About Gray, Baynes & Shew LLP

Gray Baynes & Shew is an award-winning architectural practice, based in Oxford. They work across a range of business sectors including education and healthcare to create buildings for learning, healing, resting, playing or for worshiping – people are always at the heart of the spaces they create. The practice has two Partner Architects, and one Partner Surveyor, each with their own areas of expertise to maximise the benefits of their experience for clients and end users.

Number of Employees: 13

Partnered with OGL since: 2021

Company Location: Oxford

Company Website: www.gbsarchitects.co.uk

Oxford architect selects OGL as new IT partner following free network appraisal

It’s been a great experience for OGL to start working with Oxford-based architects, Gray, Baynes & Shew LLP following a free network appraisal which uncovered some concerning weaknesses and cyber threats.

The partnership begins

Matt ThorneycroftMatt Thorneycroft, Business Development Manager, began speaking to Tony Stewart, (BSc. Arch, BA (Hons), M.Arch) and Project Manager with responsibility for IT at Gray, Baynes & Shew LLP in Spring 2021. Tony explained that his incumbent supplier was failing its service level agreement and wasn’t attentive to their issues anymore.

Matt recalls, “Headaches caused by poor IT are the last thing any business wants, but it’s especially true of architects that use high intensity CAD software (computer aided design) for their design work, which demands a powerful, well-managed and well-maintained infrastructure. It was clear from the get-go that Gray, Baynes & Shew needed better. But in addition to day-to-day frustrations with their setup, it became apparent that there were security issues below the surface that needed immediate attention, unknown to Tony and the organisation’s directors."

“Matt was great to work with from the beginning,” said Tony. “He set about a very impressive process to show me what OGL could do for our practice. I knew our infrastructure needed work following the shift to more home-working during and since the pandemic, but I was shocked to be shown the extent of its weaknesses and gaps. To hear that a relatively simple check by OGL uncovered our login credentials and passwords had been compromised and were on the Dark Web was a huge eye opener.”

Free network appraisal

The check referred to is the free network appraisal that we offer prospective customers to establish a company’s baseline security and identify where gaps lie, and essentially where our help is needed. Gray, Baynes & Shew’s network appraisal was carried out by Steve Bennett, Solutions Architect with over 25 years’ experience and resulted in a 37-page report on the Gray, Baynes & Shew infrastructure and full detail on the remedial action required, all completely free of charge.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our sales process and were delighted that it was something Tony picked up on and valued. The Gray, Baynes & Shew network appraisal essentially examined every one of their network assets, including physical servers, virtual servers, network-attached storage (NAS), server disk volumes, operating systems, network shares, active directory, business software and applications, domain hosts, spam filtering, backup, switches, wireless connections, routers, firewalls, workstations, and printers. The result was an extremely detailed and valuable third-party perspective for Tony and colleagues.

Tony StewartTony continued, “To be presented with such a comprehensive view of our infrastructure before any contracts had been signed, or payments made, was a testament to OGL’s statement that helping businesses achieve their ambitions is what they’re all about. OGL has given us visibility of our whole network for the first time. The process gave me total confidence that OGL was the right new IT partner for us. The professionalism of Matt and Steve matched our own way of operating – to offer excellent and truly expert advice.”

Matt reflected, “Working with Tony, and getting to know the practice, was a pleasure. Tony was realistic about the work needed to get the network to a good, robust place, following years with an IT provider that didn’t appear to be pulling their weight any longer. IT and cyber security is so important these days, it must be resourced and financed accordingly. We were more than happy to showcase our skills via the network appraisal, so Tony had a very clear view of what OGL is like to work with. By the time prospective customers are ready to agree contracts, we like them to already feel familiar with our approach and trusting of our expertise.”

Recommendations actioned

Following the sales process with Matt and Steve, Tony commissioned an IT support contract to begin with OGL in August 2021, to replace their incumbent supplier. We were also given the go ahead to action recommendations including: a systems administration review by a senior engineer, server configuration, synology storage & cloud sync, firewall security, anti-virus, SaaS backup, remote monitoring and patch management.

Shin LailSenior Infrastructure Engineer, Shin Lail, attended the site to carry out the installation, with Tony commenting: “Shin was superb during the installation and went out of his way to make sure the whole process went smoothly and that we felt looked after. Overall, I’d have no problem recommending Matt, Steve and OGL to other businesses who have concerns their IT and security isn’t quite where it needs to be, especially other architects.”

We are delighted that Gray, Baynes and Shew has selected OGL as their new IT partner and join the other professional service providers across the UK that we are so proud to work alongside.

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