Sandstone is the leading residential property investment and management company, with over 20 years’ experience in the UK residential property market. With local offices across the country, the group has sourced and renovated over 2,000 properties for clients in over 40 countries and currently manages a portfolio of over £250M.
Challenges facing Sandstone
With multiple third parties involved and delivering inconsistent IT services and support, Sandstone required a hands-on IT services partner who could step in consolidate disparate systems and help them move forward.
The team also had little access to experts and advice, limited cyber security and had to deal with complex suppliers. With all these challenges mounting, the team was also facing rising costs, lack of transparency and an unclear understanding of exactly what they were getting.
Bridgeall was introduced to Sandstone through a long-standing client who had worked with us previously. The client had experienced a professional cost-effective service over years of working together and felt our proactive, consolidated partner approach would be the right fit for Sandstone. Our approach was simple, and we aimed to deliver solutions in the following areas:
Simplify systems: Our goal was to bring together all the disjointed systems and suppliers.
Heighten security: With continuous work our aim was to deliver excellent security across the IT infrastructure and be on hand if any issues were to arise.
Reduce costs – After an initial review, we learned the team were using a backup solution that a third party had recommended to them. This solution cost the business every time tickets were raised. To combat this, our approach was to reduce the number of tickets by going directly to the source, optimise the system to reduce tickets and in turn reduce costs.
Our solution to the challenges facing Sandstone covered the following areas:
Provide a single point of contact for all IT issues
We started by having our team take over the service desk. This allowed us to quickly identify trends and issues and proactively start working with Sandstone to get to the root cause. For example, there was an old on-premise server that was constantly failing, causing lots of downtime and loss of access to key business data. We identified this as the root cause and moved it to the cloud and eradicated the issue. We also continued to expand support to include Dynamics CRM.
Providing on-going recommendations
We then started working more proactively with Sandstone, making quarterly recommendations for areas of improvement across their IT estate and worked on a couple of projects every quarter to continue to improve their environment.
Reduce licensing costs
One of the objectives was to simplify and reduce Sandstone’s ongoing license costs. We simplified and consolidated their licensing through Bridgeall to not only reduce their costs but provide them with one simple bill and a point of contact for all licenses.
We moved Sandstone to M365 E3 in order to get access to the wider suite of security applications available within the bundle and help improve their cyber security. We also carried out an Azure cost assessment and implemented a number of fixes that provided the same level of service for 40% of the cost.
Since Bridgeall began to manage their IT services, Sandstone has been able to realise tangible benefits across the organisation. These include:
- A sizeable reduction in costs – In year 1 the service delivered net savings of £56k with a payback period of 5 months and will deliver ongoing annual net savings of £84k. The cost saving is driven by the following:
- No need to replace internal IT resources
- A reduction from £8k down to £3k in Azure costs
- Time – The project was delivered quickly with minimum downtime
- Peace of mind – Clearer understanding of how IT can support the business and a much simpler and secure IT infrastructure
Looking to the future
As Sandstone and the team continue to see the benefits of our services, the work does not stop there.
Bridgeall continue to provide proactive, IT-managed services and continually evaluate the health and performance of Sandstone’s IT devices without causing disruption to their teams. This forms the core of our support response capability to help minimise downtime, even before the team recognises a problem.