IP Sentinel have a unique insight into the why’s and how’s of IT Systems, based on our experience in building services and support for major Funds and having been an FCA regulated start-up business owner. IP Sentinel is born of having run IT infrastructures for a number of major Inter Dealer Brokers, Hedge Funds, starting and growing a quant fund and a retail Structured Products Company.
Having lived it, we know that small financial services companies are agile and fast moving so speed and flexibility is the name of the game. These companies are very service orientated, requiring a system that is available, and works NOW and is supported by people who know what they are doing.
Regulation, Regulation, Regulation
Regulation is important! Being regulated is difficult, as whilst you can outsource the delivery of a function you cannot outsource the responsibility for it. We know this and realise that your continued Regulatory status relies on our service delivery.
The FCA Principles and the SYSC handbook in particular have deep implications on IT Systems, company policies, requirements around data monitoring and data retention. IP Sentinel has lived through this, understands what the FCA requires and delivers appropriate IT to our customers. Not only do we arrange and supply your IT with FCA compliant business continuity, data retention, voice recording and archiving, we will also provide all the policies, procedures and DDQ input you will require as part of Fund Raising or Regulation.
Our Approach – No Lock In
IP Sentinel approach IT systems from a different place than our peer group. Having both worked for, and built, customer facing regulated businesses that have experienced rapid growth in staff and breadth of business, we believe that you should have a system with no lock in.
If you decide at 2 or 20 users that you would like to manage the system yourself, and trust us you will want to manage it all yourself eventually, you should be able to.
IT management is a difficult thing to get right so we will be with you as you grow. The benefit of our approach is that you have the flexibility to introduce new systems or to hire relevant staff without having to re-negotiate a monolithic services agreement that may not be fit for purpose. It is also easy to run a plan and budget against it. Our virtual CTO service give you the comfort that somebody has your IT systems back without the conflict of maximising an outsourced relationship.
Your IT Prime Contractor
As your virtual CTO we act as a prime contractor, much like the project manager on a building site, we assemble an appropriate range of suppliers that we take the responsibility for.
Unlike the majority of outsource providers we do not hide the fact that we are organising a wide range of trades on your behalf. We are proud of the fact that we have a broad range of relationships we can leverage to deliver you great service. All our relationships with the suppliers are clear, there are no back hand deals or commission targets to hit.
Relevant Suppliers with Long Term Ties
Our business model is to introduce a set of appropriate contractors, negotiate the best deal for you, arrange appropriate back to back service levels, and have you contract directly with the key suppliers. This means that you have the ultimate ability to remove & replace any part of the solution as you grow and begin to take ownership of it.
We ensure that any contract has the requisite conditions that will allow IP Sentinel to manage the service on your behalf.
IP Sentinel has used every one of the suppliers over a 20 year period of Financial Systems IT. They all share our opinion that service is everything.
What we offer
For you, as the client, it is a turnkey solution, we provide a full PC build with a Microsoft Desktop and a VoIP telephone, printers & scanners. We arrange in-office and internet connectivity with appropriate firewalls and content filtering, hosted Microsoft Exchange email with full FCA compliant archive and retention service wrapped around it. We monitor your systems remotely to ensure that they are healthy and fix them if they are not. If you need servers for a specific job we will provision them. If you need help with selecting a CRM or Fund Accounting Package we will assist you.
Support is key
We operate a telephone based Help Desk service that aims to answer the phone within 10 rings and remotely start work on the issue within 10 minutes. If it can’t be fixed remotely we aim to have someone on site within an hour. We will also have an engineer visit your site at least once a week to mop up any lingering issues.