Case Study: Lifeways Group

Lifeways Group get the Security Support they need from Sophos



The Lifeways Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of support services for people with diverse and often complex needs in community settings. By enabling people to be active and happy in their communities, Lifeways transforms lives, one person at a time.

Leading provider of support services in the UK 

Lifeways Group have grown 300% since 1995

1000 endpoints and 200 virtual servers across 234 sites 

The Challenge

The Lifeways Group have seen tremendous growth since 1995. The company have grown between 5% and 60% every year. The group has expanded both organically and strategically to become the leading provider of support services for people with diverse and complex needs across the UK, and has an established and growing national network of offices. During this time its IT security has struggled to keep pace with the company’s expansion.

Having grown 300% since 1995, The Lifeways Group found that its antivirus solution had become unfit for purpose and, in particular, was lacking ransomware protection. After being hit by the Locky ransomware virus in 2016 it decided to take action to protect itself more effectively. The Lifeways Group team turned to Softcat for advice and expertise on the security products and options available. After listening to the specific needs of Lifeways Group Softcat recommended Sophos. The Lifeways Group then met the Sophos team, along with two other vendors on separate occasions, to see how each solution might meet their objectives.

According to Andy Pitcher, Group Infrastructure Manager at Lifeways: “Softcat acted as an enabler and put us in touch with the right people at Sophos. We all sat in a room together and thrashed out what was required and covered off any grey areas that we needed answers to.” Andy has worked with Sophos multiple times over the past ten years in various roles. His view of Sophos was that they were always “very good, and their tech support fantastic”. Therefore, it was no surprise that Lifeways Group chose Sophos technology for this requirement.

The Solution

The Lifeways Group chose to overhaul its IT security infrastructure. Choosing to implement a number of Sophos security products Lifeways Group installed Sophos Central, Intercept X, PureMessage for email protection and Sophos SafeGuard Encryption and Mobile Control infrastructure. Andy explains “Sophos Central was a no-brainer and a good fit for our business”. The migration to Sophos Central took just three weeks and the Lifeways Group team immediately found all the products easy to use. Andy comments “Everything was deployed centrally which saved us hours of time.”

The Benefits

Through this project Lifeways Group achieved centralised, efficient and next generation protection. The Sophos solution met all of Lifeways Group needs; Andy explains ‘Sophos answered all our questions and helped us to get buy-in from our senior management team.’

Andy and the team have experienced a long list of benefits since implementing Sophos solutions including:

  • No more laborious tasks due to consolidated systems and associated time savings
  • Excellent value for money thanks to the pricing offered by Softcat and Sophos
  • No downtime during or after implementation
  • No stressful deployment period
  • Ease of use over and above competing products
  • The perfect solution for a small team of IT staff where every minute counts
  • An interface that is very easy to use with little/no training required
  • Simple and time saving reporting

Andy has also been impressed with the support provided by Sophos. He comments that he has an excellent relationship with his Sophos Account Manager who he is able to contact whenever he needs to. “It’s a very fluid relationship and it works really well,” says Andy.

Andy highly recommends Sophos solutions to other organisations, saying: “If you are thinking of overhauling your IT security, get Sophos in and let them present their products to you, they offer more than you may think, for centralised, efficient and next-generation protection.”

The Lifeways Group will be talking to Sophos in the future, about a potential new phishing solution to protect the company even further.

Why Softcat?

Andy Pitcher, Group Infrastructure Manager at Lifeways,  comments “Softcat have been a key strategic partner with Lifeways for a number of years now. Working closely with our fantastic Account Manager, Benedict, they always ensure we have the right people in front of us to make the correct informed decisions. They always strive to get us the best price possible with the appropriate level of support and I always feel confident the decisions made are the best for the business.”

Highlights:

  • Smooth transition to Sophos Central
  • Excellent value for money
  • Users have easily adapted to the new solution
  • Lifeways Group are looking at expanding their Sophos estate with phishing protection products
  • Simple reporting
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