Beat Media Group
Client: Beat Media Group
Beat Media Group provides a full content and communications service to their clients through their two agencies, Sportsbeat and Storybeat. The Group comprises of a 50-strong team of specialists working from their two offices in London and Manchester. The Group cover all areas of media and communications, including print, digital and social solutions, for some of the biggest names in entertainment and sport, as well as to many national enterprises.
James Parsons, Managing Director of Beat Media Group, explains the necessity in having a knowledgeable IT partner, “The landscape of our agency is continually changing and adapting, making an incredibly fast-paced environment. With the expansion of digital media, and the data requirements that brings, it was vital for us to work with an IT provider that was knowledgeable about our specific business needs.”
The need: A proactive IT Partner
Beat Media Group had found that their current IT provider was no longer able to keep pace with their growing business needs. Cyber security threats and IT issues were not effectively planned for, meaning much of their service was used for firefighting encroaching threats.
With Beat Media Group’s move into larger projects and partnerships, it was necessary to find a fully managed IT service that would cover all aspects of IT infrastructure and support across their business. The incoming IT provider needed to have a proactive, discretionary and adaptable approach, so only relevant information and issues were raised, and future growth was planned for in advance. As Beat Media Group’s digital assets increased, a customised solution was also required that could safely house a large digital archive while still remaining accessible. “I was finding that IT problems across the Group were taking up a huge amount of time and resources without any adequate solutions being implemented. We had got to a position where the growth of our operation presented better funding opportunities, which became clear would be best utilised for a fully-managed IT service. We needed a solution that would remove the pressures of the day-to-day running of our IT from the team, whist being able to adapt to, and provide support, for our growing business.”
The process: Implementing a fully-managed IT service
In order to identify where the problem points were for Beat Media Group’s existing IT provision, SDT’s first task was to conduct a complete IT audit. From here, they created a comprehensive IT roadmap for all aspects of the Group, broken down by the most pressing issues, which could be implemented over time and alongside the company’s budget.
With the Group’s expanding video assets, one of the most pressing needs was a greatly increased and secure storage solution that could easily be used day-to-day, as well as for ongoing archiving. Continuing with in-house storage was no longer a viable option, so SDT located the most suitable and cost-effective external and cloud storage solutions available.
The audit also revealed the extent of outsourced solutions used by the Group, many of which were expensive and segregated. Consolidating these into one tailored service gave the Group greater flexibility for solutions to grow with their business, while keeping costs down.
One such change was the IT provision for Beat Media’s News Associates programme, which trains up to 100 students on certain days each month. Housing this number of PCs took up a lot of space and was expensive to maintain. SDT’s solution was to implement virtual desktops using Microsoft Azure. This meant that the Group were only required to pay for the specific time they were using the servers and maintenance was only required for the dumb terminals. This solution was scalable while reducing the CapEx cycle for the Group, creating a significant saving.
Through their audit, SDT also identified the need for improved staff security training and a cohesive telephony system. With the increase in cyber security threats to the Group’s digital assets, SDT suggested using KnowBe4’s IT security awareness training solution, which could help staff identify threats through real world scenarios. Integrating a VoIP and telephony system also improved security for the Group while helping to maintain consistent working through the pandemic. Although SDT’s remote service was initially a concern for the Group, this soon abated, as James comments, “Andrew put me at ease from the outset, suggesting practical and cost-effective IT and security options that would fit our organisation. He was honest and knowledgeable about where best to put our IT budget and what technology options would effectively support our needs going forward. Although I was initially concerned about using a remote service, as our existing IT provider was located close by, SDT’s proactive approach to our IT management meant we did not require as much onsite time.”
The result: Consistent IT support that meets business needs
The Group now benefits from a comprehensive and consistent fully-managed IT service across both of their sites.
James concludes, “What has struck me about our ongoing relationship with SDT is the high standard of IT support that is consistently delivered across their business. We have complete confidence that Andrew and his team understand our varying business needs and will find the best solutions for a fair price. SDT is an outsourced service with an in-house attitude. If a problem arises, I know it will be dealt with quickly and smoothly, which is great piece of mind.”