Central Health Physiotherapy has partnered with Netstar for five years. The Central Health team approached Netstar when they realised a more reliable IT partner was needed – one that would support the company’s growth and help drive improvement. Because, as Central Health had discovered, sometimes choosing the cheapest can be a false economy.
Central Health has three London offices: Chancery Lane, St John’s Wood & Chelsea. The practice offers a range of services for patients and organisations related to physiotherapy and healthcare. As a small business, Central Health had partnered with other small businesses to deliver its essential office services. However, when its incumbent IT supplier folded, Central Health began to rethink that strategy. It was the perfect opportunity to move up to a partner that was big enough to support their ambitions and future growth.
What they wanted to achieve
Natasha Price, Managing Director of Central Health, explains the situation: “I think for any small business the cost of IT and hardware and support and Internet are quite daunting. We’re a small company, so we tended to go with small companies to do our IT. But that means you’ve only got one or two people you can call on and you can’t always rely on that.”
“We knew we needed to upgrade,” she continues, “because we rely so heavily on computers now; all our diaries, all our notes, all our patient’s records – everything is online.”
Netstar impressed because of:
- The depth and efficiency of the support team
- The time the Netstar team put into understanding the company’s requirements
- The possibility of moving to a single supplier for IT support and telecoms provision.
Natasha says, “We’ve gone for cheaper options before and it just hasn’t worked for us. Whereas now we feel that we can trust our supplier and they will support us when we need them to. None of us are techy, so having someone on the end of the phone who will sort things out when you need them to is very important to us.”
The fact the Netstar team was on hand to come into any of the London offices when required was another plus. Over the past five years, Netstar has worked with Central Health to migrate systems to a more sustainable and efficient infrastructure.
These changes have included:
- Migration to Office 365.
- Planning and implementing a new office move in less than three months, including supplying all the hardware and connectivity.
- Migration from servers located in each of the three office sites to a new Microsoft Azure cloud solution to aid live data sharing between office locations and remote working.
- Assistance with security documentation to demonstrate compliance with GDPR policies (aligned with hospital and insurance company clients and the governing body’s rules).
- Strengthening email security.
- A staggered payment system to help manage the cost of upgrading all PC hardware for 50 users across 3 sites.
Putting effective IT systems in place is key to running a smooth practice and the Central Health team recognise their importance in ensuring an optimal customer experience. The support received from Netstar has been pivotal.
“Netstar has listened to us,” says Natasha, “They understand that good IT is key to our business. They’ve worked with us on having the most effective systems in place. Even though we’re a small business, they care about us. Other companies we’ve worked with, we’ve felt at the bottom of the pile. We don’t feel like that with Netstar – our business is important to them and they’ve made that clear in their actions.”
The Central Health team has learnt some important lessons about trust and investment in IT along the way. At the same time as the Office 365 migration, Netstar made some suggestions for strengthening security.
“Unfortunately, we went for the basic option,” says Natasha, “Because Office 365 did have its own security, we thought we could rely on that and it would be alright. It’s all about weighing things up and balancing costs. For a small business, advanced security was another cost and we thought ‘who on earth is going to be interested in us?’. But, in hindsight, that was a mistake. Our Office 365 was hacked and we could have potentially lost a lot of money because the cyber criminals got into our bank accounts and payroll. It could have put us out of business. It taught us that when you’ve got a supplier, you need to trust them and listen to their advice.”
Netstar helped Central Health to upgrade its Firewall, introduce two-factor authentication, strengthen password policies and train staff to spot and deal with malicious files and emails.
“Small businesses have all been a bit complacent about cyber security,” Natasha says, “and we think if something’s going to cost extra, is it really worth it? But if you’ve chosen your supplier, you actually need to trust them. Don’t be afraid to spend the money because, unfortunately, the money you could lose is ten times more. It certainly would have been for us.”
“The relationship with Netstar is the best relationship we’ve had with an IT company in my 20 years of practice.” – Natasha Price.
Netstar has listened to us. They’ve worked with us on having the most effective systems in place. Even though we’re a small business, they care about us.
Natasha Price, Central Health Physiotherapy
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