25 Years in Business for CMS Group!

2016 marks a very exciting milestone for CMS Group as we complete our 25th year in business! We would like to tell you a little bit about the story so far…

Who are CMS Group?

CMS Group is a family run business, originally started in 1990 by Managing Director Andrew Coop, now joined by son and daughter Oliver and Darcy. CMS Group provides IT Services and Infrastructure to both local and nationwide businesses. Our mission statement is to deliver outstanding IT Support, which is backed up by recent and existing case studies.

Why work with a Family Business?

Why deal with a family business? Many businesses are owned by investors whose sole objective is to generate maximum profit. Our ethos is to create long term relationships and provide the best service we can.

The CMS Staff

One of the most stand out advantages that we have at CMS Group is our staff. Everyone at CMS Group takes real responsibility for looking after our customers and go above and beyond to make sure that we help them wherever possible. This is best articulated in the quote below:

“… I thought I should drop you a line to say how impressed I am with the team of engineers that are assisting us with the roll out … without a shadow of a doubt, had we engaged ‘standard’ engineers we would have struggled to complete this project within the time constraints put upon us … As a company you have obviously decided that recruitment based on a ‘can do’ attitude is as important as the IT skills of a particular engineer and for this you should be commended …”

David Kelly, IT Director at QHotels

Key Milestones

During our journey we have reached many milestones to be proud of, below we have detailed the story of key ones:

Nationwide Support – CMS provides nationwide on-site (and remote) IT Support 24/7/365. Our Nationwide support started over twenty years ago when we started working for De Vere Hotel Group, we demonstrated at that time that we could add significant value to providing IT support for a nationwide expanding business:

  • Adding value by understanding the Client’s Infrastructure
  • Truly work with the IT team in partnership, delivering class leading IT support
  • When users call the Service Desk, the technician understands the client’s set-up
  • Service Desk technicians regularly visit sites to familiarise themselves with the business and users

Cloud Services – CMS first delivered Cloud services over five years ago, we are now on our second iteration (commissioned December 2015), based on what is considered the premier Data Centre in Manchester, and utilising the very latest IBM ‘Pure Flex’ technology. The IBM technology was designed from the ground up, resulting is class leading performance that delivers a premier service to CMS clients. For a case study of an International business that has been using the CMS Cloud for over 5 years click HERE for the Trumeter case study.

The true cost of IT Support – Today’s businesses are under considerable pressure to perform, in order for all elements of a business to deliver that performance they need an efficient, easy to use IT support mechanism. Poor IT support has a tangible cost to a business, great IT support should just work in the background, fixing issues in the minimum time, communicating with the end users and IT team; also it needs to be pro-active to put ideas on the table on how IT can be improved. Please see our article demonstrating how CMS keep working to improve our IT Support service by clicking HERE.

What Next?

  • Call: 01254 296 700 (or) 0207 663 5621
  • Email: sales@cms-group.net

 Request A Call Back      Send A Message

First Time Fix on IT Support Calls Now Even Better!

CMS Group is now 25 years old. Unlike most companies in this industry, support and service is at the core of what we do (rather than shifting tin). Central to delivering great support is our IT Service Desk. The IT Service Desk (based in Blackburn, not abroad) is often the first point that any call is raised, each call is handled by a highly trained IT professional who will deal with the issue (rather than a call logger). Because of this, we have invested considerable time and money into making our IT Service Desk something truly impressive. We are proud to announce that our IT Service Desk has now got even better.

First Time Fix

At the beginning 2015, our First Time Fix on the IT Service Desk was circa 75%. This is great as it means that 75% of all calls raised are resolved there and then on the initial call, without any form of escalation or requirement for Field Support. This is critical to our customers as it means we get their staff back up and working as soon as possible.

IT Service Desk Improvements

As part of our ethos of continued improvement, we have actively worked to offer our customer even better IT Support by reviewing all our processes and are proud to say that we have now raised this First Time Fix from 75% to 89%! This means that 89% of all calls are fixed on the initial call (minimum end-user disruption). Needless to say we would like to congratulate the IT Service Desk team on their achievement to increase the already great results and feedback we were getting.

Real Example

Andrew McLaughlan (FD at Emerson & Renwick) recently called our Service Desk after moving their IT Support to CMS Group. The call was regarding an issue he had been having for 12 months where their previous IT Support partner had been unable to resolve for that period. During the first call to CMS Groups IT Service Desk, the issue was resolved and Andrew commended the Engineer for their ability and professionalism in handling the call.

