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When award-winning Financial Advisory firm DWPF came to the end of its contract with its incumbent IT support service, it wanted to find a new supplier that offered more attentive and more responsive service.

Key achievements

The client

DWPF is a leading financial advisory firm, supported by a market-leading financial modelling team.  It specialises in structuring and arranging project and infrastructure finance.

In 2012, as its contract with its existing IT support service approached its renewal date, DWPF began to look for alternative suppliers.  DWPF Office Manager, Natalie May, had already shortlisted a number of companies when she received a personal recommendation for Netstar.

Natalie says, “As soon as I met with Netstar I could see they were more involved.  They asked loads of questions and gave us a thorough overview.  The other presentations had not been so personalised.”

Free to choose

What clinched the decision for Natalie was the rolling contract offered by Netstar – instead of having to sign up for a designated term, she would be free to cancel at any time.

“The fact you can cancel at any time meant going with Netstar was a low-risk option, but we’ve been with Netstar for more than four years now and I have no plans to change,” says Natalie.

“I receive lots of calls, but I’m just not interested.  I don’t think we’d be looked after in the same way by anyone else.”

A hands-on approach

Natalie and the rest of the DWPF team greatly value the speed with which Netstar addresses IT issues as they arise.

“The support we get on a daily and monthly basis is very good,” says Natalie.  Under its previous support service, it could take days for an issue logged by DWPF to be resolved.

“The speed with which Netstar correct minor errors has changed our working day,” enthuses Natalie.  “The Netstar team are frequently logging the call at the same time as they are fixing the problem.  They just jump on remotely and 99 percent of the time, we have a fix within minutes.  If there is a bigger problem, they send someone out really quickly, but this is quite rare.”

Removing the administrative burden

Natalie meets with DWPF’s Netstar account manager four times a year and values the direct point of contact.  Because Netstar regularly undertakes full audits of DWPF’s IT environment, the administrative burden of tracking and managing warranty expiration, licence and support renewal dates and end-of-life transitions has been lifted from Natalie’s shoulders.

Netstar keeps Natalie informed of any matter that requires her attention.

“The Netstar team is very organised,” admits Natalie.  “I had the feeling they were from the first moment I met with them.  They are very proactive and their early warnings and helpful advice keep us prepared and help us to budget.”

Specialist support

In addition to the daily support and monthly reporting Netstar delivers, DWPF has also received specialist support from Netstar for upgrades, projects, sourcing new equipment and training.

The biggest project undertaken to date by Netstar for DWPF has been an office move in 2014.  Here, again, Natalie has been impressed by the service and support delivered by Netstar.

“The move couldn’t have gone better,” explains Natalie.  “Netstar allocated us a specialist team who undertook a full audit months before the move.  They kept us up to date with what we needed to do.  If I ever had a query, I could easily contact the team leader.  On the day itself, Netstar got it all set up for us in just a few hours – all before anyone had come into work.”

Trusted advice

The office move has not been the only major project Netstar has undertaken for DWPF.

In 2013, Netstar seamlessly managed the migration of the DWPF email server which was reaching end of life to a new cloud-based solution.  As well as cost-effectively dealing with the retirement of an old piece of equipment and freeing up space in the comms room, the new hosted exchange server delivers a far more reliable service, automated backups and cost-effective unlimited storage space.

Netstar also provides support when DWPF needs to upgrade or purchase new IT equipment.  Natalie says, “When we purchase through Netstar we get better prices than we would elsewhere and they are often able to recommend a better model or option.”

A secure environment

A further important improvement of the IT support service received by DWPF has been Netstar’s support in terms of security advice.

“We haven’t had any major security problems,” says Natalie, “and we regularly receive email bulletins from Netstar giving us an overview of current threats and how to deal with them.”

As part of this, Netstar provided a security awareness training programme to all of DWPF’s twenty staff which has been highly successful, particularly around how to spot a phishing attack.

I like Netstar’s hands-on approach and personal service. Also, the speed of response, calm expertise of their team and speed in fixing issues – and they are a really nice bunch of people. I have already recommended Netstar to other people and I know they are really happy as well.

Natalie May, Office Manager at DWPF

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