QuoStar launches new on-demand CIO Service in shake up of digital transformation consulting

The CIO Service - Blanchards Bailey Client Spotlight

Leading IT consultancy QuoStar has announced the launch of a CIO Service that will deliver on-demand access to top-level IT leadership on a flexible, cost-effective basis.

QuoStar’s solution will provide businesses with a dedicated, experienced CIO-level Consultant who will work in partnership with the senior leadership team to ensure IT continually delivers measurable results. Businesses will benefit from a board-level understanding of performance and receive a clear roadmap for future tech investment and improvements. As a result, they will be able to reduce unnecessary spend, enhance client service delivery and engagement, and gain a lasting advantage over competitors. Based on co-sourced arrangements, this is a fresh approach to bringing external expertise into the business. It’s backed by QuoStar’s Outcome Assured™ guarantee, giving peace of mind that the expected results will be achieved.

IT investments require continuous management and businesses must consider them strategically to deliver the expected returns. While enterprise businesses can employ and retain highly skilled and experienced IT professionals to plan and lead their IT functions, many mid-market businesses cannot, even though the need for professional IT advice is just as great. QuoStar has recognised this challenge and has developed a service that effectively acts in place of the top-level internal CIO position while delivering the benefits of a full, expert external team.

The CIO Service will be headed by Chris White, Head of Consultancy at QuoStar and former Global CIO at international law firms, such as Clyde & Co, HFW and Ashurst. He leads a team of experienced IT leaders who have built and run complex IT environments across many sectors.

Chris comments:

“Technology is increasingly critical to the success of every business. The competitive landscape is changing in most sectors, clients require higher levels of service from their suppliers and remote working looks like it’s here to stay. Technology must be considered as a strategic asset. There’s no getting around the fact that transformation can be expensive, complex and time-consuming. But if you do it right it can provide a significant competitive advantage to your organisation.  We’re delighted to launch the CIO Service, which will help businesses to get the most out of their investments and move their IT estate forward.”

QuoStar has seen an immediate uptake of interest and has recently signed UK law firm, Blanchards Bailey to the service. The firm is already reaping the benefits of working with a dedicated CIO-level Consultant to drive their IT forward.

Paul Dunlop, Managing Partner at Blanchards Bailey, comments:

“At Blanchards Bailey we recognised the strategic importance of technology and its potential to deliver a significant competitive advantage and better client service. As lawyers, we don’t have all the necessary skills to achieve the results we want and therefore we partner with specialist IT firms to deliver the very best secure systems. We have recently partnered with QuoStar, to provide us with a Chief Information Officer Service, providing the board with strategic IT knowledge and expertise. QuoStar gives us the technical, operational, and strategic skillsets of a highly experienced senior IT professional, but on a basis that fits our firm’s needs and budget. We’re in the early stages of our partnership, but the initial reviews have already delivered dividends and we look forward to working with QuoStar on a long-term basis.”

Get more from your IT with a strategy, on-demand CIO-level Consultant: We help businesses to us IT to gain security, stability and a competitive advantage in a rapidly developing marketplace. Click here to find out more.

QuoStar receives prestigious Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Award

QuoStar achieves Silver Employer Recognition Scheme Award

QuoStar has achieved the silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Award as part of its work with the Armed Forces Covenant.

Following QuoStar’s attendance at a CTP Careers Fair in Newbury in March 2018, Chairman Dr John Knowles signed the Covenant on behalf of the business at a military event in Bournemouth. As a result, QuoStar joined 2,400 other UK businesses that have also made a commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.

About the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Award

The ERS encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant. To achieve the silver award, QuoStar had to meet a rigid set of criteria. This includes building awareness of the positive policies towards issues affecting defence people, showing support for military mobilisations, and having a framework in place should an employee be mobilised.

RT Hon Tobias Ellwood MP comments: “I am delighted to congratulate the recipients of this year’s Employer Recognition Scheme Silver awards. A Silver award recognises the fantastic efforts of employers throughout the UK who have both elevated their commitments under the Armed Forces Covenant and provided actual benefit to the Armed Forces Community.  The winners should all be proud of the life-changing impact and fresh opportunities they are providing to our Reservists, veterans, wounded injured and sick and their families. We’ve seen a record number of winners this year, which shows that the Armed Forces family talent pool is also providing tangible business benefit.”

QuoStar actively promotes itself as a forces-friendly business, supporting the employment of veterans by working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) and, where possible, facilitating the employment of Service spouses and partners. QuoStar also supports employees who choose to become members of the Reserve Forces, accommodating their training and deployment as needed.

This announcement supports QuoStar’s continued efforts to build a talented team at every level. Since 2015, the business has established a hugely successful apprenticeship programme and continues to seek out the best individuals from a diverse group of candidates to help grow the company.

