First Line IT forms part of the space-pod team

For office development and refurbishment company space-pod, flexibility is central to everything they do.

Space Pod Today

Founded in 2002, the Bourne End-based organisation works for a wide variety of clients, from high street names such as John Lewis and Thomas Cook to owner-managed small businesses.

They mastermind interior design and build, refurbishment, office moves, acoustics, workplace furniture and general building maintenance. In addition to a permanent staff of 22, at busy times they can employ as many as 90 contractors, freelancers, and temporary staff – all at multiple client locations.

With so many people coming and going and working to different deadlines (all critical), they can’t afford even the slightest hiccup in communications – which is why First Line IT’s helpdesk is so important to them.

“We have a duplicate of our server running all the time in Oxford,” says space-pod’s owner, Kevin Parker. “If anything were to happen to our office building we’d just pick up our laptops and head to the nearest Regus. We know that all of our systems and files, including critical drawings and presentations, are backed up constantly by First Line, so our clients wouldn’t even know the difference.”

Minor hitches, interruptions, and technical surprises are covered by First Line’s Helpdesk, which supports not only the office network but also five PCs based in employees’ homes.

Usually First Line’s engineers can solve problems remotely, but occasionally they will need to be on-site. Senior Network Engineer Nim actually passes space-pod twice a day, on his way to and from work, so is quite happy to pop in when necessary and drop off a new PC, for example, or check some dodgy cabling.

And for the future?

space-pod is working in a fast-moving industry and also growing fast, so needs its IT to keep up with frequent changes. First Line have supported the company through two office moves and worked with them to design the current IT system.

“Being able to call on First Line’s consultancy is very useful,” says Kevin. “Our business requires us to be very up-to-date technologically and to follow IT best practice, but we can’t risk being too experimental! First Line help us identify and implement techniques that are already tried and tested and will suit our business, such as the cloud-based email system that means that all our staff can send emails from wherever they are working.”

“For the past 13 years, First Line have felt like space-pod’s very own IT department,” says Kevin. “Just as we at space-pod provide facilities management services for companies that don’t have in-house resources, First Line gives us all-round IT support. They’re not in our faces; most of the time they’re quietly doing regular maintenance in the background. But whenever we need them, they’re there. They’re part of the team.”