The London Smile Clinic

Who are The London Smile Clinic

The London Smile Clinic is a centre of excellence for cosmetic dentistry in Central London and was awarded the ‘Private Dentistry Practice of the Year Award’ at the end of 2004. Yet whilst The London Smile Clinic is at the forefront of innovations in dental technology, its IT system was not meeting the same exacting standards set by the practice.

“We have a team of 12 people who rely on IT systems to effectively complete their daily tasks and ensure that the practice runs like clockwork,” comments Owner of The London Smile Clinic, Dr Tim Bradstock-Smith. At the heart of the IT infrastructure sits the server, critical to the running of the practice, it hosts the appointment scheduling software, email, Internet and also contains vital client information.

A Lot of Hot Air

When the practice started experiencing major periods of downtime with the server constantly crashing, they contacted their freelance IT contractor who was being used to oversee IT issues. Bradstock-Smith explains, “We were advised that should the practise be closed for a couple of days, such as over the weekend, the server must be switched off. It was also suggested that high temperatures in the room that housed the server was likely to be the cause of the problem and that an additional, higher capacity air conditioning unit should be purchased.”

The Rising Cost to the Practice

“The team at the London Smile Clinic are experts in the field of dentistry not IT, however we were becoming wary that the advice we were being given and the associated costs incurred were not in sync.” Bradstock-Smith adds, “We were being charged £250 per hour for onsite consultancy and a further £250 per hour for telephone support. Every additional and unexpected IT expense was diverting budget from vital practice affairs and this clearly could not continue.”

The final straw for The London Smile Clinic came when the server crashed once again and a considerable amount of data was lost. “An invoice for a considerable amount of money was received for recovering the data,” continues Bradstock-Smith. “We realised that they should have implemented a back-up to guard against this eventuality and we were paying for a mistake that was not of our making.”

Exasperated by the lack of a solution, poor advice and spiralling costs The London Smile Clinic went looking for a proven and established company to outsource its entire IT function. The specialist IT outsourcing consultants, ramsac, were recommended by The London Smile Clinic’s own accountancy firm who were already using them for their IT requirements.

A Regular Check-Up Keeps IT Healthy

A ramsac technical consultant visited the practice to conduct an IT audit and discuss the IT requirements both immediately and in the future. Upon reviewing the existing server it was clear that a costly new air conditioning unit would not remedy the situation. A new Dell PowerEdge Server running Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 was installed, solving the problem virtually overnight and at a fraction of the cost. In addition ramsac fully checked and updated every PC and established the missing data back-up process.

The benefits to The London Smile Clinic were immediate, as Bradstock-Smith explains, “For the first time we were able to depend upon our IT systems to function without question. The server no longer crashes and it remains switched on 24×7.”

A ramsac technical consultant visits the practice once a month to ensure that all IT systems are running smoothly and to advise on how IT can support the continuing progress of The London Smile Clinic. “Working together with ramsac we now have a clear understanding of our IT requirement and the associated costs, enabling us to budget effectively and plan strategically,” enthuses Bradstock-Smith.

With a fully outsourced IT function The London Smile Clinic can focus on delivering its award winning service to customers, safe in the knowledge that they do not need to think about day-to-day IT management and if an issue arises telephone support is always available. Bradstock-Smith concludes, “On the rare occasion that an issue arises we are able to explain the situation to ramsac over the telephone and not be baffled by jargon or high cost solutions.”