Pearson is ‘the world’s leading learning company’. With over 45,000 staff, it provides digital content and learning experiences, assessments and qualifications to almost 200 countries worldwide.
ADAPTING TO CONTINUOUS CHANGE
Pearson works with educational institutions, employers and governments worldwide to provide educational content, courses assessments and qualifications. In the UK, it’s best known as the parent of exam board Edexcel.
The global learning market is worth around £5tn today, and forecast to reach £7tn by 2030. It’s also changing constantly and rapidly, driven by advances in technology. As one of the world leaders, Pearson is always evolving, too, as it seeks to drive shareholder value, create sustainable growth and contribute to a more equitable world. In particular, it’s pursuing a digital-first approach, using AI-based content that’s easier for learners to locate and consume.
For 15 years, Pearson has relied on Acora to provide consistent, reliable second-line (desktop) end user support in this turbulent environment, through our Flexible Support service.
FLEXIBILITY AND CONTINUITY
Flexible Support is exactly that: access to our expertise when you need it, for as long as you need it. Clients benefit from rapid deployment, with our reliable, experienced staff working on-site or remotely. Our second-line support for Pearson covers desktops, laptops, mobile devices, server room hardware and AV equipment, plus VIP support.
Flexible Support contract periods are negotiated individually and clients pay only for the time we work; there are no fixed charges or hidden extras. It’s the ideal solution for addressing peaks in demand and staff absences, backfilling vacancies and adding resources on specific projects.
With Pearson, we’ve evolved a bespoke model on a rolling 12-month contract. In recent years, we’ve allocated seven staff on a ‘six-plus-one’ basis: All permanently on-site, the 7th head is the built-in cover resilience to protect capacity through planned or unplanned absence, and charged for only if and when someone is absent. This enables assurance of resource in the event of absence and also increased capacity to Pearson at no additional cost when there is no absence within the team.
“Other companies we’ve worked with would just send someone in to cover, but it’s really inefficient for Pearson: they don’t know us or our systems, and it takes half the day just getting them logged in,” says Regional Desk Side IT Manager for EMEA, Taqi Zaidi, who’s been our contact at Pearson for all 15 years. “With Acora, we don’t have that problem: the person is always skilled-up and fully familiar with us, so we don’t lose productivity. That reliability and flexibility is really important. There’s always someone available when we need them: we’ve never had to call and ask.”
PART OF THE FAMILY
Over the past 15 years, our relationship with Pearson has grown into a genuine partnership. “I see Acora people as part of the family. I never differentiate between them and our own staff; when we migrated from Google to Office 365, they took part in our internal training and learned everything our own full-time people did,” says Taqi. “We’ve had maybe 100 different Acora engineers working with us over the years and they’ve all loved it here; in fact, none of them wanted to leave!”
Ben Whitehead, our Head of Project & Support Services, has managed the account since the very start. Taqi points to that continuity as another key element in the relationship’s success. “It’s great working with Ben; he understands exactly what we need, and he’ll put someone forward to work with us only when he’s satisfied they meet our requirements,” he says. “Whenever we have issues to address or difficult decisions to make, I can call him 24/7 and know it will be actioned quickly. That really builds trust.”
For his part, Ben says: “We’ve worked with hundreds of Flexible Service clients over the years, but our 15 years of uninterrupted partnership with Pearson is unique. The flexibility we can offer is ideally suited to Pearson’s constantly evolving business model and sector; at the same time, we provide a measure of stability and continuity that allows it to innovate and pursue new opportunities from a secure base.”
If you’d like to find out more about what we’re doing and how it could help your organisation, please get in touch here.
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