English National Opera

English National Opera (ENO) is Britain’s only full-time repertory opera company, based at the London Coliseum near Covent Garden. ENO offers a variety of English-language opera, it’s mission is to exist for everyone, creating new experiences with opera that inspires, nurtures creativity and makes a difference.

Before ramsac

Prior to ramsac, ENO employed a small, dedicated team that were looking after their IT requirements. Following organic growth in technology and applications across the business ENO recognised they were lacking a strategic roadmap against which to prioritise investments. Karen Watson, COO at ENO commented

We had a small core IT team who were doing a great job “keeping the lights on” but we felt that there wasn’t sufficient cover all year round and there was limited career progression and ability to keep up to date in the changing field of technology.”

Choosing the right supplier

ENO carried out a full tender process and shortlisted 4 potential suppliers, before eventually selecting ramsac as their chosen provider. Karen explains what drove their decision.

“It was clear from the start that ramsac had taken the time to understand our business model and concerns and could put together a package that suited us. We also felt the people fit worked really well – as an artistic company it is important that the chosen supplier understood our values, strengths and areas for improvement.”

Moving from inhouse to outsourced

The decision to move from an employed in house team, to an outsourced model can feel very daunting. ramsac were asked to help support the transition and worked alongside the outgoing IT department to effect a thorough handover, but ENO recognised that with the outsourced model, the organisation had access to a much wider team of IT expertise, as well as a helpdesk that can provide 24/7 cover – essential for an organisation that stages significant events at weekend and in the evenings.

Karen discusses what the experience was like for ENO.

“We were confident that we could manage risk and make technology work better for us if we partnered with the right supplier. It has been a step change for many people in the organisation to use a remote help desk but ramsac have provided us with people on the ground on a regular basis and have been able to increase that resource when we felt it was necessary. ramsac have supported us during Covid to embrace virtual working; a journey from basic technology to a long-term practical solution for a flexible & multi-location workforce.”

Auditing the IT estate

When working with a new organisation ramsac always undertake independent reviews of the existing IT estate to highlight areas of good practice and suggest future opportunities. Karen commented on the results for ENO

“The team did a great job of auditing and understanding our existing set up and managed to communicate the outcome in layman’s terms which enabled us to plan with the management team and Audit & Risk committee. It was key for us to establish where our weaknesses were and address them in a timely and effective manner.”

Dealing with cyber breaches

ENO have, like all organisations, been affected by cybercrime. Following a breach Stuart Turner, Director of Risk and Business Assurance at ENO commented explains how ramsac helped ENO to respond and recover from the incident.

“The team responded well within minutes of the breach being reported. They worked collaboratively with ENO’s Insurance Cyber Security response team and other external team brought in by the insurers who lead on the forensic investigations after the breach. Working with the Cyber security breach team ramsac were able to fix the “backdoor” vulnerability and return us to normal operations. We now have a planned roadmap of what we need to do in order to make continual improvements to our IT estate.”

totalIT enabling productivity

totalIT from ramsac is a complete IT department. The fully managed IT service takes care of everything, from supporting end users 24/7 with any IT question, to around the clock system monitoring, remote IT administration, server management, patching and updates, cyber security, and management of licences, renewals and purchasing. Explaining why ENO choose totalIT Karen said

“totalIT has given us access to a range of professionals with up to date knowledge and solutions. We now have a long-term cloud-based IT strategy which was delivered in parallel to technology supporting an up to date mobile workforce. Our security is better, our infrastructure is better, the capability for us to support our workforce in a home/office environment is better. Now we have time to focus on how IT actually delivers a better customer and employee experience and enables us to be more productive.”

Very open, communicative and supportive

At ramsac we are very proud of our people and our culture and we work hard to ensure all employees are happy and fulfilled, to allow them to serve our clients to the best of their ability. Karen commented on their experience of ramsac people

“They are very open, communicative and supportive. We receive good management debriefs and ramsac attend our monthly steering committees. They have provided solutions and have been honest where they have needed more time/expertise to provide solutions. Within less than a year of working together, we have a clear plan, we have overcome a number of significant issues and have delivered some real breakthroughs in productivity.”

When asked if ENO would recommend ramsac to other organisations, Karen said

“Yes definitely. There are many small to medium size companies particularly in the Arts sector and the Charity sector who would benefit from outsourcing IT. The step changes we have made in terms of infrastructure, risk management, cyber security and communications has been significant within a year. We have much more to do but we now have a clear plan and priorities.”

Quiz yourself

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