A North East tech consultancy has adapted its business model during the pandemic to support SMEs and the new legion of home workers.

Wilson-Etheridge, a Microsoft 365 specialist, has launched a new Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) service, to provide quick, high-impact support and interventions for those companies with limited budgets as well as people now working from home who rely on their technology.

Director Daniel Wilson explained: “Our original plan remains the same; we still typically work on monthly or annual contracts for corporates; but we have expanded our offer. We’re being more flexible in an uncertain economic climate, trying to support the smaller companies and those people now working from home.

“Prior to COVID-19 striking and the lockdown we were getting a steady range of work from corporates and reasonably large companies. Much of it was direct and some through IT providers.

“For many of our larger clients, the new incentive for them is to accelerate digital transformation plans. Lockdown has shown many companies the critical importance of resilient IT systems and the need to automate more process-led operations.

“While we continue to work with a global recruitment group as well as an international oil and gas safety specialist, we’re now starting to see an interest in cloud services and support from smaller companies.”

It was during lockdown that Wilson-Etheridge launched the PAYG service to support companies working in a Microsoft 365 environment. It was a move that recognised that a lot of companies need tech support but are reluctant to commit to fixed monthly or annual fees when times might be hard.

Daniel added: “It’s a simple offer that most SMEs get. Small enterprises need flexibility and cost-effective solutions. We allow customers to pay by the hour – whether it’s troubleshooting, support or development. They simply pay as they use our service.

“They’re not locked into any contract – there’s zero commitment for the user. It’s perfect for a start-up, a small business or even those people working remotely from home – which is only likely to increase. We can help – supporting them remotely or on-site.”

Based in Houghton-le-Spring, Wilson-Etheridge intends to grow its regional network of sub-contractors and eventually start to recruit a small direct team of Microsoft 365 specialists.

Daniel said: “Whatever the health of the economy, there is always a need to develop and maintain technical systems and equipment across all businesses.”