WILTSHIRE Air Ambulance (WAA) has signed a five year deal with Wiltshire IT services and solutions expert Mintivo to be its strategic IT partner.

The charity, which provides a lifesaving helicopter emergency medical service across Wiltshire, Bath and surrounding areas, said it was looking for a new IT partner to support its lifesaving service and that Mintivo was successful because it demonstrated a clear understanding of its needs. The Lacock company will be supporting the charity’s service with a 24/7 resilient and stable network as well as providing essential staff training.

Mintivo Commercial Director Alex Jukes said that as the Semington charity has no IT department of its own, his firm’s ability to cover every aspect of support, training and guidance on strategic development was key to its winning the contract.

“I think the key thing for them was working with a local business that aligned to their values and had expertise in the charity sector, and with the NHS,” he said.

“We’re able to provide that 24/7 capability, which is what they need because obviously they are working 365 days a year. If there is an issue with their network or systems they need to know that they’ve got a partner who is always available and understands the intricacies and nuances of how they operate, otherwise it might stop their pilots from being able to take off and at that point it could become a life or death scenario.

“So for them, it is really about having confidence in a provider with proven capability in the market, with values which align to theirs and a partner who sees them as a valuable customer.”

The charity needs to raise £4.5 million a year, the equivalent of more than £12,000 every day, to keep its Bell 429 helicopter in the air and critical care car on the road. During 2023 it was called to 1,167 missions, an average of three per day.

Mr Jukes said that as the charity is already forward thinking in its IT provision, part of Mintivo’s role will be to help it get more out of its technology to save staff time and money. “They run a slick operation generally anyway, and you’d expect them to because of that critical service element,” he said.

“From an IT point of view, they’re in a fairly good place and they just want to continue to leverage some of the technologies in their business better and maximiser their investment, particularly around Microsoft.

“A key thing for us to continually assess with our charity customers is how are we going to add value? How is technology going to allow it to do better fundraising, deliver better services? Can we create efficiencies from automation, or increase productivity through a better use of technology? Any money saved can potentially then can go back into the charity’s funds. So it’s all about using technology to gain more efficiencies.”

He said Mintivo, which was formed in 2018 and offers managed IT support, consultancy, cyber security and automation, will ensure its IT helpdesk is available online round the clock, while staff will be at the charity’s Semington base regularly to answer queries. “As with our other customers, our personal approach and attention to detail mean we are almost seen as ‘in house’ by clients,” he said.

WAA Director of Finance and Infrastructure Danielle Friend said: “When we undertook an exercise to tender for our IT services, the intention was not only to find a strategic partner who would look after the infrastructure and general IT requirements, but one who would assist in bringing innovative ideas to life. Being an IT partner is no longer about just setting up users and sending emails, especially as the Microsoft 365 applications have become such a powerful tool for change and advancement.

“We went through the tendering process as a team and Mintivo were the clear winners. We believe Mintivo will help us achieve our ambitious plans around data and automation, and very much look forward to working with them over the next five years.”

Mr Jukes said: “We are really proud to be working with a prestigious charity that is so well respected and loved across the county, and one that saves so many lives.”

Find out more about the charity at wiltshireairambulance.co.uk and about Mintivo’s services at Mintivo.co.uk.

Pictured: Wiltshire Air Ambulance doctor Reuben Cooper, left, pilot George Williams, Mintivo  Commercial Director Alex Jukes, Service Director Jason Lovell and Operations Manager Hannah Saunders and Wiltshire Air Ambulance Finance Director Danielle Friend and Critical Care Paramedic Craig Wilkins with the charity’s Bell 429 helicopter

Pictured: Wiltshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Paramedic Craig Wilkins showing Mintivo’s team around the charity’s Bell 429 helicopter. Last year it and the charity’s critical care car were called to 1,167 missions, an average of three per day