Contact: Agri Epi Centre, Claire Cunningham, Transformation & IT Manager
Industry: Government, Agricultural Technology
Location: HQ just outside Edinburgh and sites throughout the UK
Users: Approximately 35
The Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Centre (Agri-EPI Centre) is one of four Agri-Tech centres established by the UK government. Agri-EPI Centre focuses on the delivery of research, development, demonstration and training on precision agriculture and engineering for the livestock, arable, horticulture and aquaculture sectors.
There are four UK agri-tech centres, which provide a testbed for the next generation of farming techniques and technology, including sensors, imaging and robotics. There are commercial field trials taking place within a UK-wide network of 28 satellite farms.
Network ROI won a tender to provide Managed IT Services and maintain the IT infrastructure and services for Agri-Epi Centre and its 30+ staff.
Agri-Epi Centre needed an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) that could provide robust, consistent and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) compliant IT Services which support both the current business operations and the organisations planned growth.
Agri Epi Centre has many remote locations spread across the UK. It operates out of multiple locations including four Agri-Tech centres and has a UK-wide network of 28 satellite farms.
During the Covid-19 pandemic most of the workforce has been working remotely from home and needed to collaborate effectively. Agri-EPI Centre staff needed efficient access to the right information and systems, at any time, from any location, from any device.
A key outcome for the organisation was looking to be less dependent on disparate, non-standard, bespoke systems and services by ensuring that their systems were seamlessly integrated.
Agri Epi Centre needed an IT Managed Service Provider that could service sites throughout the UK including engineers performing site visits to remote locations.
Agri Epi Centre has limited internal IT resources and they needed their IT service provider to take away the pain and time of managing day to day IT issues.
A new role of Transformation and IT Manager was created to centralise IT functions in the organisation. Agri-EPI Centre wanted a proactive service that they could bounce ideas off rather than the reactive service they had received in the past.
User adoption has been a problem in the organisation where staff need help getting used to new systems such as Microsoft Teams.
An ongoing challenge is improving the IT Infrastructure across the sites including remote locations where there is a wide variety of networks in use.
Following a phased approach there was a smooth, non disruptive transition to a new Managed Service Provider (MSP).Service levels with Network ROI have vastly improved and monthly reporting ensures that all the service level agreements are being met with a 99% uptime guarantee.
Following the successful implementation of Microsoft TeamsAgri-EPI Centre employees remained productive by being able to access, share and edit documents on any device.nte.
Agri Epi Centre now has the confidence that IT issues can be addressed, and business continuity is covered by enabling their Transformation and IT Manager to focus on core business activities and operational improvements.ts.
Network ROI are always on hand to give honest and open technical advice
Transformation & IT Manager
Quarterly review meetings with Network ROI have given Agri Epi Centre another perspective. Claire Cunningham, Transformation, and IT Manager said; “When I meet with Network ROI for strategy planning meetings I am able to come away with new insights and plan out future activities more effectively”.
By choosing Network ROI Agri Epi Centre was able to access highly competent, certified, experienced and skilled IT engineers and resources, including field engineers who could visit any site in the UK when required.
When Network ROI came onboard new projects were more carefully considered and onboarding of staff was much more planned. Agri Epi Centre has found webinars run by Network ROI on topics such as Microsoft Teams very useful in onboarding their employees by showing them how to get the most out of the technology.
Reporting has greatly improved so tickets are now tracked effectively - an issue can be quickly escalated if required and monthly reporting helps give visibility into any issues.
Network ROI’s expertise in carrying out site surveys will be invaluable in planning out their networks and unifying the organisations infrastructure as the pandemic allows for more site access.
Network ROI enhanced productivity and collaboration through the effective implementation of Office 365 and deployment of Microsoft Teams.
Employees now have access to shared information in a secure and controlled way. During the Covid-19 pandemic not getting on site has been a challenge. But through the rollout of Microsoft Teams employees have been able to ensure that employees remain productive and able to collaborate with both each other and third parties with ease.
Once the pandemic eases this enables more employees to continue to work from home through hybrid working.
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