Other Stats

Below are more stats on CMS Group’s IT Service Desk, these stats are all completely accurate and untouched. We would love to invite you round to the Blackburn office (Service Desk hub) to talk you through how we have managed to achieve this high standard of IT Support (alternatively, we can come to you).

  • 91.4% of calls answered under 2 mins
  • 89% first contact resolution
  • 3:37 minutes call handling time
  • Only 6% of call require Field Support escalation
  • Over 99% customer support satisfaction for 5 years running


  • Support & Service at heart of CMS (vs tin shifting)
  • Improved First Time Fix on calls from 75% to 89% meaning customers are up and working as soon as possible
  • Customers are seeing the results

What Next?

  • Call: 01254 296 700 (or) 0207 663 5621
  • Email: sales@cms-group.net

 Request A Call Back      Send A Message

Why North West companies moved IT Support to CMS Group

CMS Group has taken on 6 new customers in East Lancashire over the past 12 months. Each new customer has noted significant improvements (detailed below) to their IT Support, and thus, the functioning of their business (references available).


Some reasons for moving from their incumbent:

  • Dissatisfied with support levels
  • Poor communication
  • Wanted more proactive relationship
  • Poor system performance

Find out why they chose CMS below…


Case Studies:

Thwaites PLC

THE COMPANY – Founded in 1807, Thwaites is an impressive 209 years old (!) with circa £140m turnover and is a Public Limited Company. Thwaites has an estate of more than 350 pubs, a group of coaching inns, six four-star regional hotels and spas and a brewery, brewing Lancashire’s favourite beers.

CASE STUDY – Thwaites decided that CMS was the best company to partner with due to our extensive experience in the hospitality industry along with our support Stats (e.g. 92.5% of calls answered <2mins, 75% FTF, 3.05min avg. call handling time, only 6% of calls require Field escalation!). CMS provide out of hours support for all of Thwaites’ sites, working closely alongside the in house IT team. The Take On procedure involved a full audit of all Shire Hotels & Inns of Character along with making a detailed support document which included all site details (3rd Party info, SLA’s, escalations, etc.).


Emerson & Renwick

THE COMPANY – Founded in 1918 (98y/o) Emerson & Renwick are expert manufacturers of Wallcovering, Automotive/Heat Exchanger, Coating and Laminating, and Special Purpose Machinery. With a global presence, based in the UK and USA Emerson & Renwick is known for their high-quality work/product reliability and innovation.

CASE STUDY – CMS provide a full IT Support wrap around including Service Desk, Field Support & 3rd Line. In addition, we hold weekly support calls to review the cases throughout the week. Key requirements to Emerson & Renwick was that the Support can free up their personnel from getting bogged down with fire-fighting, that CMS could assist with strategy and best advice on Infrastructure projects, and that we could provide a greater level of service whilst working very closely to key staff.

“The primary remit for CMS was to release key Emerson & Renwick personnel from daily fire-fighting of IT issues. This has been achieved due to the quality and accessibility of the CMS remote service desk.”  Andrew McLaughlan – FD, Emerson & Renwick

Emerson & Renwick have stated a great deal of improvement from their previous provider. One example is where Andrew McLaughlan (FD) called our Service Desk about an issue which has existed for 12 months and the previous provider was unable to resolve, within a matter minutes on the first call we fixed the problem remotely.

Emerson & Renwick also highlighted that another key reason they chose CMS was our thorough approach in taking the time to learn their requirements thus put the best solution forward.


Kirk Scaffolding

THE COMPANY – Established for over 50 years, Kirk Scaffolding is a family run business providing Contract Scaffolding, Scaffolding Design, and Scaffolding Hire. Operating throughout the North of England Kirk Scaffoldings customers have come to expect the highest levels of service, quality and safety.

CASE STUDY – CMS provide both Field Support & Service Desk to Kirk Scaffolding (IT Support in North West). Additionally, Kirk Scaffolding was looking for a re-design of their infrastructure which was ageing and not meeting their growing needs.

“Having realised our IT System was no longer fit for purpose as our Business grew, we spoke to several Companies about replacing it. We were sufficiently impressed with the CMS Group to place our order with them.

The work was carried out at the agreed time and within the agreed time framework which was vital to our ongoing business. All work was carried out in a professional manner and we are more than happy to recommend CMS Group to anyone looking to upgrade or replace their IT Systems.”  Jeremy Kirk – MD, Kirk Scaffolding


Cavalier Carpets

THE COMPANY – Cavalier Carpets went from selling to homeowners on a market stall to becoming a leading British manufacturer in the 70’s. Based in Blackburn, Cavalier Carpets produce and sell Carpets along with having a rapidly growing insurance department (Renew Floor) and distribution network (Transfloor). Circa 100 users.

