By Adrian Vogt

4 ways managed services have empowered Sigma’s IT team

Empowering IT Teams

The bigger picture: how Sigma Healthcare is driving transformation

When an IT professional in a business hears the words ‘managed services’, it can sometimes cause a bit of unease. After all, the business is essentially contracting additional IT resources to bolster its capability – so what does that mean for the internal IT function? 

In 2020, pharmacy wholesale and distribution business Sigma, which also has a network of more than 1200 branded and independent pharmacy stores across Australia, engaged Simplus to provide managed services IT support to its team. 

The business had recently begun using Salesforce and needed additional support to build new features as well as ensure the smooth implementation and introduction to Salesforce across the company. 

Since the initial phase of engagement was completed, Sigma has retained Simplus’ Managed Services team to work alongside its in-house team – and it’s a partnership that has empowered internal employees.

Clearing the decks enables a proactive approach

From the perspective of the Sigma team, one of the major benefits of the managed services arrangement has been the additional bandwidth – no longer is it a case of urgent jobs and troubleshooting bumping important jobs back in the queue. 

We spoke with Sigma’s internal Salesforce administrator who effectively functioned as a platform manager, working closely with users to gather requirements, understand pain points and translate those requirements into technical solutions. Especially since that also included building new features or troubleshooting as needed, the administrator says that, without Simplus managed services, the team would be “really behind in terms of what we have to do on a day-to-day basis.“

“Without that support, the business would struggle to work with the people internally,  and that then causes a ripple effect across the whole organisation. If we can’t provide people internally with timely help, they’re not going to be able to help their stakeholders and customers. 

“They’ve gotten to know the business inside-out, and we don’t even need to give them a detailed brief – they’re essentially an extension of the team, and know what we want and what we need.”

With the managed services team picking up some of the urgent day-to-day tasks, it’s enabled the internal IT team to focus on the medium- to long-term, working in a more proactive way to drive long-term success. 

At the end of the day, the team has been empowered to work more closely with users and spend more time on initiatives that drive adoption within the company, rather than losing precious time to fixing bugs.

An informed sounding board 

Getting a different perspective on an issue or a challenge is always an interesting process. It can prompt you to reevaluate your own thinking, evolve a discussion towards a better outcome, or sense-check that your solution is, in fact, the best course of action. 

According to the Sigma IT team, having the regular faces of their managed services team to bounce ideas off has served both day-to-day and longer-term planning. And they also come with fresh perspectives and learnings from other clients.

That means the Sigma and Simplus teams have been better able to come together to discuss potential solutions to a problem and brainstorm the right course of action.

On-demand specialist expertise helps fast-track projects 

Day-to-day troubleshooting work is one thing, but sometimes there’s a major project in the works that needs all hands on deck – and some members of Sigma’s IT team say they’ve benefitted from being able to pull in specialists when they need them.

For instance, Sigma recently needed to implement a fresh solution to automate notifications to users whenever changes were made to certain fields. That required new templates and new workflows.

The Sigma team says they were able to work with Simplus to not only evolve the solution, ending up with an even stronger solution than the original one, but to implement it, too. 

With the support of the managed services team, Sigma was able to deploy the new solution while maintaining the upkeep of the day-to-day tasks. After all, the urgent work rarely stops! 

Servicing the future 

For Sigma, the relationship with the Simplus Managed Services team is one that has a long-term benefit – and one the business sees as being a complementary resource to bolster its internal team. 

While the business gets the benefit of additional capacity and expertise, the IT team gets the opportunity to work alongside experienced developers and technology specialists, which is also important for giving them the space for their own projects and professional growth.

When we spoke with the Sigma team, an administrator called it a “win-win for everyone.”

“Internally, we’ve been able to work with the business to understand the pain points, change the ideas and translate those ideas into solutions within the system. For the managed services team, they’ve been able to concentrate on providing the most value.”

And, ultimately, that’s a sign of a successful partnership. 

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