St Helens RFC are a rugby league club based in the North West of England; an area often considered as the sport’s spiritual home. As a Super League team playing at the top tier of competition in Europe, Saints attract large crowds of dedicated supporters and are passionate about introducing the game to new audiences.
As such, the club is focused on providing a fantastic experience to fans and media alike. From a smooth, simple ticket purchase process to hassle-free turnstile scanning and 24/7 portal access for press and sponsors – Saints need effective, watertight and reliable IT to maintain their great reputation and keep the crowds happy.
However, following a series of technology niggles, it became evident that Saints’ current IT wasn’t fit for the club’s ambitions. “Basically, we’d been battling with minor IT issues for several days with no end in immediate sight”, explains Dave Hutchinson, General Manager at St Helens RFC. “As General Manager, I began to worry about the potential knock-on effects and with game day approaching, wasn’t prepared to let the situation continue”.
Dave reached out to Starcom , who had been recommended to him several months prior. “Despite us approaching Starcom on an ad-hoc basis, their technical engineers immediately got stuck in and fixed our IT issues in no time at all”, Dave says. “It was great to be out of the woods, but the incident made me question our business continuity should we face a disaster – system failure, electricity outage or even cyberattack”.
Taking stock of Dave’s valid concerns about stability and continuity, Starcom put forward a solution. They advised that new, high performance and resilient infrastructure paired with robust disaster recovery planning and technologies would considerably reduce business risk. The solution ensured that should the worst happen, Saints could continue trading by using a failover system, and that all data and apps would be recoverable.
“After Starcom helped us out of a sticky situation at such short notice and went on to architect and deliver a sizeable IT rejuvenation project, I knew that I could invest my full trust in their expertise and ethics”, says Dave. “This initial work formed the foundations of a great relationship – so much so that we signed up Starcom as our IT managed service provider, and they became an associate club partner!”
Dave continues, “With over 15,000 spectators attending fixtures and with games showing on TV channels such as Sky Sports, technology failures could have serious consequences. But with our new disaster recovery tech and ongoing helpdesk support, I have the peace of mind that Saints’ service, operations and reputation will remain intact”.