CASE STUDY – Cavalier Carpets first engaged with CMS Group as they were looking to build a powerful Disaster Recovery solution (cloud) along with a new infrastructure to further protect their business as well as IT Support in North West. Cavalier chose to work with CMS due to the technical quality of the solution and the ability to deliver. In addition to the DR solution to our Cloud, CMS also provide Cavalier Carpets with 3rd Line Support where we work closely with their internal IT staff.


North West Logistics

THE COMPANY – With over Sixty vehicles North West Logistics is a Transport & Logistics company apart of the Road Haulage Association. Covering UK & Europe their service supports Part & Full Loads, Hazardous, Pallets, Multi Drop, Warehousing, and Export.

CASE STUDY – North West Logistics approached CMS Group as they were unhappy with the support they were getting from their current provider. We now provide both Field Support Service Desk following an effortless transition between providers.



THE COMPANY – Established for 112 years (!) Birtwells are one of the UKs leading trade printers, offering a range of specialist printing services to the UK trade print and brokerage market. With over a century of experience, they can claim to be amongst the most experienced in the business.

CASE STUDY – CMS engaged with Birtwells as they were dissatisfied by their current provider’s levels of service. Following speaking to one of CMS’s customers and conversations on support and organisation we provide (such as change control), Birtwells proceeded to take both Field & Service Desk Support with CMS Group.

“Birtwell & Co Ltd have just recently become new customers to CMS Group. I decided that CMS Group would best suit our company after meeting three potential IT Support companies. This was mainly due to Oliver’s knowledge and his ability to listen to our company IT support needs and confirm that he was able to ensure all requests could be dealt with by CMS and in a professional manner. I have on many occasions called CMS for help and guidance in the short time that we have been customers and been more than happy with their immediate attention and resolution. Also due to locality they can be on site within a matter of minutes.”   Sue Preugschat – Birtwells & Co




The key reasons why these customers proceeded with CMS Group was:

  • Support Stats –  92.5% of calls answered under 2 minutes, 75% first time fix, 3.05 minutes average call handling time, only 6% of calls require Field escalation!
  • Take on process – thorough & painless
  • Support Features – change control, 3rd party management, documentation, nationwide capability on your doorstep, etc.…
  • Experience – a highly technical support provider with thorough processes.

This year’s marks CMS Groups 25th Anniversary which we are very proud of and look forward to the great relationships with our customers.


What Next?

  • Call: 01254 296 700 (or) 0207 663 5621
  • Email: sales@cms-group.net

 Request A Call Back      Send A Message

CMS Virtual Desktop Comparison Webinar: Microsoft, Citrix, VMWare & Redhat + Top 6 Vendor Webinars


CMS Virtual Desktop Comparison Webinar of Microsoft, Citrix, VMWare and Redhat <<hyperlink to webinar

[On Demand]

CMS ran this webinar a few months ago and following the great feedback and numerous requests for the webinar to be On-Demand please click below and follow the link.

For those who aren’t aware a Virtual Desktop Environment can significantly reduce your IT running costs and make your organisation more agile.  CMS are vendor agnostic so to ensure un-bias results each technology will run on their own systems. Key Points Covered:

  • What is VDI / main market players
  • Key Drivers for deploying VDI
  • Review each VDI solution architectures
  • Testing Criteria’s
  • Thin Client Performance across technologies
  • Total Cost of Ownership for each Technology
  • SWOT Analysis (strengths weaknesses opportunities threats)
  • Summary on solution performance and results from tests


CISCO MERAKI – Introduction to Cloud Networking <<hyperlink to webinar

[17th & 24th of February, 2015 (10am)]

*Free Access Point for attending worth over £500!*

Intro to Cisco Meraki and cloud managed networking products, including wireless access points, security appliances, and switches. Learn how cloud networking offers greater reliability, easier management, and a lower TCO – we’ll show you a live demo of the exciting features in the Cisco Meraki dashboard.


 CITRIX – XenApp & XenDesktop HDX (3D Pro) with vGPU, GPU Pass-through <<hyperlink to webinar

[On Demand]

Technical webinar workshop where industry experts take you through a technical deep dive on the HDX 3D Pro technology with vGPU and GPU Pass-through.

  • Technical overview of HDX & HDX 3D Pro
  • Technical deep dive into GPU sharing (GPU Pass-Through, vGPU) options available for XenApp & XenDesktop under HDX Rich Graphics.
  • System requirements, pre-requites and deployment leading best practices for a successful PoC including suggested HDX policies for both vGPU and GPU Pass-through with nVidia GPU cards.


