case study

Trusted IT Support from Sharp helps Reading Buses improve their efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Reading Buses is a private company, owned by the Borough Council in Reading and are proud to have been transporting customers in and around Reading for over 100 years. Reading Buses employs around 600 staff and is committed to customer service and innovation. Over the years, Reading Buses has expanded its services into further areas of the Thames Valley and with the support of Sharp, has upgraded it’s IT to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.

The Challenge
• IT infrastructure integration
• Remote work and connectivity
• Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

When acquiring Newbury and District in 2018, Reading Buses needed to seamlessly integrate the new company’s IT systems into their existing infrastructure to guarantee smooth operations and improve reliability, efficiency, and security, ensuring both companies were working as one. The company also struggled with enabling remote work for their staff, hindering productivity and access to critical information on the move. They required enhanced connectivity and security to support remote work arrangements effectively.

The Solution
Sharp’s Complete IT Support 
• Migration to Microsoft 365
• Cloud-Based Systems and Hosted Applications

Sharp carried out an IT Systems Review for Reading Buses to assess their current setup, after which a project plan was then proposed and accepted, which included Complete IT Support, a service that offers a helping hand to their in-house IT Manager. Through Complete IT Support, clients would benefit from a dedicated Technical Consultant, Account Manager and a small IT helpdesk support team, so whenever Reading Buses needed to call their IT helpdesk number, they would be welcomed by people they know. “It’s good to speak to two, maybe three regular people on the helpdesk,” said Mark. Sharp also proposed that Reading Buses transition to Microsoft 365, a cloud-based system that would allow them to keep their data up to date and easy to recover when required.

The Result
• Improved efficiency and customer satisfaction
• Enhanced remote work capabilities
• Eco-friendly initiatives

Sharp updated Reading Buses’ firewall and VPN which meant that when the lockdowns were implemented, the team could work ‘business as usual’ at home and at other sites of the business, whilst still ensuring high levels of security. Great benefits have also been seen when transitioning to cloud-based systems and connecting hosted applications, such as their ticketing system. Uploading data to the cloud instead of on-premise makes it easier to keep data up to date, and from a business continuity and disaster recovery point of view - easier to recover.

Additionally, they are able to analyse their teams’ driving performance from the cloud which allows them to understand and focus on one of their core objectives, the environment. Eco-friendly driving is rewarded and high fuel consumption will trigger warnings, which help Reading Buses make impactful changes. Reading Buses value being able to rely on a wealth of IT and technology expertise. If their dedicated Technical Consultant doesn’t know the answer straight away, Mark is able to rely on a team of technical experts for guidance, which is one of the core benefits of outsourcing your IT to a Managed IT Support Provider.

“Our relationship with Sharp isn’t just about the technical expertise, it’s also the understanding of our business and our priorities. I really trust their advice and we work together to introduce changes that are appropriate and enhance the IT systems for my company.”

Mark Price, IT Manager, Reading Buses