"Due to our partnership with Opal, weve managed to completely transform our IT and now the network is quicker and more reliable."
Les Irving, Bernard Interiors
A Tyneside-based interior designer is on the expansion trail after doubling headcount and moving to new premises with help from a national IT specialist.
Bernard Interiors, which works on luxury commercial and residential projects throughout the UK and overseas, has moved into a disused church hall in Jesmond, Newcastle after outgrowing its existing premises in Ponteland.
The company, which in the last two years has doubled its annual turnover and significantly increased staff numbers, enlisted the support of Opal to build a comprehensive new IT infrastructure that has transformed the new offices and given Bernard’s a platform for further anticipated growth.
The company has now embarked on a mission to increase turnover to £4m and take on extra staff by working alongside existing clients, whilst also winning further high-end work in the healthcare, residential, hospitality, leisure and commercial sectors.
Les Irving, finance director at Bernard Interiors, said: “We’ve expanded rapidly in recent times, and that in itself brought some major challenges. We didn’t have enough space in our old offices and our previous IT network suddenly became “yesterday’s solution”.
“Thankfully, due to our partnership with Opal, we’ve managed to completely transform our IT and now the network is quicker and more reliable. That’s hugely important to us as workload has increased significantly, we have more staff to support and we need to work smarter to meet deadlines and achieve our business goals. The great thing about working with Opal is that we can rely on them to look after the technical stuff so we can get on with our day jobs.”
Opal replaced the existing server with a modern Windows-based server integrated with sophisticated Mac software. The company also created a new wireless network, installed a robust firewall and created a secure offsite data recovery platform which protects Bernard against loss of critical data and potential downtime.
Helen Hardie, business manager at Opal, said: “We enjoy working with ambitious, fast-growing companies and our assistance has enabled Bernard’s to position itself for future expansion. The IT infrastructure we’ve put in place has given them the ideal platform with which to further improve their productivity and ensure they have a more robust business continuity plan in place.”
Opal provides a wide variety of services including the creation, integration and maintenance of multi-site virtual networks. A Jamf Gold Partner and Integrator, Authorised Apple Premium service provider and approved Microsoft partner, the company specialises in mobile device management, IT support and the deployment and integration of Apple and Windows products across a range of different businesses and organisations.
Supporting clients across the UK from offices in Edinburgh and Newcastle, Opal provides solutions to organisations regardless of platform and has a strong track record of working with the financial services, creative media, media and education sectors.
Photo caption (from left-right): Les Irving of Bernard Interiors, with Helen Hardie and Michael Thomson of Opal