London Youth Arts Charity overhauls network with Microsoft’s Server Essentials and Office 365 for Non-Profits

With Jo Rogers | General Manager | Hoxton Hall

Hoxton Hall has been pioneering East London creativity since 1863 in its beautiful 150 year old Grade II* listed building, facilitating Youth Arts and Community Partnerships, as well as providing a stunning venue for performance, shows, gigs and events. As well as the main theatre, the complex contains music rooms with recording space, rehearsal studios, dance studio, meeting rooms and art workshops.

Hoxton Hall is the only Youth Arts centre in Hackney, based in right in the heart of the Hoxton/Shoreditch community.

Upgrade History

Macnamara first took over IT Support in early 2009 when the ‘IT System’ was little more than a handful of aging Windows XP machines connected in a workgroup. The first upgrade to SBS 2003 and replacement of the fading desktop computers followed, and over the years the network grew to accommodate the expansion of office activities and new staff.

In late 2012, the next upgrade took place to Windows Essentials 2012 R2, with a second branch office now also fully connected with its own Server. Remote Access through the enhanced Remote Web Workplace is available for all staff, and we now have around 15 desktops (including iMacs) and 8 laptops spread over the two sites.

We are now also on Microsoft’s Office 365 for Non-Profits, coupled with Volume Licensing from TT-Exchange. Macnamara handled all the registrations and account setups for us, which meant that the replacement of one server with 2 and all the laptops and PCs was almost a hardware-only cost, saving hugely on the overall replacement and upgrade budget. As a charity, this was understandably extremely important for us, and meant that we could move ahead with the full system overhaul, rather than moving piecemeal over time.

What attracted your firm to Macnamara in the first place?  How did they stand out from all the other IT consultancies in the area?

They appealed as a small business, it’s nice to know them all; they clearly valued their customers, and give a great level of service. 

What services do you rely on from Macnamara?

The service I rely on most from Macnamara is not having to know anything about computers or IT, but knowing that we can turn it on and it works.   

Macnamara also manage the Fibre connection into the building, and also into the offices we sublet next door. The overall connectivity to the building is under their monitoring and configuration, and each office is individually monitored to make sure they are online. When a new tenant moves in, they just need to provide their router, then Macnamara sets the bandwidth according to the tenants SLA, configures the hardware, and then tenant gets right to work!

Do you have an example of how Macnamara went above the call of duty?

I’m not sure Geoff had to take orange squash to our other site when he was overseeing our organisation wide IT installation and set-up, but he did. But in addition to that they are always on hand to advise us, a bunch of arty charity workers, on how to get the best solutions for our needs (and budget) and keeping us informed of relevant legislation and upcoming changes in the sector.

Why do you continue to work with Macnamara as your IT Support provider?

I really value their support and I honestly don’t believe we could get better service or value anywhere else.

If I was your best mate…what would you tell me about Macnamara?

Macnamara are a no fuss, good value, customer focused IT company – who doesn’t like that?

For more information regarding Hoxton Hall please visit www.hoxtonhall.co.uk