Goldsmith Europe brought in Xperience Group to replace its aging IT Infrastructure with a modern server environment and provide TotalCare IT Support. As a result, they now have worry-free IT, allowing them to focus on growing their business.
In summary, Xperience IT Support has enabled Golfsmith Europe to:
- Delegate product updates, system maintenance, back ups and technical issues
- Enable them to focus on their core business, not the systems that run it
- Know that a virtual IT department is responding to their network round the clock
- Prevent, pre-empt and fix any issues as efficiently and effectively as possible
- Ensure their system stays healthy, productive and secure
A 'Virtual IT Department'
Golfsmith Europe’s Donna Beagley explains, “We had already chosen Xperience for our CRM and accounts solution, Sage 200. So, when we upgraded to new computers and servers, and needed dependable and comprehensive system support, it seemed logical to talk to Xperience again. Their TotalCare IT Support Service seemed to offer everything we were looking for”.
Donna points out that her team is “not in the slightest bit technical” and nor do they want to be. “We have better things to do than worry about our IT”, she says. “In theory, we could have used the in-house IT support available at our parent company. But because of the time difference between here and Texas, it’s just not practical.
“Basically we wanted all the benefits of in-house IT department, without the hassle and expense. A ‘virtual IT department’ if you like, a team we could depend on for technical support when we needed it without tying up time and resources here in the office.”
Golfsmith Europe now “relies totally” on Xperience for its system support. Some issues can be “quite time intensive”, says Donna. "For example we can have a string of problems one week and then go for days or even weeks with nothing at all. So employing someone full-time, or even part-time, isn’t cost-effective, not to mention the huge investment we’d have to make in equipment.”
IT Support that guarantees peace of mind
Xperience TotalCare fits the bill perfectly. “It’s so reassuring to have someone at the end of the phone we can call whenever we need help”, Donna says. “Often Xperience will log onto our server and resolve the issue there and then. Or we may log on, too, and they’ll attach to our screens and walk us through the solution.”
But Xperience’s TotalCare Service isn’t simply about providing quick and efficient help. It’s about trusting someone to proactively manage your network while keeping it available and secure, 24/7.
“Take data backup, for example”, explains Donna. “Crises or intrusion attempts can happen at any time and we just don’t have the time or expertise to fire-fight it alone. And of course no-one can predict disasters like fire, flood or theft. This kind of thing can play havoc with a business and it’s simply not worth the risk. Thankfully Xperience TotalCare offers bulletproof data backup as one of its features.”
Backups take place daily. “We simply change the tape and everything else is taken care of. Then, the next morning, we get a report outlining any issues. At first when the report picked up on things we’d get straight on the phone to Xperience to ask if we needed to be worried. But we quickly learned that they are alerted to any issues long before we are, so they can take action if necessary. It’s things like this that give us total peace of mind.”
In an age of increasingly sophisticated cyber crime, an ultra-secure IT system is paramount. “For example on one occasion the report came back showing we’d had some hacker attempts which, for me, was quite frightening. But when I spoke to Xperience they reassured me that our server was totally secure. I can’t quite remember their exact words but it was something along the lines of it being impenetrable.”
Viruses are another thing that Donna is naturally concerned about. “We had an occasion when a virus was found on one of our laptops. We immediately contacted Xperience to check we had the latest antivirus software in place. But we needn’t have worried; antivirus updates are done automatically. And, like any other issue, we didn’t have to do anything; it was resolved for us.”
Maintenance is routine but invaluable feature of Xperience’s TotalCare Service. “They’ve talked us through a hard disk swap-out, for instance”, says Donna, “and how to re-implement all the
software back onto all our PCs afterwards”.
However, as she goes on to explain, TotalCare came into its own when they moved premises in 2011. “We had an incredibly tight deadline. So Russell from Xperience met us at our new premises to see where the server was going to be re-housed, to check if we had enough network points, things like that”, she continues.
“It turned out that, yes, we did need more network points, so we had time to get them installed. Then on the day of the move Russell came along to our old premises, helped us pack everything up and made sure the server was transported safely. Actually, he insisted on transporting it himself, just to make sure. It all went smoothly and we were up and running by around 3 o’clock that afternoon, having relocated 20 PCs and a server which wasn’t bad at all.”
One stop shop for everything
For Golfsmith Europe, Xperience is their “one stop shop for everything”. As Donna explains, “We get all our software from Xperience, in fact pretty much everything except Microsoft which we get from our parent company because they have a global licence.”
Golfsmith originally approached Xperience when they were exploring Sage 200. “Back then we had very specific requirements for a Xperience solution,” she explains. “We have an extremely complex discount structure, for example, so we needed a huge amount of bespoke work done on the software. Xperience completely customised it for us, so now it does exactly what we need it to do. These days we couldn’t be without it, in fact we’re planning to upgrade to a newer version next year and that’s going to need quite a lot of customisation too. But we’re more than confident Xperience can do this for us.”
Initially Donna came across Xperience while researching Sage online. “We wanted a local company and Xperience kept coming up as highly recommended, so they seemed the obvious choice. We installed Sage 200 and within a very short time were able to get it exactly how we wanted it. This is one of the reasons why it made sense to approach Xperience for our system support as well.”
Donna is delighted with the “good working relationship” with Xperience. “Usually we can ring up and speak to the same people. They don’t have a big staff turnover, so you always know you’re going to be talking to someone that knows you and your system inside out. I mean, we’re not in the slightest bit technical and, thanks to Xperience, we don’t need to be. They handle all that side of things which is a massive plus point for us.”
Golfsmith Europe is the UK and Europe’s Number One golf club making and accessory supplier with an extensive e-commerce website. With its parent company in Texas, Golfsmith Europe operates out of Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire.