TrueNorth’s flexible approach to consultancy and support provides PeoplePlus with a trusted technical partner during a time of rapid business change.

The client

PeoplePlus is a leading public service provider, providing employment support and training services to tens of thousands of people each year. The organisation helps people move into work by enabling them to gain the skills they need to make them employable, providing them with real work experience or helping them onto a traineeship or apprenticeship. The aim is to support people into independence, into work and onwards into career progression

The organisation operates across five main divisions: Employment, Skills, Health & Wellbeing, Justice and Independent Services. There are over 150 PeoplePlus locations, in the UK and internationally.

The challenge

Reacting to a rapidly evolving market, PeoplePlus have a disparate estate of IT systems. This, combined with a move away from an in-house IT function, means the organisation requires a trusted, flexible technical partner to assist them with their IT requirements.

With a goal of reducing their dependency on internal resources while maintaining a high level of service to the business and ensuring continuity, People Plus sought a partner who could offer strong technical skills and problem-solving abilities across a disparate set of under-documented systems, backed by a solid service level agreement.

The solution

TrueNorth’s relationship with PeoplePlus has evolved over a number of years. Originally part of the team developing a complex Dynamics CRM system to support the delivery of their Work Programme contract, the relationship has evolved into a deep technical partnership.

For over four years we have worked as trusted partners, with PeoplePlus drawing down on a pool of TrueNorth consulting days to assist with a broad range of issues:

  • Support and extend the organisation’s legacy business applications.
  • Initial development of the Connect 4 Work Microsoft Dynamics CRM-based system, which is used to manage People Plus Work Programme contracts. TrueNorth subsequently implemented several major updates to reflect changes in working practice and claim rules.
  • Issue resolution for TRACK, a legacy system built in .Net and SQL Server. The system is used to manage a contract with the UK Prison Service. TrueNorth have resolved a number of issues with the system, resulting in the recovery of tens of thousands of pounds of previously lost claim revenue.
  • Develop new systems to support new contracts.
  • Development of the Carer’s Hub Portal, a web portal to support both young and adult carers in the Stoke and Staffordshire area. By integrating an Angular single page application into the main SharePoint site, the portal provides carers with an interactive dashboard where they can manage their workloads and interact with the main Dynamics CRM back office system.
  • Development of the ILS Portal, a SharePoint-based portal allowing external stakeholders in the ILS programme to interact with the Dynamics CRM back office system.
  • Troubleshooting and architectural guidance.

As PeoplePlus outsource more of their activity, TrueNorth are enhancing their offering to the organisation with an additional SLA-based support model.

Benefits to PeoplePlus

By building a long-term relationship with TrueNorth, PeoplePlus have benefited from a trusted technical partner with a deep knowledge of their business processes and systems. TrueNorth’s flexible approach enables fast adaptation to PeoplePlus’ evolving business model.

By transitioning to a more formal support arrangement, TrueNorth’s service level agreement (SLA) gives People Plus the contractual assurance of guaranteed response times based on issue severity, backed by TrueNorth’s technical expertise.

Working with TrueNorth doesn’t feel working with an external agency. It feels as if we have a trusted and integrated IT team of our own. TrueNorth are highly flexible and responsive, and have taken the time and care to understand our company and our systems thoroughly. Staff across our organisation are confident thatTrueNorth will provide swift and accurate solutions to a whole range of different situations.   The TrueNorth team’s dedication and work ethic make them a very easy company to work with, and we are happy to rely on them for an expanding range of services.

Jill Scott, Project Manager, PeoplePlus