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Nulon know how important a smooth running engine is. They’ve been creating a range of specialist motor oils and additives for the best part of four decades. When friction was created after transitioning from an internal IT team to a managed service provider, Nulon chose to seek advice on the best way forward, rather than turn back.

Nulon selected First Focus to be their IT partner following the departure of some experienced IT staff. However, during onboarding with First Focus, it quickly became apparent there was a lack of support documentation to manage Nulon’s 30 strong server environment.

The initial experience wasn’t pleasant for either Nulon or First Focus. Within six months a meeting was called, as Evelyn Zappia, Business Systems Manager at Nulon explains.

“We had a meeting and both sides were very open and honest about how they were feeling. We had to decide whether to look at the infrastructure and applications we were using, so we could be well supported by First Focus, or if we were going to end our engagement.”


vCIO IT Review – the smart choice

Following the meeting, it was decided that Nulon would use First Focus’ vCIO consulting service to conduct a strategic review of their IT.

“Everyone in the management team was interviewed and it was very positively received within the business,” said Evelyn

Nulon were presented with a long term project plan to help them better use technology to make a difference in their business.

The presentation to our GM and myself was explained in a very functional way using the First Focus seven layers of IT.

“We were then able to present a shorter version to the rest of our management team. It was a great way to explain to non-technical people what needed to be done,” said Evelyn.

The strategic IT review proved a turning point for Nulon’s IT operations and relationship with First Focus. The IT strategy set a new direction to simplify Nulon’s systems and allow internal experts to focus on their business systems.

“Having a set of fresh eyes, not constrained by our methods or way of thinking, was valuable. It gave us a very technical, in-depth resource and allowed us to evaluate their recommendations. They have a much broader experience, having dealt with many organisations like us, so they are able to provide that opinion and offer us options we may never have thought about,” explained Evelyn.

Focus on what matters most

A key objective was to remove Evelyn from the day-to-day IT management to focus on Nulon’s core business applications. To encourage staff to adopt First Focus as their own IT department, Nulon used their First Focus Technical Account Manager to brief the staff on the new IT plans.

“That was a great outcome from the vCIO engagement,” said Evelyn

Nulon has followed its new IT strategy for the past six months. Key priorities have included the completion of a data back-up project and implementing Office 365. The largest project, their server consolidation, is scheduled to commence shortly.

Shared vision drives IT success

Asked what advice she would tell others about Nulon’s experience, Evelyn replied;

“If transitioning from an internal IT to an outsourced provider I’d make use of on-site techs to transition users slowly. The first couple of months will seem difficult, but it gets better. It’s like starting in a new job, it takes everyone a while to get comfortable.”

Looking back on the turn-around from a difficult start, Evelyn discusses the importance of honest, open communication.

“We appreciate that First Focus really worked with us. Most organisations would not have had that transparent conversation. First Focus showed us how to work with them so the relationship could be fruitful. A lot of organisations would not have taken the extra effort to make it work.”


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