Thrive Homes has reported on its ongoing relationship with Sovereign Business Integration Group for managed IT services since 2010.
Sovereign originally helped Thrive Homes with an interim IT service, then became the housing provider’s in-house IT team, “blurring the lines between customer and managed services provider”, as Thrive Homes put it.
In 2010, two years after Thrive Homes became independent from Three Rivers District Council, it realised its IT department faced significant challenges relating to customer service standards and decided to seek extra IT support.
During the back-office audit as part of its service improvement project, a weakness in the delivery of IT services was identified. Sovereign won the managed services contract and has been providing IT services to Thrive ever since.
Joanna Sedley-Burke, managing director, Sovereign Business Integration Group, said, “Our flexible approach led to the initial contract whereby we provided short-term IT support. The improved IT services delivery alleviated the pressure on Thrive, allowing them time to determine what they needed from a long-term IT supplier.”
Following an initial consultation, the highest priority for Sovereign was making sure Thrive’s IT systems were ‘match fit’ and ready to support its immediate customer delivery requirements. Once this initial stage was completed and Sovereign won the five-year tender, they began to research potential future solutions for Thrive’s growing needs.
Six years after the initial project, Sovereign staff now comprise 90 per cent of Thrive’s IT team, and the lines between the Sovereign and Thrive staff are now blurred to the point of being invisible.
Shaun McLean, director of resources, Thrive Homes, said, “Sovereign totally understands that customer service excellence lies at the heart of everything we strive to achieve. Because this is so important, it’s the first and last consideration of everything Sovereign works on with us.
“At times, Sovereign’s team has worked into the night, ensuring the right systems are in place to support some new software without having to cause daytime disruption to the networks. Sovereign’s support is now so integral to what we do that a member of the Sovereign team was recently nominated for one of Thrive’s employee awards.”