Robert Rutherford, CEO of QuoStar, comments:

“Everyone should have an opportunity to find a role where they can succeed and utilise their skills to their fullest extent. Veterans, as well as those in the reserves, have a wealth of skills and experience they can offer many industries – especially the technology sector. QuoStar has experienced real positive change from encouraging these individuals into the company. While it’s brilliant to be recognised by the Armed Forces Covenant, our aim has always been to attract and grow a diverse range of talent at all levels.”

QuoStar signs The Armed Forces Covenant pledge

QuoStar Chairman John Knowles signing the Armed Forces Covenant

QuoStar has pledged to support military personnel by signing The Armed Forces Covenant.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a nationwide commitment to ensure those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, as well as their families, are treated fairly. Businesses can choose to adopt it as a demonstration of their support to the Armed Forces Community.

There are two key principles of the Covenant. Firstly, no member of the Armed Forces community should face a disadvantage compared to any other citizen in providing public and commercial services. Secondly, in some circumstances, special treatment may be due – especially for those bereaved or injured.

By signing the Covenant, QuoStar will promote itself as a forces-friendly business, supporting the employment of veterans by working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) and where possible facilitating the employment of Service spouses and partners. QuoStar will also support those employees who choose to become members of the Reserve Forces and accommodate their training and deployment needed as needed.

Following QuoStar’s attendance at a CTP Careers Fair in Newbury, Chairman Dr John Knowles signed the Covenant on behalf of the business at a military event in Bournemouth. QuoStar has joined the 2,400 other businesses in the UK that have also made a commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.

QuoStar CEO Robert Rutherford comments, “The fact that we already have a number of service leavers in the business excelling within their roles has shown the importance of the Armed Forces Covenant. These individuals have delivered value across the business and – most importantly – to our clients. This success has encouraged us to show our commitment to those that have served and are serving in the military.”

Dorset Legal Awards winners announced!

Sofie Scott and Robert Rutherford at the Dorset Legal Awards

The winners of the first-ever Dorset Legal Awards were announced during an exclusive black-tie awards ceremony at the Bournemouth International Centre on Friday 23rd February. The much-anticipated event brought together some of the top law professionals and firms to recognise the achievements of the legal sector in the region.

Law firm Ellis Jones was one of the biggest winners of the evening, successfully receiving the awards for Law Firm of the Year (with 10+ partners), Lawyer of the Year – awarded to Senior Associate Paul Kanolik – and the Lifetime Achievement award – presented to Managing Partner, Nigel Smith. Meanwhile, Laceys successfully won Company Commercial Team of the Year, Property Team of the Year and Sam Freeman received Partner of the Year.

Other winners included Blanchards Bailey winning Dispute Resolution Team of the Year as well as Private Client Team of the Year and Emma Tullis at Mustoe Shorter Solicitors & Advocates netting the Rising Star award.

The Dorset Legal Awards 2018

Robert Rutherford, CEO of QuoStar and Sofie Scott, Managing Director at ASH Elite, hosted the evening where guests were treated to a three-course meal while the awards were announced. A live band ended the night while the contestants danced the night away. As an extra bonus, each winner also received a bottle of Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur courtesy of Conker Spirit.

The finalists were judged by an independent panel of notable legal and business professionals including John Knowles, former Chairman of DEK; John Ainsworth, retired District Judge; barrister Elizabeth McGrath QC and Darren Slade, Business and Technology Editor of the Bournemouth Daily Echo.

The event supporters included Conker Spirit, the Bournemouth Daily Echo and South Coast Events.

The winners of the Dorset Legal Awards revealed

QuoStar’s CEO, Robert Rutherford, comments:

“The first-ever Dorset Legal Awards has been a hotly anticipated event with law firms from around the region vying for a chance to win. This has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the amazing work that these individuals and firms have done. It’s an understatement to say that the final decisions were not easy to make! For those who have won, we wish them a huge congratulations on their stellar work in this sector. For those who were less successful, there is always next year!”

ASH Elite’s Managing Director, Sofie Scott, comments:

“We are incredibly proud of being able to work with and showcase such fantastic legal talent we have here in Dorset. From 216 original entries, 14 winners have now been crowned and we are already looking forward to seeing what next year’s awards will bring! Huge congratulations to all finalists, winners and everyone who got a special commendation on the night. You are all the reason why we love doing what we do!  I would also like to extend a special thank you to all of our category sponsors; Charles Stanley, Iceberg and Saffery Champness. Without your support, the awards would not be possible!”