VEEAM – Architecture & Deployment Deep-Dive Webinar <<hyperlink to webinar

[On Demand]

Get a deep dive into Veeam Backup & Replication in this architecture & Deployment planning webinar.

  • Server, proxy & repository placement.
  • Direct SAN, hot add & network-processing modes.
  • Remote office/branch office (ROBO) & cloud considerations. Etc…


MICROSOFT – Office 365: Office as a Service <<hyperlink to webinar

[On Demand]

Learn about the latest Office suite plus a wide range of productivity services coupled with rich compliance features and full management capabilities for IT. Part 1 of a 5-part Microsoft Technology Roadmap Series (30mins).


IBM – Answering Storage Growth. Learn About Data Compression and Deduplication Options for real Storage Efficiency <<hyperlink to webinar

[On Demand]

Managing storage growth is a key challenge that all IT managers face. Advancements in data optimisation are helping organisations of all sizes control capacity demands wile minimizing capital expenditures. Listen as storage experts explain and outline the advantages of using data compression along with data deduplication.


MIMECAST – The Importance of Archiving <<hyperlink to webinar

[On Demand]

Gartner – more than 70% of a company’s intellectual property flows from email. Think about all the emails and attachments you have sent and received over the last few years and this statistic is not so surprising. Yet most organisations still treat their email archives as little more than a dump. Dispose and forget. Your existing email archive provides real value. The following webinar discusses how firms can use their email archive for real intelligence.

CMS Group Partner with Backup Systems!

Why Partner

CMS Group have a very robust Data Center / Cloud offering for full Disaster Recovery and Backup Protection of your Systems and Data.  Finding a backup solution that provides a complete backup answer to both physical and virtual environments has been challenging, however in partnering with Backup Systems we have found a fully managed backup solution that provides this functionality plus many more advantageous features, such as remotely backing up your mobile users, and managing and ensuring that your backups are working.

CMS Group partnered with Backup Systems to essentially offer reliable, cost-effective, enterprise level data protection via managed, centralised, disk / cloud based backups and Disaster Recovery.

How We Work

Firstly, we work with you to get an understanding of your data, your network and the backup requirement.

CMS aim to understand the business requirements, MTR (Mean Time To Recovery), how critical your applications are and what the reality is of an outage of all/some of your applications.  We then design, implement, monitor, support and upgrade the system as required and based on our expertise we will design a system that meets your needs and allows for any expansion plans you may have.

Case Studies

Backup Systems work with City Councils, Local Authorities and many Public and Private sector organisations across Europe to whom they offer a reliable, cost-effective fully managed platform.

The managed backup service is currently being used successfully by many large enterprises in the UK, reference sites are available on request.  For larger companies who have in house servers, an enterprise class server backup is vital to business continuity.

Find Out More

To find out more about CMS Group and Backup Systems Partnership, just get straight back in touch today – darcy.coop@cms-group.net

CMS Group Lands Contract Success with Kirk Scaffolding!

Who Are Kirk Scaffolding?

Kirk Scaffolding is a leading scaffolding contractor operating throughout the North of England with over 50 years of industry experience. As a family run business in its 3rd generation, Kirk Scaffolding has become renowned for supplying a quality tailored service, at a competitive price.

Jeremy Kirk, Director at Kirk Scaffolding:

“Having realised our IT System was no longer fit for purpose as our Business grew, we spoke to several Companies about replacing it. We were sufficiently impressed with the CMS Group to place our order with them.

The work was carried out at the agreed time and within the agreed time framework which was vital to our on going business. All work was carried out in a professional manner and we are more than happy to recommend CMS Group to anyone looking to upgrade or replace their IT Systems.”


Why CMS Group Partnership?

CMS Group have offices in London and Manchester with a Head Office based in Blackburn, which is local to Kirk Scaffolding.

Kirk Scaffolding were looking re-design their IT Environment due to an aging infrastructure which wasn’t meeting the growing needs of their company. CMS Group spent time to understand Kirk Scaffolding’s route business issues, the direction they wish to grow in, and how this may affect their IT and end users. By spending more time initially understanding their business CMS set a direction and strategic plan so that their IT could become cost effective and proactive, instead of a reactive fix which generally results in further issues over time.


CMS Group Provides…

CMS Group has recently completed Kirk Scaffolding’s IT Infrastructure refresh within the stringent budget and timescales initially presented in the project plan. The project was a great success and was completed without any unplanned downtime, because of this Kirk Scaffolding management had the confidence to engage with CMS as their IT Partner having now signed a complete support contact with CMS Group.

