Continuing a heritage of 20 years of network and hardware management, Pinnacle has helped leading medical testing distributors Launch Diagnostics Ltd move its IT to the cloud – and continue to deliver at the heart of Europe’s COVID response.
Launch Diagnostics Ltd is the UK’s leading independent distributor of reagents, diagnostic kits and laboratory instrumentation. Today, the business has a staff of just under 60 across four countries. Having used Pinnacle for IT strategy and support for over two decades, the company came to Pinnacle for the next evolution of its IT infrastructure; in particular the deployment of email and Office 365 in the cloud.
Launch Diagnostics Ltd Technical Director, Ian Jones, says “We've seen significant benefits in working efficiencies from hosted services. We see the advantages of a subscription-based service, where we know we’ll get constant software updates. Operationally, it’s a no-brainer: our field engineers can update information as they work, and then feedback directly to technical support back at base. And videoconferencing with Teams jumped out to us as a crucial benefit. We’re a modern company, we’ve seen the trend to moving into the cloud across our industry, and we didn’t want to get left behind.”
But with a migration process under Pinnacle’s careful management which coincided with the 2020 lockdown, the move to the cloud really began to pay dividends. Launch Diagnostics found itself on the front line of the pandemic response. As a provider of medical testing products, the business expanded dramatically. “Having Office 365 has allowed our team to work wherever they need to be. I think we would have really struggled without it,” says Jones.
In particular, videoconferencing with Microsoft Teams, part of the Microsoft 365 package, has been crucial, both to keep the dispersed workforce aligned and to maintain a sense of community. “We couldn’t conduct sales without the technology”, says Jones “Telephone calls are OK, but it's better to do it on Teams where we can share documents, quotations, etc. That's been fundamental. But there’s also been a social side. With Teams, dispersed staff can meaningfully interact with colleagues; and I wouldn’t underestimate the value of that to employee wellbeing, with so many people confined to their homes.”
Today, Launch Diagnostics’ IT infrastructure is scalable to meet whatever challenges the post-pandemic world can throw up. In what will undoubtedly be a hybrid system of remote and on-site working plus field crews, all staff are better connected to each other and empowered to deliver for customers. Says Jones, “Pinnacle has been with us every step of the way. They've always given us good advice. Even through the pandemic they've gone above and beyond to look after us.”
Nigel Blanks, Business Development Consultant at Pinnacle, says: “When Launch Diagnostics became involved in COVID testing, we knew it was essential that every aspect of their business was fully supported by the right technology. they were supplying testing kits to over 400 hospitals in the UK alone. What had started as a routine upgrade plan became absolutely mission-critical. Our vision for deploying Office 365 was to give everyone in the business – management, home-workers, and field engineers on the road; in any of several countries – access to the services they need, from anywhere, 24/7.
“In 2020, every business had to deal with challenges. We’re delighted to have helped Launch Diagnostics achieve something which might save lives; but it’s also a lesson in digital transformation. When circumstances throw curveballs at a business, technology is one of the best routes to surviving uncertainty and ultimately thriving.”