Challenge: Richmond Events leads the way in conferencing, offering personalised meeting agendas and one-to-one supplier meetings, all within multi-day events which are free to attend for delegates and targeted at specific job roles. Richmond Events therefore relies on advanced database marketing which is largely bespoke, so flexible IT is key.
Solution: Moving to Claranet cloud services to free up IT resource to focus on quality of service for end-users.
Result: With Claranet, Richmond Events have services that are fit for purpose and that provide superior performance and reduced costs.
The need for flexible IT
Our uniqueness is that delegates attending our events can create individual itineraries and no two itineraries are the same. People may not realise how complex a task this is, but it means all of our websites and CRM systems are bespoke. Customers can select from a richer set of supplier and conference information and in turn disclose more preferences. Our differentiation is our data and how we use this to meet our clients' needs.
As an early adopter of managed hosting services, the flexibility offered has literally been a lifesaver for the company. While customer expectations have grown, the number of employees available to service these needs has reduced. The impact of the stock market crash of 2000, followed by September 11th, led to a significant downturn in the industry and the company needed to re-size to survive. Fortunately, the absence of substantial and inflexible investments in servers, software licences and the use of standardised virtual desktops (rather than PCs) meant IT could make the right business decision and scale down to a workforce around 50% of its pre-downturn level, without reducing operational capability.
IT Director, Richmond Events
A new role for IT leaders
The role of the internal IT team is now significantly changed, focusing less on managing infrastructure and more on guaranteeing a quality end-user experience. This means employees get a much richer service and Liam Quinn can focus his resources on the core business, maintaining the company's differentiation in the events market they operate in.
A partnership of equals
Moving to cloud services though does not mean a life of leisure for Richmond Events' IT team. Rather there is a greater focus on the service levels that the business requires.
Just because we use a managed service provider doesn't mean we don't have control. We require the flexibility to run our business how we want to, yet have the support we need. Our customer teams are in constant communication to clients and potential clients all day and we must make sure they have access to the tools they need to facilitate the sales which are the lifeblood of our operations and must happen very smoothly.
Identifying a partner with a credible reputation for service delivery to similar sized organisations was crucial.
Over the years, I have found that selecting partners with a similar culture and positive attitude towards doing business with you is always reflected in the quality of service you get. We have been searching for a panacea that would allow us to increase, or decrease, users as the business dictates and Claranet has helped us get there.
We want to be able to talk to one person, knowledgeable about our business and able to take responsibility for any actions. As a partnership relationship, it's in our interest to review service levels regularly as circumstances and technologies change quickly these days and it's easy to become complacent or get caught out. A decision you made one year ago isn't necessarily the best value the next, but managed services give us the ability to make the right decisions at the right time, so we always get good value and have services that are fit for purpose.
Superior performance at less cost
Whether scaling up or down, the IT team always keeps its eye on the cost as well as the quality of service it provides the business.
We have been searching for a panacea that would allow us to increase, or decrease, users as the business dictates and Claranet has helped us get there. Despite the fact we are now more virtualised than ever before, the performance of our servers is far superior and the costs are far lower with Claranet. Managed services give us the ability to make the right decisions at the right time so we always get good value and have services that are fit for purpose.