Founded in 1990, Coller Capital delivers liquidity solutions for a global investor client base. Headquartered in London, with offices in New York and Hong Kong, it’s one of the world’s leading players in the complex private equity secondaries marketplace. Recognised for its innovative investments, Coller Capital has interests in private equity funds, portfolios of private companies and a range of other private equity assets.
Key Facts About Coller Capital
- Leading provider of liquidity solutions
- Global investor base
- Broad portfolio of innovative investment vehicles
Taking on a new role at a new company is always challenging. For Kris Fry, Infrastructure and Operations Manager, the challenge wasn’t quite the one he was expecting. In terms of size, Coller Capital was smaller than his last employer, and as such, took a very different approach to IT procurement and ongoing management.
“Once I was in place and able to assess the IT landscape, it was clear that there was room for improvement in how we did things,” said Kris. “Although the investment was there, I knew from previous experience that more value, and capabilities, could be wrung out of the existing technologies and infrastructure.
“I felt a good place to start would be to ‘get a sense check’ from someone I trusted. It would help me evaluate what was in place, understand if it was fit for purpose and identify where savings and efficiency improvements could be made. I’d worked with Softcat in the past, so I got in touch to see what it had to say."
Critical Success Factors
- Deliver an IT landscape sense check
- Analyse existing IT estate for functionality and value for money
- Identify areas for process improvements and cost reduction
“Softcat provided consultancy and managed services solutions for Kris’s previous employer,” said Will Schofield, Enterprise Account Director at Softcat. “We’d built up a strong relationship over the previous eighteen months and I trust his judgement. When he got in touch and explained what he thought was needed, I knew we would be able to identify where improvements could be made.”
“I already had a good idea of what we could do differently,” said Kris. “Bringing Will on board helped to cover the gaps in my own knowledge, as well providing technical insight into areas where we lacked knowledge internally. He provided a comprehensive overview of where changes could be beneficial.”
The sense check highlighted areas for improvements, in particular, how Microsoft licensing was currently managed. “We felt Coller Capital could achieve even more value from its licensing investments,” said Will. “I was aware that funding was available from Microsoft for a Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) solution. It could seamlessly replace the existing technologies, be better value for money and would include managed services provided by Softcat.”
“Will’s analysis made a lot of sense,” said Kris. “It was one of the areas I’d immediately thought of as having scope for improvement. He was happy for me to speak to other Softcat customers in our sector before deciding. The people I contacted all gave positive feedback. It helped convince me that his proposals were valid and his recommendations right for the business.
“The switch to WVD went smoothly and we were up and trading on the new system within a couple of weeks. I trusted Softcat to deliver, and it did.”
- Trusted, longstanding working relationship with Account Manager
- Provision of up-to-the-minute sector-specific technical knowledge
- Comprehensive analyses to highlight areas for improved performance and cost reduction
- Seamless implementation and rapid rollout of replacement solution
Softcat has helped Coller Capital rationalise its supplier base. “Whereas before we had to deal with different vendors for our Snow licensing and Citrix Workspace solutions, now we have an effective one-stop-shop for all of our needs. We’ve improved both performance and capabilities, while simultaneously reducing the ongoing cost. Softcat’s IT Service Management comes with Office 365 support bundled in. Previously, we had to pay for support services, but they’re now part of the package.
“With access to the eCat system, we can now quickly, simply, and cost-effectively manage a diverse IT estate and confidently scale to match our business needs. And we can’t overlook how important it is knowing that we have an extremely knowledgeable account manager on hand to provide advice and guidance about gaining maximum value from our investment. It ensures we get full value from every license we buy and can stretch the capabilities of our existing hardware.”
“Softcat has a long track record of successful financial sector IT implementations,” said Will. “We’ve learned through experience what solutions provide the best value and strive to pass that knowledge on to our clients. Once we began working with Kris, we knew we could help him drive down upfront and ongoing costs, access the support he needed and make the most of what he already had.”
Benefits at a glance
- Rationalised suppliers with one-stop-shop IT provision
- Improved performance, capabilities, and reduced costs
- Simplified license management and capacity to scale on demand
“There are two main reasons why we chose to work with Softcat,” said Kris. “Sectoral knowledge and technical expertise. Its long track record of working with businesses like ours helps breed confidence that what they recommend is based on real-world examples of successful project implementations."
"The in-house expertise Softcat provides is critically important. Account Managers like Will clearly know their stuff and can recommend solutions they know will deliver on expectations. Whenever I have worked with Softcat, it’s helped me achieve optimal performance while squeezing every drop of value that can be achieved. It’s all you could ever need from a technology provider.”