Client case study: Empanda Care & Support Ltd CIC
Posted 17 Aug 2020
Established in 2016, Empanda Care & Support is a Community Interest Company offering community-based housing-related support, residential respite care and domiciliary care services across Norfolk, and day care services for older people and vulnerable people across both Norfolk and Suffolk. Today, the client operates across 10 different locations, supports three individuals working remotely, and has 47 of their 100-strong workforces requiring access to IT services.
From the outset, Empanda needed to introduce a brand new IT infrastructure to help them develop and run their business and was looking to outsource this service. They chose to work with Lucid Systems following a positive referral from another client.
As Empanda was a brand new start-up organisation at the time, we needed to provide them with a comprehensive system that would provide them with everything they needed. The project needed to be reliable and easy to use, but more importantly, it had to be affordable and have the scalability to help them adapt, grow, and remain agile in the future.
With the number of users and locations involved, we needed to ensure that all those we were to support had a consistent and responsive experience across their IT network.
When designing IT solutions for start-up organisations, we take the time to understand the client’s business plan. We think about what they are trying to achieve and how this could change in the longer term. By taking this approach, it allows us to design and install bespoke IT solutions to meet their needs not only for today but also into the future.
As capital expenditure needed to be kept to the minimum, we spoke with the client about implementing a remote desktop service solution, using our hosted servers. This meant that Empanda could keep costs low, whilst still offering a highly effective and innovative technical solution. The system design needed to encompass IT solutions, business broadband services, and phone connectivity.
When Empanda first approached us as a new organisation, it had previously been part of an alternative provider. This meant the company was already set up using Office 365 for their emails and software licencing, allowing us to easily incorporate our remote desktop services.
We provided the client with four laptops and 16 thin client computers. These were specifically designed for remote access work. They were a more affordable option than laptops or desktop machines. Once the machines were in place, we were able to install Office 365 using Lucid Systems’ hosted servers.
We understand that within the care sector, it’s vital that confidential data is held securely. Using our own hosted servers meant we were able to offer Empanda peace of mind that their corporate data would be encrypted and held safely. It also ensured that data would remain easily retrievable in the event of a disaster.
Another key function of the design was to implement guest access to Wi-Fi services. This would be a guest network completely independent of Empanda’s corporate connectivity. With a guest-access solution, the client was able to offer free internet connectivity to visitors across the various sites, with the confidence of knowing that any new users would be unable to access their core broadband connection and that the corporate connection would always take priority over guest access.
The segregation of the two networks also meant that guests were unable to access corporate networks, improving their resilience and security.
At Lucid Systems, we always take care to inform our clients of what we recommend and why. We kept the client informed throughout the design process. We listened carefully to what they needed their IT to be able to do. By understanding any possible pain points, we were able to mitigate any issues and create a function solution that met all their needs.
Once Empanda had signed off the project, we were able to install the new IT solution quickly and easily. The migration of the client’s data to our remote desktop servers took five days to complete. All 45 users across the seven locations were on-boarded to the new system within a month.
The client was happy with the result. As budget constraints were a big consideration, they welcomed the implementation of remote desktop services. These typically operate via monthly subscriptions, allowing the client to take full control of their IT expenditure.
Remote desktop services have allowed the Empanda staff team to enjoy a consistent experience across each location. It has created a well-performing environment in which they can complete their work effectively and consistently.
The flexibility to scale-up has been activated. Since the initial installation back in 2016, the client has expanded with further sites and users. We have been able to seamlessly add to the network thanks to the centralised hosted remote desktop services solution.
What the client has to say
‘From the first time we sat down and discussed our requirements with Lucid, we knew they were the right company to work alongside us. We felt that they could create, implement, and maintain our IT infrastructure and IT support requirements. The team has a wealth of experience and technical expertise, which, coupled with their professional, friendly, and responsive approach, makes for a successful business partnership.
They have given us peace of mind in the knowledge that they can fulfil our IT requirements not only today but into the future, as we develop and grow our business.”
Head of Business Services
Empanda Care & Support Ltd CIC
by Amy Dawson