University of Exeter Students’ Guild





Exeter, UK

No IT Users:


Delivery Partner:


Business Driver:

Infrastructure refresh

Zynstra’s solution provides us with all the IT we need, it is robust, reliable, fast and future proof. Because of Zynstra it feels like we have a much larger IT team but without the associated costs. My team have been empowered and are able achieve more for the Guild, we couldn’t be happier with the results.

Mark Johnson,
ICT Co-Ordinator

Business Profile

The University of Exeter Students’ Guild is the students’ union for all students at the University of Exeter’s Streatham and St. Luke’s campuses. The Guild exists to represent the voice of the student body to the University and works to ensure that every student gets the most out of their time at Exeter. Every student is automatically a member of the Students’ Guild and can access all the services and opportunities that it provides. The Students’ Guild provides support to students with problems they might be experiencing during their time at University and it is also a buzzing social hub – with more than 200 societies on campus.

Case Study

Like a lot of educational establishments, as part of a drive to consolidate our ICT we were looking to move to an O365 environment. We were attached to Exeter University’s Active Directory network and we would often have challenges keeping our licensing up to date. We had ageing hardware, open source solutions and were attached to the university’s infrastructure which did not meet our requirements. Our ICT wasn’t fit for purpose and didn’t enable us meet our objectives so it was time to completely consolidate and simplify our ICT and manage our own domain. We required a completely new Active Directory forest that would also connect to Office365.

In addition to the ICT challenges we also had resource challenges. Being a very small team with a lot to achieve, we knew we needed a solution that was manageable and that would stop us having to firefight– allowing us to be more proactive and less reactive. Cost of course was a factor, like any other businesses in the sector we have tight budgetary constraints and are always pushed to do things more cost effectively, more sustainably and more efficiently.

“We will have saved a predicted 86% over three years by outsourcing our IT solutions. We will realise these savings in the costs of software, hardware, staffing provision and the associated costs we would have faced with back up and disaster recovery considerations.”

Why Zynstra


We have been empowered since implementing the Zynstra solution. It’s like being given an ‘IT team’ to complement ours but without the associated costs. We certainly perform like a much bigger team and are able to achieve more for the Guild.


The Zynstra solution provides us with all the IT we need for a fixed monthly fee. What is even better is that since we have had the Cloud Managed Server appliance we estimate that we have saved 86% on our ICT costs over three years. We couldn’t be happier with the results.


We did lots of due diligence into finding the right solution for our business needs. The Zynstra Cloud Managed Server appliance was the only one that ticked all the boxes. It bridged the gap between the best of the Cloud and on-premises.


The Zynstra support team are second to none. Implementation was smooth and we receive proactive support and communication is excellent. If there is a problem – which is rare – we are told about it immediately and it is resolved quickly and with zero disruption.


Getting all the ICT management we need and having the ability to do everything we want gives us the flexibility to grow and flex our business in the future. In addition the solution is robust, reliable and fast. We have the resilience we need for business critical applications and we don’t need to worry about patching servers or back-up and recovery – the worry is taken away. It would have been impossible for us to manage our ICT like this ourselves had we gone down an alternative route.


Whilst we have outsourced our ICT solution we haven’t given away any control. We still have the power to make the decisions we want to and we are entirely supported. We have a fantastic relationship with Zynstra, they are an extension of our team.

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