A company which supplied many firms in the region with their first computers nearly 40 years ago has been busy keeping them connected and capable of facing up to the challenges of lockdown.
Golding Computer Services has also drawn on its infrastructure for remote working to maintain distance learning services to businesses – a project which the company carries out on behalf of HCUK with support from the Humber LEP’s investment of money from the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
In recent years Goldings has become well known for its training activities, which are headed by Di Garbera. Di has led the firm to countless awards for delivering the International Association of Bookkeepers’ computerised accounting for business courses including her own triumph as Tutor of the Year in 2018.
Businesses are impressed by the quality of the training and by the funding from the LEP which, combined with the distance learning option, enables staff to fit their training around work duties and domestic responsibilities.
Feedback from previous rounds of training demonstrates how the courses help businesses improve productivity and growth, and the message as employers embarked on lockdown was that even if you can’t work from home you can train at home.
Di said: “Remote training is used by people who can’t come to our office because of their location or maybe because of mobility issues.
“It also provides employers with a useful option if staff are suddenly required to work from home, whether through self-isolation, care for elderly or infirm relatives or staying with children because of illness or school closures.
“A key factor is that training is permitted under furlough and there’s no need to connect to an employer’s IT system. If the individual has an internet connection we can train them on their own PC. The big attractions are that it enables people to do something productive and get a qualification with experience in Sage and it can be 100 per cent funded.”
The training side dates back to the early 1980s when the founder, Vic Golding, built the foundations of the business by bringing together two of the biggest names in computing. Sage developed packages specifically designed for Amstrad computers. Vic sold them and he still recalls how the inability of customers to use the new-fangled machines led to a partnership with Hull City Council and the Department of Employment to introduce computers to business, write manuals and train staff.
But the sales and support side of the business continues to look after a client base ranging from sole traders to organisations of 50 or 60 people, some of which have been working with Goldings for more than 30 years.
Lockdown found the Goldings team at their most resourceful, drawing on their extensive knowledge from long-term partnerships with companies such as Microsoft and Avast and employing a variety of hardware, software and cloud services to facilitate and support home working for clients in a simple and secure way.
Di said: “Some businesses could see what was coming and they prepared early. Others needed urgent help as soon as the lockdown was announced. Many businesses have individuals who are experienced at working from home, but not entire organisations!”
“Our engineers were able to work from home throughout and even with the initial rush of work ensured we could provide good response times to the requests that came in. Some needed additional equipment, others needed better connectivity. When it started we were doing a lot of upgrades and refurbishments.
“The feedback has been excellent, with clients saying they could not have done their own jobs without our help. That’s important to us because our priority is to ensure our clients can keep working.
“We started as a small business ourselves, we’re still a small business and along the way we’ve helped many more small businesses. We understand small businesses, we know what’s important to them and we are aware that a technology issue which might seem minor can cause major frustrations, especially at times like this.”