With the UK taking tentative steps to return to work, Q2Q IT is preparing to reverse-engineer the 1,030 hours of technical support it has rolled out to companies over the past two months – including brands such as Lyle & Scott, Walker Fire and Armitstead Barnett.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lancaster-headquartered tech firm has purchased 45 client laptops – and delivered targeted advice to no less than 800 workers. But, as considerations move from homeworking to the reinstatement and reconfiguration of offices across the country, the outsourced IT department is preparing to move to ‘phase two’ of its technical support strategy.

Having worked together for 16 years, Q2Q IT moved 70% of Lyle & Scott’s office-based staff on to a homeworking set-up as the lockdown was imposed – with all staff laptops adjusted for remote working in a matter of days. The Scottish knitwear brand also required the technical onboarding of six new starters during the lockdown, as well as the roll-out of Microsoft Teams across the entire workforce replacing their existing video conferencing service.

Charlotte Needham, CEO Support at Lyle & Scott said: “Q2Q has been a key support in transitioning to the new homeworking world. They had us up and running in a matter of days following the closure of our offices. We have asked a lot of Q2Q during this period and they have always gone above and beyond to support our needs and always with a personal touch, even going as far as supporting with tips on home broadband connectivity.”

Elsewhere, Walker Fire – one of the UK’s leading fire safety providers – needed to move all workers to a remote set-up. With prices of hardware through the roof within days of COVID-19 taking hold, Q2Q IT sourced, set up and delivered 20 refurbished machines on behalf of the Preston-based client within four days

Operating in one of the hardest-hit sectors, chartered surveying firm Armitstead Barnett used the nationwide shutdown to carry out server project work – essential maintenance which would otherwise have resulted in operational downtime.

Keeping Aurora Graphics in Birmingham up and running, the Q2Q IT team established a system which would enable its design team to access and send high-definition graphics to print from their homeworking locations.

Despite a marked uplift in technical support requirements from customers, the Q2Q IT team made it its priority to maintain communications with clients – and provide helpful tips throughout the lockdown. Regular business-focused emails highlighted some of the most common technical support requests, while explaining why something may be happening and what non-IT troubleshooting workers can do.

Damien Gelder, technical consultant at Q2Q IT explained: “At a time when firms need to be incredibly savvy with their spend, it’s our job to keep clients’ workforces operating as smoothly and efficiently as we can – without it costing the earth. We always look to mould a solution around what technical infrastructure already exists and have made it our mission to keep our entire Q2Q IT family informed on the best technical tips and broadband workarounds during this difficult period.”

Lorna Stellakis, MD at Q2Q IT added: “For the first three weeks of lockdown, every single member of the Q2Q tech team worked the equivalent of seven days a week – none of which resulted in inflated fees for our clients. Sadly, we’ve seen examples of exaggerated pricing of IT infrastructure and support in recent weeks, but we firmly believe those who show some soul – and go above and beyond – will be the ones which flourish.

“I’ve been incredibly proud to see how my colleagues have maintained their usual level of the very best-in-class support while working remotely, as well as providing advice and hints – completely off their own backs – to ensure we get through these challenging times, together. Having the team at Walker Fire post a public thank you on LinkedIn is testament to the impact the team has had, and we’re incredibly proud to have played our part in keeping the business online.”

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    Technical IT Support illustration at Q2Q HQ Lancaster, Lancashire and the North West