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London Architects get to work doing what they do best, with hassle-free IT

With Freddy McBride | Director | Studiodare Architects

Studiodare Architects have made quite a name for themselves in London over the years. Among the many projects Director Freddy McBride has worked on, lead architect for the redevelopment of the Waterloo East ticket hall at Southwark station during the Jubilee Line Extension, and consultant on the TFL project Cooling The Tube, are just two.

Sustainable Concept

Studiodare’s sustainable concept design, Triptech House, has been shortlisted for the British Homes Awards, organised by the Sunday Times.

Freddy is currently heading the Studiodare team who are the lead architects on the Northern Line extension through Battersea Park, which includes the design for two new underground stations at Battersea Park and Nine Elms. Studiodare were also shortlisted for the Sunday Times Future Homes competition with their design that focused on adaptability of the living space to reflect the changing needs of the occupant, as well as energy efficiency and sustainability.

When Macnamara took over the support of the Studiodare network back in 2009, they were already reasonably well set up with SBS 2003 and Windows XP, but as they were moving towards bigger projects they required something a little better. What followed was a gradual program of upgrades to bring the machines in use up to a modern spec for CAD design using a variety of software platforms, with effective management of email services, working towards replacement of their ageing server, and plans to move offices to a space more accommodating for their needs.

Office 365 was of course on the cards for email. This was backed up with a new server that could cope with the demands of working on large project files. During a couple of office moves over the next few years, Macnamara assisted in the provision of new phone lines and broadband, arranged the orders, installation, cabling and setup in the new premises. Remote access and shared resources using a mix of a local server and SharePoint online give Studiodare the IT tools they need to work on the big projects.

Interior of the proposed new Underground station at Battersea Park

Interior of the proposed new Underground station at Battersea Park

What attracted you to Macnamara and how did their offering differ from the alternatives?

In many ways Macnamara reflected where we were as a smallish practice and what we were aspiring to. What appealed to us most was the fact that you could have a conversation with them, and get straight jargon free answers.

What services do you rely on from Macnamara?

Macnamara feel like an extension of our office – at the end of the telephone or email. We rely on them to ensure we don’t have to think about how our ICT system works.

Macnamara provide all our IT support, they monitor our network, provide off-site back-up and retrieval, ensure the internet functions, manage our email and implement and maintain our anti-virus protection. In addition they answer mundane questions in a professional, clear and concise manner, set up new hardware and telephony and ensure it is fully integrated. They also manage and provide support on running Office 365 / SharePoint.

To find out more information about Studiodare, please visit www.studiodare.com

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

Introducing us to the basics of SharePoint by teleconference with a live demonstration (with Geoff presenting simultaneously on all our PC’s via Lync.)

Setting up our networked telephone system when we moved to our new offices

Making sure our mobile devices are fully synced with Windows – so we can receive text and emails both on our handsets and on the PC (Outlook).

Advising on and sourcing hardware and software.

How easy are they to deal with? Do they provide updates on your network health and how they are progressing on their tickets?

Macnamara are extremely easy to deal with. They operate as though they were an extension of our office.

If you were recommending Macnamara to a business owner, what would you say?

In reality I would probably say Macnamara are the dog’s bollocks – although that sort of thing doesn’t normally get printed. In which case I’d say – if you want to take the worry out of managing your ICT so you can get on with the day job then talk to Macnamara.