Supporting ParentPay with their digital transformation and licensing strategy
Background to the partnership
As ParentPay expanded its operations and fast cemented its position as a UK market leader in online payments in the school market, the company went through a series of acquisitions – resulting in a complex IT estate.
They wanted to streamline their infrastructure and review their licensing position to consolidate and simplify their operations. This included a view to consolidate VMware licenses to a single renewal and to simplify Microsoft spend through the CSP (Cloud Services Provider) procurement portal.
While ParentPay is well versed in the world of technology, acting as thought-leader in their field, they recognised the value that a partner could bring to advise on the intricate world of licensing while hopefully also bringing the capability to act as a sounding board for their digital transformation goals.
They were dissatisfied with the support and cost-effectiveness of previous IT partners and they wanted a fresh approach.
Why Trustmarque was selected as a partner
Trustmarque was directly recommended to ParentPay by while working on a major storage project with a market-leading data infrastructure vendor.
Following an initial introduction, Trustmarque was able to demonstrate the ability to tackle ParentPay’s initial requirements for datacentre modernisation, as well as highlighting the added value and expertise they could bring to the more complex projects. Trustmarque brought the consultative support and direction they were seeking.
ParentPay is the UK market leader in online payments for the schools market, serving over 15,500 schools. With many families paying schools securely online as a part of normal daily life, ParentPay has become a household name. They provide a flexible and secure web application that allows parents to make online payments for their child’s school items including meals, trips, clubs and uniforms. ParentPay employs around 250 members of staff across the UK and Europe.
Areas where Trustmarque has added value to ParentPay’s IT strategy
With a goal to remain self-sufficient and not dependent on third parties, ParentPay was looking for consultative support. In response, Trustmarque worked closely to understand their needs, business requirements and where value could be unlocked.
Allen Bagnall, Head of IT at ParentPay, explains: “Whether on software licensing or hardware procurement, we get the guidance and support we need from Trustmarque every time. A recent example is traversing licensing requirements with Microsoft. Even though software licensing can be incredibly complex, I have every confidence that Trustmarque will help us to get there and deliver the end result.”
Having the support of Trustmarque’s Microsoft specialists has been instrumental in helping ParentPay to complete projects like the complicated consolidation of Office 365 tenants and their migration to CSP.
Allen explains: “We have been disappointed by previous partner engagements, especially when licensing renewal and consolidation is concerned. However, it was a no brainer to ask Trustmarque to take that on and I haven’t regretted it at all. Trustmarque is really on top of it and I have every confidence our
licensing renewals are fully managed and considered, With no stone unturned.”
“Trustmarque also really guided us through the CSP process to get everything ready – making sure we have the right licensing in place. We are utilising the Microsoft stack more and more – from Azure to Office 365 – and consuming more Microsoft services.”
Tactical solutions and deployments include:
ParentPay want to continue to build on the capabilities of the core IT team at Parent Pay by leveraging the partnership with Trustmarque. They also have a large project coming up to migrate certain applications to Microsoft Azure – an area they are keen to seek further support with and strengthen their skills.
“Moving forward, I see Trustmarque helping with improved flexibility and supporting the ParentPay technical teams with improved efficiency,” confirms Allen.
Additional feedback on Trustmarque colleagues
ParentPay refers to Trustmarque as “the company we can lean on for anything”, dealing with a multitude of communication and requests that can come from any angle.
“From the initial call with Trustmarque, we had every confidence that they could deliver,” confirms Allen. “We have a good, friendly and professional relationship and we have always felt comfortable working together. If Trustmarque does not have all the answers at the time, we are confident that we can get those answers soon. To date, Trustmarque has been able to satisfy all our requirements.”
He said Trustmarque has been particularly helpful in aiding vendor relationships, allowing them to manage and maintain their relationships despite a few challenges.