Mason Technology looks to an innovative, hybrid model of IT support to keep its business running smoothly

Leading laboratory and industrial implementation solutions provider, Mason Technology enjoys the best of both worlds – a transparent IT managed service as well as regular onsite technical support, thanks to iManage from MJ Flood Technology.

Like many businesses, Mason Technology is dependent on IT support to keep its business running smoothly.  Outsourcing its IT support to MJ Flood Technology allows it to concentrate on servicing its customers, without having to worry about maintaining an IT infrastructure.
Established in 1780, the company has constantly reinvented itself over the years, carving out a very successful niche as a leading distributor of laboratory and industrial instrumentation solutions.  It represents some of the leading players in the market such as Olympus, Edwards, Shimadzu, Mettler Toledo and many more.

It serves a broad range of customers across public and private sectors including academia, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies.  Some its clients include household names such as Pfizer, Elan and Trinity College.   Company staff are specialists in their field and are highly educated to 3rd and even 4th level.  The team prides itself on the personal attention it devotes to its customer base.

“In any business, IT is so important,” says Emily O’Reilly, finance manager with Mason Technology. “Internet, email and VPN services are mission-critical to our operations.  If we pay for a service, we expect not to have to worry about it,” she says. “I come in every morning and I expect the service to be running.”

A Hybrid Support Model

Now in its 7th generation of ownership in the Mason family, the business is based on continuous innovation such as the development of its new mass calibration lab.  In concentrating on its core competence, Mason Technology prefers to outsource IT support rather than hire internal staff.

“We’re not a multinational company,” explains management accountant, Neil Deere with Mason, who acts as a point of liaison for IT issues.  “We just don’t have a need for a fulltime IT professional, onsite, 5 days a week,” he says.

iManage works well for us. We don’t really see the whole management of the infrastructure.  The hybrid support model suits our business and the calibre of staff from MJ Flood Technology has been very good.”

Neil Deere, Mason Technology.

MJ Flood Technology suggested a hybrid model of support as they felt this would provide the best fit for Mason Technology according to Gareth Madden, sales director with MJ Flood Technology.  “This provides the team with iManage – our full managed service coupled with weekly onsite visits by one of our engineers, who can resolve issues or provide ad hoc implementation, adds, moves or changes.”

The iManage service comprises a software toolset that permanently resides on Mason Technology’s IT infrastructure.  It monitors servers, desktops, laptops, printers and UPS devices and most importantly from Mason Technology’s perspective – the daily backup.

“We have more contact on backups and the most common alert that I would receive from the helpdesk is related to backup,” explains Neil Deere.  “It’s definitely very pro-active that they are checking our backups regularly.”

If a component reaches a specified threshold, i.e. memory, disk storage, CPU, an alert is sent to the iManage network operations centre, warning of the state of the component.  The iManage team can take preventive action before the component reaches a critical state.

A transparent service

With the iManage service churning away in the background, Mason Technology admits the management of the infrastructure is completely transparent to them.

“We don’t really see the management of the infrastructure,” explains Deere.  “To me that means, it’s working well.  We get fast response times – the guys react quickly and in the last 12 months, I can’t remember any outage which negatively impacted our business,” he says.

“The team at MJ Flood Technology will always advise us on when we need to upgrade servers or perform other important tasks such as putting in place a disaster recovery plan,” says O’Reilly.  “We’ve had a long relationship with the team,” she adds.Mason Technology runs a number of mission-critical applications which support the business.  EXACT is their ERP system running stock management and finance while  Perspective is their price list, where sales staff can remotely build solutions and price them on the spot for customers.

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