May Gurney

Nationwide break/fix and deskside services help May Gurney to grow

“We didn’t just want a customer/supplier relationship: we wanted to work with a partner that fully understood our requirements and helped us to implement service improvements. We’ve now got a very good 3rd line partner and we don’t need to spend time ‘managing’ our relationship – the process works well and requires only a ‘light touch’ approach.

Ian Cox, Director of IS, May Gurney
Employing over 5,000 people and with annual revenues hitting £571 million in 2010, May Gurney has built a successful business delivering ‘the essential services for everyday life’ - and itself depends on reliable IS services to support its 100+ locations.

Since 2009, May Gurney has benefited from high quality break/fix, IMC and deskside services from BT.
From its Norwich Group office, May Gurney operates in more than 100 locations across the UK providing a wide range of support services including highways maintenance, environmental services, facilities, utility, rail and waterways services for the public and regulated sectors.

Previously, May Gurney employed a small team of nine field engineers to provide all hardware break/fix and deskside services. Ian Cox commented, “We had 1,600 users across a large number of sites and the business was growing rapidly, which was quite a challenge in itself. We needed to ensure we had the right system in place to support that as well as supporting our ambitious plans for continued growth, which would mean more users, more sites and more hardware. Today, the business has over 2,000 users, a number that continues to rise. “Since working with BT, service levels have significantly improved compared to what we could achieve internally,” he added. “It’s a more professional approach and, if there are problems, users know they will be fixed - and fixed within a guaranteed timeframe.”

On average, performance against the SLA  is 90%


BT provides break/fix hardware maintenance and deskside services via field engineers to offices nationwide, with service requests initiated by May Gurney’s internal Service Desk. This is a fully outsourced service at client device level - desktops, PCs, laptops, and printers - with BT working to agreed service levels for timed responses. Maintenance services are provided at a fixed price while deskside services including software support, Installs Moves, Additions and Changes (IMAC) activity and other ad hoc support - for example, using BT staff to inspect a server or examine a router - are delivered via a rate card. Normal service delivery also includes the ‘stealth refresh’ of PCs that cannot be returned to service, helping May Gurney control costs and only replace equipment ‘as needed’.

A key aspect of the solution is the nationwide coverage, enabling service to be delivered quickly and consistently; while the majority of sites are long-term (five years plus) some more temporary locations can come and go within weeks, months or a year or two. Ian says, “We’re a diverse business, and it can be hard even for some national providers to get engineers to the farthest reaches of our business quickly and cost-effectively. We wanted a provider we were confident could maintain a high level of service anywhere it was needed, to avoid any hint of a two-tier approach in which the offices closer to main population centres or travel routes received a better service: we wanted consistent service across all locations and that’s what BT could provide. Our relationship is working very well.”

Why BT?

Ian Cox says, “When I joined the company, we still had our own engineers and services were being stretched as the company expanded, therefore outsourcing seemed the logical choice.”

One of Ian’s key objectives was to reposition the internal IT department as a more strategic ‘added value’ function within the business; “I looked at the technical activities that could be outsourced, whilst we added in new skills sets such as business analysis and project and programme management.”

The tender process started in early 2009, with a decision made at the end of the year. “In addition to looking at costs and service levels, a key driver was how our people would transfer to the incoming supplier,” Ian continues. “We do a lot of TUPE ourselves and we know it can be a worrying time for people, so it was important it was handled in the most appropriate way. We wanted to work with a company that took TUPE seriously, that was key for us, and BT’s proposals met our requirements. It made the process clear, and lived up to its promises.”

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