Dublin-based Irish School of Motoring (ISM), founded in 1961, is Ireland’s longest established and only nationwide driving school. ISM offers courses in various driving categories (car, bus, motorcycle, forklift, or commercial truck) and boasts a 90% overall pass rate—the highest of any driving school in the country.
ISM had been operating from a number of retail locations around Ireland, and employed all of its driving instructors directly. Instructor schedules and learner bookings were managed from multiple locations using a paper-based system that was both labour-intensive and error-prone. Their goal was to go fully nationwide, however they knew that the existing business model could not support this growth. ISM realised that by implementing a centralised, cloud-based approach to bookings and scheduling, it could improve customer service and employee satisfaction, decrease costs and increase revenue.
To solve the difficulties ISM were experiencing Nostra tailored a specific Office 365 plan for the company. ISM used Exchange 2007 for headquarters staff’s email, so it was a natural progression to move to an Exchange-based mobile platform to push calendars to instructors on their smart phones or via computer if their phone is not available.
“To grow the business, we had to move our instructors not only to the franchise model, but also to the cloud, as it was critical that they could access their calendar from anywhere. Our solution simply had to deliver the pupil and the instructor to the pick point at the right time, every time,” remarked Niall Prenty, Program Manager for ISM.
Nostra still act as a fully outsourced IT manager for ISM, providing maintenance on all aspects of their IT.
“Although Nostra have committed to 30 minute support, the support engineers are usually online and fixing any issue within 5 or 10 minutes and we’re generally back up and running within the 30 minutes. They provide an excellent service and more importantly leave me with more time to focus on my business.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Nostra to any company who wish to cut IT costs without jeopardizing any service levels.”
Karl Walsh, Managing Director, ISM.
Over 100 years ago the Talbot Hotel Group originated in Wexford, the sunny southeast of Ireland. Today, along with Talbot Wexford, the Talbot Trinity comprises the Stillorgan Park Hotel and Talbot Carlow. Boasting superior guest comfort and exceptional service, the hotels prove a popular destination for business and leisure guests alike. All the hotels are 4-star and offer luxurious accommodation, contemporary bars and restaurants, health and leisure facilities, exceptional wedding venues and excellent business centres.
Historically the main issue that the Talbot Group faced was a truly excessive amount of hardware across the multiple hotel sites. There was little or no coordination of infrastructure between the various hotels, and this in turn led to considerable inefficiencies in IT costs. As a result of this centralisation of the IT systems became essential to the Group achieving the IT savings necessary.
Initially Nostra implemented a single email solution for each location, and once it became viable to do so, moved the email for each hotel to the cloud via Microsoft Office 365. Nostra later assisted the Group with moving all of their documents to a centralised store, enabling greater collaboration between HQ and the various hotels. Nostra also continue to act as the outsourced IT department for the Talbot Group, providing maintenance and support for each location.
“We chose Nostra Systems as our IT provider because they understand our business and give a proactive approach to managing our IT. They provide the fastest response time from any IT company in our market but much more than this they advise us on keeping our systems stable and our costs down.
They engage with our other vendors to ensure that once we make a call to Nostra any IT worry will be resolved.
The efficient running of our technology systems is crucial to the smooth running of our business. They have become a key IT manager to our business. From analysing our systems they have saved us a lot of money, we run more systems from less machines and we do so in a stable fashion. Our employees are an integral part of our business and our employees choose Nostra Systems.
The service we receive from Nostra Systems is unlike that given to us by any previous provider”
Lorraine Minnock – The Talbot Hotel Group
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