The company was bought 23 years ago by Managing Director, Simon, who throughout his early years had been a keen rugby player along with his elder brother. Having played for the Penzance and Newlyn Pirates from the Minis to Juniors, he eventually to join the army at 16. When he took the reins at Microcomms more than 23 years ago, he was keen for the company to do its bit to support the Pirates and in the years since, not only have we continued to grow and thrive as a Cornish authority on all things IT, we have also evolved into a fundamental partner of the popular Cornish Pirates team. And even today, with his two elder sons involved in the Penzance & Newlyn Rugby Club (aka, the U15’s and Colts divisions of the Pirates) and the new edition ‘Felix’ looking to make his ‘tag debut’ in a couple of years, it’s a partnership that remains close to Simon’s heart.
Our relationship with the Pirates began with our involvement as a smaller, periphery sponsor during Martin Scrase’s tenure, but over time we have proven the value of a strong and cohesive IT strategy with all of the Senior Management and CEOs of the club. With the growing scale of contributions equating to larger exposure throughout the ground, Microcomms have been privileged to work with Dicky Evans and the Cornish Pirates. In other words, we are now a Premier Sponsor – a contra-deal that sees us provide the pecuniary value of our sponsorship via services as a technology partner.
Today, our role is to manage and safeguard the Pirates’ IT assets (both physical and virtual), and at the same time provide monitoring and consultancy services to ensure that the IT strategy is not only robust, but also optimised to perform to the team’s advantage.
We achieve all of this via a comprehensive suite of services. These include: Microsoft Office Applications, covering Office 365 and email hosting; the management of antivirus software and firewall protection to ensure cyber security; a reliable broadband connection; server support, management and maintenance; ongoing SLA tech support, including scheduled network health checks and other ad-hoc services; Audio Visual (AV) Solutions, covering both the maintenance of the digital signage and scoreboard, and the curation of signage content, including sponsor content and advertising; the installation of fibre cabling; and Wi-Fi across the ground, including the installation of access points, as well as links that ‘beam’ Wi-Fi to different areas of the ground.
In return, we are afforded sponsorship of one of the players (scrum half Ruaridh Dawson) and are included within the half-time advertising on the scoreboard. Pre-match interviews on social media feature our branding, and we are allotted pitch-side banners on which to advertise. We also have a Microcomms stand in the stadium, are given a handful of Match Day and Match Ball Sponsorships, and have our branding printed on the reusable match-day cups!
In short, it’s a great deal for both parties, but as we all know, when it comes to IT, it’s not always straightforward. There are always problems to solve and crises to be avoided. As an example, let’s take the seemingly unlikely problem of geography. The Cornish Pirates are synonymous with Penzance and its historic relationship with the sea. And while you may at first wonder what issues the Pirates’ proximity to the water might present to us as IT specialists, when you consider that the digital scoreboard on display at Mennaye Grounds (the Penzance stadium) is worth over £100,000, and then factor in the kind of conditions that it’s exposed to being so close to the coast, you may not be surprised to learn that the equipment does, in fact, require constant maintenance. This includes replacement of the specialist components housed within the display, as well as extensive testing to ensure it’s all working correctly when it comes to game days. This is critical for the Pirates, as a large portion of their income relies on digital advertising displays from both local and national league sponsors.
To help combat the weather, as a service, we offer AV Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM), which ensures that regular testing and auditing of AV equipment is carried out in order to significantly reduce the threat of hardware failure. We offer this not only on large, £100,000 digital scoreboards – which are, after all, a niche example here in Cornwall – but also on a smaller scale, usually included within a Service Level Agreement (SLA). It’s also used by many of our global clients to manage their AV assets and therefore ensure that critical points in their missions are not subject to equipment failure.
Our role at The Cornish Pirates is a comprehensive one, and it’s not always easy. But it is, we believe, testament to the quality of the services we can provide to organisations of all sizes. And in an age where a decent connection and a slick, reliable IT strategy have never been so key to the way in which the modern world does business, it’s reassuring to know just how achievable they are – even in Cornwall.
“It was great to have you and your team on site to install the equipment. You did a great job, both in making everything work, but also in handling a very difficult situation with sense of urgency and reassurance. I am impressed.
Your effort is highly appreciated.
, Reckitt Vienna
“Microcomms provide us with fantastic on-site and remote support. Nothing is ever too much trouble and all issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently. They have provided strategic insight into improving our infrastructure as well as maintaining our provision on a daily basis, always ensuring education and pupil's best interests are at the forefront of all actions.”.
Head Teacher, Ludgvan Primary School
“Microcomms epitomizes partnership, collaboration, clarity and support. During our most recent project there were a number of challenges that we needed to overcome in order to deliver our project on time and within budget. Microcomms went above and beyond, expanded their remit and reach for their role of Project Support and Management to assist in finding the best possible solutions and possibilities to ensure our project was delivered. The service and offering was nothing shor”.
Head of IT and D, Reckitt South Africa
“Aaron and his associates were wonderful to work with during all phases of opening up our new office! They were informative and took the time to explain how some of the new technology worked (in “layman’s terms”) with patience and hands on demonstrations. The team followed up with notes afterwards and was very thorough and never failed to address any questions or issues we had even after they departed. Super personable as well, they felt like family before they left! Enjoyed working with them! ”.
Office Coordinator, Reckitt Rogers, AR
“We continue to be impressed by Microcomms’ know how, expertise and professional yet down to earth and pragmatic style. Consultancy projects are well managed and I’d recommend their services to anyone.”.
IT Manager, Coodes Solicitors
“In our sporting hospitality business, customers expect great WiFi as well as fantastic golf. Microcomms have helped us meet our clients high expectations and ensure that visitors coming to Trevose have an all-round excellent experience. The team have worked really hard across all areas and we’re very happy with the service we’ve had.”.
Managing Director, Trevose Golf & Country Club
“There aren’t many Cornwall-based companies that can claim to have hands on experienced providing network connectivity to a Malaysian hut in the middle of a rainforest!”.
ICT Manager, The Eden Project