Head office in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

England Hockey is the National Governing Body (NGB) for hockey in England. It is responsible for the management and development of the sport from grassroots to elite activities. England Hockey has a membership comprising clubs (800+), counties (45) and regions (6 including the Combined Services) which affiliate to it. Around 140,000 individuals play regularly in the club system with an estimated 15,000 playing at university/college. Over 15,000 coaches, umpires and officials are supported and developed by the NGB, which employs 84 staff.

Its aim is to grow the awareness of hockey within the country, working with regional clubs and helping them to build their membership.

Key Outcomes

  • Transition to a fully managed IT service
  • Migrate systems to cloud
  • Upgrade to Microsoft Office 365
  • Simplify IT environment

The Challenge

This National Governing Body wanted to make the most of cloud computing. We were instructed to provide a managed IT service, migrate its IT infrastructure to the cloud, and upgrade to Microsoft Office 365. The result is a well-managed and simplified IT infrastructure.

England Hockey wanted to migrate its IT systems into the cloud with a managed infrastructure. The sporting body had become frustrated with its incumbent IT support provider due to high costs and an unwillingness to embrace the change of a transition to Office 365. Following a tendering process, Microtrading was selected for its cloud expertise, customer service reputation and cost-effective offering.

England Hockey case study

Moving over to Air IT’s (formerly known as Microtrading) managed service had its teething problems but these stemmed primarily from the faults of our previous providers who had done so little in terms of updates. Once these were overcome, we found that we were now making fewer calls to resolve IT problems than we had done previously. Air IT’s Birmingham team has made it easier to fulfil our IT security obligations and improve our security too. I was impressed with Microtrading’s expertise in security and in the GDPR, which is immensely important to us. We are subject to safeguarding and child protection legislation, in addition to the GDPR. Air IT is now helping us with encrypting our emails, as further protection to the data we hold and send inside our wider network. The team at Air IT works really well alongside our other contractors and has been very accommodating. Recently we had to undertake an update of our Sage software. Our previous experience with such an update would place myself as middle man for the installation process, but with Microtrading I was able to put them in touch with the relevant people at Sage and they did the rest.

Graham Royle
IT & Business Systems Manager, England Hockey

England Hockey testimonial

The Air IT Approach

With proven experience in the sports sector, Air IT’s Birmingham team (formerly known as Microtrading) carried out an initial consultation and IT audit to better understand and identify areas of immediate and future improvement based on England Hockey’s requirements.

A report was then produced detailing recommendations including upgrades and migration to Office 365 to increase flexibility.

Air IT Birmingham also recommended simplifying the IT environment alongside the migration of systems to the cloud, and introducing stringent safety and security measures to protect their association stakeholders and members.

The Outcome

England Hockey now has a well-managed and simplified IT infrastructure, which has been moved to the cloud.

Working on Microsoft Office 365 has opened up many possibilities for the client, allowing them to significantly reduce the number of computer issues experienced by users, and increase the flexibility and agility of their IT.

England Hockey has circa 80+ users on its network, but an extended family of 1000s of people – including coaches, umpires and players. Cloud-based email was a high priority for the client, allowing them to avoid any downtime of the email servers and to make it easier to create and access mailboxes for projects.


Special Projects

England Hockey expressed that they were subject to stricter safeguarding requirements around data security due to the age of some of their members. Working closely with England Hockey, Air IT’s Birmingham team were able to provide a tailored data security solution that helped them met the additional compliancy needs of data protection, so they would fulfil their IT security obligations. Whilst introducing new security protocols for GDPR compliance, Air IT developed additional security measures that meet stricter safeguarding and child protection legislation.

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