely or in-house.
- Security solutions in place ensuring that access to data is only available to the appropriate employees and that data transfers are entirely safe.
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