Waterman Aspen

Client: Waterman Aspen

Industry: Staffing solutions consultancy providing technical and professional personnel to clients in the engineering industry

Employees: 180

Established: 1988

Offices: 7 UK & 15 worldwide

Annual turnover: £8million


  • Help client resist a sharp downturn in business with a company-wide IT modernisation
  • Provide fast access to specialist recruitment software
  • Provide secure access to central database for multi-site mobile workers, throughout the UK


  • Workflow tasks made quicker, simpler and more consistent via partnership with industry-leading recruitment software provider
  • All remote workers given fast and failsafe remote access to central database via laptops
  • Able to dispense with out-of-date hosted SharePoint server
  • Ongoing access to latest versions of all software



Last year Waterman Aspen’s business was halved in the space of twelve months. “Cutbacks in the public sector where many of our clients operate, meant that the recession hit us hard” says MD Chris Chaplin.

Getting rid of IT distractions

Waterman Aspen had been tied into their old hosted SharePoint server for years; without ongoing investment and expert upkeep, it had led them to become out-of-date. “We were over-reliant on offline methods of doing business”, Chaplin recalls.

“We went into survival mode and the inadequacies of our IT capability became apparent. We knew Cloud computing was the way forward for our largely field-based business. ThinHost® has allowed us to speed up and given us a huge boost in performance.” All Waterman Aspen’s applications and data are now stored and accessed via the Internet – also known as ‘Cloud computing’. “We can forget about servers, systems, security, spam, software licences; it’s taken away a lot of risks and distractions and we can just get on with business.”

ThinHost® Founder Ricky Reemer says “With ThinHost® you don’t manage your IT system, in fact you don’t even own an IT system. You’re basically subscribing to a fully managed, fully supported, fully secure IT service, all you really have to think about is your PCs, laptops or smartphones – however you want to access the Internet.” On screen, end users of ThinHost’s® ‘virtual hosted desktop service’ see the standard Windows desktop and can still access all the usual MS Office software such as Word and Excel – as well as any industry-specific software required.

Professional software, predictable costs

In a move to standardize processes as well as speed things up, Waterman Aspen also migrated onto specialist recruitment software Influence. ThinHost® partners with Influence and other sector-leading software providers, to give clients a kind of one-stop-shop: an IT solution that combines niche software, fast access from anywhere and total reliability. “All the Influence and Microsoft software licences are bundled into a set monthly sum,” says Chaplin, “so we always have the latest versions of everything without expensive upgrades and installations. Our monthly IT costs are totally visible and predictable.”

Enterprise-grade IT

ThinHost® also has built-in anti-virus safeguards and anti-spam software. Reemer says “Most SMEs simply wouldn’t be able to afford the enterprise-grade features and robustness that come with ThinHost® as standard if they were to implement their own in-house IT system. For example, ThinHost® replicates all data to standby equipment in a backup data centre, providing a complete disaster recovery solution for all customers”.

Working fast

With many of their personnel employed on salaried contracts, Waterman Aspen supply them to clients on secondment – all over the UK. Placed personnel are often then responsible for further local recruitment and they need fast access to central resources like the CVs database, communications log and employment contracts. With a Cloud-based solution, access is as fast as when your files and apps are sitting on your own laptop, smartphone or tablet – but without the security risk. Employees have little patience when it comes to IT that can’t keep up with them; Cloud computing can boost performance and job satisfaction. After a tough period, Chaplin sees Waterman Aspen moving out of recovery mode in the next 12 months.

Grows when you grow

Though headcount has gone down this year for Waterman Aspen, they require a high degree of flexibility in their IT capacity. “Our clients often require whole teams of temporary staff for short periods so we need our IT to be easily scaleable; with ThinHost® we can instantly add and remove users whenever we need to expand or decrease numbers; the additional cost per user is easy to quantify.”

The new IT department

Like many ThinHost® clients, Waterman Aspen found they were able to drastically reduce their internal IT resource; most clients in fact end up releasing all their IT contractors. Every end-user has online and phone access to a dedicated UK-based customer support team. According to Chaplin “The helpline guys were very professional when we were setting up and it went very smoothly. In fact the only stumbling block we had with migration was the company hosting our old server, as they didn’t make it easy for us to leave. You can’t blame them for not wanting to lose business.”

“Since all the computing power and software is at the other end – in the Cloud – our employees now need nothing more than a basic laptop or tablet and an Internet connection,” concludes Chaplin.








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