CMS Group act as Kirk Scaffolding’s IT Department and therefore are the single contact for any IT related issues. CMS work with Kirk Scaffolding to regularly review their IT strategy and ensure that it’s always aligned with the direction of the business, so as technology’s advances and their business changes their IT strategy will too.


CMS Group Lands Contract Success with QHotels!

Who Are QHotels?

QHotels have 27 beautiful 4 & 5 star Hotels, Conference Venues and Resorts throughout the UK, having been named AA Hotel Group of the Year 2014-15 and the No.1 UK Hotel Chain from Which?

David Kelly, IT Director at QHotels:

… I thought I should drop you a line to say how impressed I am with the team of engineers that are assisting us with the roll out … without a shadow of a doubt, had we engaged ‘standard’ engineers we would have struggled to complete this project within the time constraints put upon us … As a company you have obviously decided that recruitment based on a ‘can do’ attitude is as important as the IT skills of a particular engineer and for this you should be commended …

Why CMS Group Partnership?

CMS Group were selected to help QHotels manage their rapidly growing IT requirements for a selected number of Hotels within the group. As QHotels already have a technically strong team of Engineers, CMS Group were able to embrace their team and establish a close working relationship to ensure that all resource is managed to its full potential. By enabling QHotels Engineers to focus on designated jobs without disturbance, CMS Group’s Service Desk became the single point of contact and ownership, for all issues including 3rd parties. This enabled management to focus on the bigger picture having confidence that CMS facilitates IT to help drive the business forward.

CMS Group Provides…

CMS Group provide a Service Desk to a selected number of Hotels within the Group, providing support seven days per week, 06:00 – 22:00. This enables a single point of contact for all IT jobs from remote support, to engineers on site and all 3rd party application communications. However QHotels on site Engineers act as an on-site resource, this means that CMS picks up, logs and remotely fix the majority of calls, but when an on-site engineer is required, CMS liaise with QHotels on-site Engineers to provide seamless communication and fix. A portal is provided allowing both parties full visibility of the job lifecycle, delivering peace of mind so that no job is lost in transition.

CMS Group manages QHotels 3rd party application communications (Micros, etc.). As CMS Group have over 20 year’s experience in providing specialised IT support to the hospitality industry, CMS have formed extensive relationships with the major application vendors ensuring there are no gaps in Service Levels or Knowledge in supporting these.

CMS Group provide complete statistics on support, accessible anytime via a web portal such as:

  • Average time to answer
  • Average time to fix
  • Route cause analysis
  • 3rd Party Performance against their Contractual SLA’s



CMS Webinar: VDI Comparison

WEBINAR DATE: 24th OCTOBER 2014, 11am – 12pm

Join us for our interactive Webinar where Alex Thomson, Head of Professional Services at CMS reviews the 4 leading VDI technologies (Citrix, Microsoft, VMware & Redhat) and demonstrates how they have performed in our in-house assessment. If you are currently reviewing one of these VDI technologies this is a MUST attend webinar to see how it scored in our tests.

It is well documented that there are a number of key benefits to deploying a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure but there can also be many potential pitfalls when selecting the correct VDI Solution to best meet the needs of your business. There are so many variables and considerations it can be difficult to know where to start.

CMS are contacted regularly to provide advice and guidance around how best to go about addressing these issues. We have taken this a step further and performed our own in-house review and test of the key offerings and see how they address ‘Real World Scenarios’.

Key Points Covered during the Webinar Session:

  • Intro to main VDI Market Players
  • Key Drivers for deploying VDI
  • Review of each of the VDI solution architectures
  • Testing Criteria
  • Thin Client Performance across each technology
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for each Technology
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Summary on how each solution performed and final results from the tests

8 Great Webinars

We have hand picked what we believe to be the best, most relevant technology vendor webinars which our partners have run that you may find useful to view. If you are interested in other areas please email sales@cms-group.net and we will do our best to locate the relevant webinars. Alternatively, we can arrange a more detailed/personal discussion with our technical consultants should you wish. Read more

CISCO Meraki – Marshalls Park School Customer Case Study (wireless)

CMS Group are committed to working with best of breed vendors and informing our client base on the latest technologies and success of our partners. One such success has been that of Cisco Meraki and Marshalls Park School, of which we would like to invite you to a customer led webinar where the ICT Manager, Ricky Tomlins, talks and demonstrates live the value Marshall Park School have gained through this deployment.
Read more