In-house and outsourced IT services – working in harmony
We have been working with the Horizon Discovery group since 2012 alongside their own IT department.
From the start, IT for Starters have been supplementing Horizon’s existing IT group. Operating with an IT Manager, we took the burden of the day-to-day IT issues and desktop support away from them so they could concentrate on planning their long-term IT strategy, which began with planning and managing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
Horizon have grown rapidly over the past five years, increasing from 45 to 300+ users, becoming a listed company and acquiring four additional businesses based in the US and Europe. This has created additional and unique challenges for both their inhouse and our support teams.
Outsourced IT services supporting business expansion
As they have expanded, we have been able to provide skilled engineers to cover their US requirements and help consolidate their software and hardware.
One of the biggest projects was implementing and migrating nearly 300 users to Office 365 from a number of in-house Exchange servers. This included working with IT staff in different countries, unifying usernames in Active Directory and installing password synchronisation between On-Premise AD and Office 365.
We also implemented Mimecast’s secure email gateway to ensure Horizon could meet their expanding security and management targets through uniformed stationary, secure email traffic and anti-spam and anti-phising protection.
Moving headquarters with help from outsourced IT services
The final piece in their jigsaw was their headquarters. When Horizon had outgrown their previous premises, we helped manage and guide the fit out and construction of their new, purpose-built, HQ. This involved liaising with third-party companies to ensure that new infrastructure was in place prior to their move, but also ensuring their existing hardware would slot in with minimal disruption. During the move date, our team ensured all IT equipment was installed and operational over the weekend so the company could operate seamlessly from the first day in their new offices.
Our relationship with Horizon is proof that you can successfully utilise a “hybrid” system of both inhouse and outsourced IT services to perfectly suit the fast moving and nature of modern business.
"IT for Starters are a great team to work with – they’ve supported Horizon’s internal team seamlessly. From an end user’s point of view, their team are knowledgeable and responsive and have allowed us to react quickly to the demands of a rapidly growing enterprise."
Dr. Chris Lowe Head of Research Operations
"IT for Starters have been working with us for many years now and have offered great service delivery within the IT department. Their service level has been excellent. Their in-depth knowledge and expertise within specific areas, such as Exchange, O365, Windows Server and Active Directory, has allowed us to complete projects with ease and with minimal stress. Having acquired multiple companies and successfully going through an IPO, IT for Starters have been invaluable to our team and have always been willing to go the extra mile when needed."
Leon Rhatigan, Senior Manager, Information Technology
"Since joining Horizon in 2012, I’ve watched our revenues grow almost ten fold as we’ve driven the business towards new applications and new customers. Time and again this has created challenges for us – we’ve had to balance building infrastructure to support new products and service operations whilst still maintaining the existing IT. IT for Starters have helped us overcome this dilemma. Darren and the team have embedded themselves within the Horizon IT group. By integrating this way and having good knowledge of Horizon’s systems, IT for Starters have been able to effectively leverage their significant experience to ensure that Horizon’s day-to-day IT needs are met. As a result, productivity is maintained on both corporate IT projects and routine IT support."
Brian Burke PhD, Head of Commercial Business Management