The winners of the 2018 Dorset Legal Awards

  • Company Commercial Team of the Year – Laceys
  • Contribution to the Community – Kitson & Trotman
  • Dispute Resolution Team of the Year – Blanchards Bailey
  • Engagement with Education – Coles Miller
  • Family Team of the Year – Williams Thompson
  • Law Firm of the Year (up to 10 Partners) – Farnfields
  • Law Firm of the Year (10+ Partners) – Ellis Jones
  • Lawyer of the Year – Paul Kanolik, Ellis Jones
  • Lifetime Achievement – Nigel Smith, Ellis Jones
  • Partner of the Year – Sam Freeman, Laceys
  • Personal Injury/Clinical Negligence Team of the Year – Dutton Gregory
  • Private Client Team of the Year – Blanchards Bailey
  • Property Team of the Year – Laceys
  • Rising Star of the Year – Emma Tullis, Mustoe Shorter Solicitors & Advocates

Special Commendations

  • Company Commercial Team of the Year – Blanchards Bailey
  • Family Team of the Year – Farnfields
  • Partner of the Year – Nicola Lowe, Harold G Walker
  • Law Firm of the Year (up to 10 Partners) – Woodstock Property Law

Photograph credit: Zelda de Hollander, Studio Shotz

QuoStar and Inspire raise over £22,000 for Dorset charities

QuoStar and Inspire are pleased to announce that their annual Christmas Charity Lunch on Friday 1st December raised over £22,000 for charities in the South West.

This is the fourth year that that two Bournemouth-based companies, who have raised almost £75,000 since 2014, have teamed up to put on this event.

This year’s lunch, which was held at The Cumberland Hotel in Bournemouth, welcomed 200 guests from businesses across the region. It was in aid of various local charities including Wessex Cancer Trust; a local charity aiming to help the 23,000 people who are diagnosed in the region every year, Julia’s House; an award-winning children’s hospice charity, and MyTime; a charity providing support for young carers.

The total raised was a result of ticket sales, a raffle and generous donations made during the two charity auctions. Prizes up for grabs included a three-night break in Majorca on a luxury yacht, signed shorts by professional boxer Anthony Joshua, a Riverboat Cruise on the Thames and a signed and framed AFC Bournemouth shirt.

The lunch was hosted by guest speaker and former rugby player Jeff Probyn while Martin Edwards, CEO of Julia’s House, was the auctioneer.

QuoStar’s Managing Director, James Stelfox, comments:

“This year’s Christmas lunch has been an overwhelming achievement. The combined efforts of QuoStar and Inspire have enabled us to collect even more than the amount raised in 2016. Our annual charity lunch has become a staple part of the calendar, giving worthy causes a much-deserved boost around the holiday season. It was a fantastic event and the perfect way to begin celebrating the Christmas period.”

Inspire’s Managing Director, Warren Munson, comments:

“It is once again fantastic to be collaborating with QuoStar to host our annual charity lunch.  It is great to bring so many entrepreneurs and business leaders together to have some seasonal fun while raising funds for four incredible charities. Last year we raised over £20k and are ecstatic to have broken that record this year!”

View the photos from the 2017 Christmas Charity Lunch below

View photos from the QuoStar & Inspire Christmas Charity Lunch 2017

QuoStar supports Wessex Cancer Trust at the Bournemouth Air Show

QuoStar is pleased to continue their support of the Wessex Cancer Trust at the charity’s annual VIP Hospitality Day.

This is the fourth year running that QuoStar has sponsored the event, which offers guests a unique Air Show experience. Upon arrival at the Key West Restaurant, situated at the end of Bournemouth Pier, guests were treated to a welcome drink, delicious three-course meal and the opportunity to enjoy unparalleled views of the aerial displays.

Through ticket sales and an auction, the charity were able to raise a record amount of over £13,000. The funds will go towards funding Cancer Support Services across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight.

James Stelfox, Managing Director of QuoStar, said: “It was fantastic to once again sponsor the Wessex Cancer Trust Hospitality Day. The charity does a wonderful job of organising the event. All the guests always say how enjoyable the day is. It was a pleasure to spend the afternoon with a range of local companies, enjoying the Bournemouth Air Show, whilst also having the opportunity to raise vital funds for a charity which does so much fantastic work for the local community.”

Here a selection of photos from the day, to see more please click here

QuoStar & Inspire Christmas Lunch raises £21,000 for four Dorset charities

For the third year running we have teamed up with local professional services firm Inspire to host our annual Christmas Charity Lunch, and we are thrilled to say that thanks to the generous donations by local business people we have managed to raise £21,000 for charity – doubling what we raised at last year’s event!

This year the event was in aid of four local charities: Julia’s House, a children’s hospice bringing comfort and care to families across Dorset and Wiltshire; Lewis-Manning Hospice, a voluntary hospice in Poole which provides end-of-life care; MyTIME, a charity providing respite breaks for young carers; and the Wessex Cancer Trust, which provides support for anyone living with or affected by cancer across Hampshire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

The total raised was a result of ticket sales, a raffle and the generous donations made during the charity auction, where high-ticket prizes such as a signed AFC Bournemouth football shirt and ball, a one week stay in a luxury Swiss ski chalet, and an Isle of Wight flying experience – donated by charities or local businesses – were up for grabs.

QuoStar’s Managing Director James Stelfox comments: “The lunch was a great success, and QuoStar and Inspire would like to thank all the local business people who attended and donated so generously. This is the third year we have run this event, and it’s great to see more people getting involved and higher levels of funds being raised year on year. It’s certainly a very enjoyable way to kick off the festive period, and we were pleased to be able to raise such a large amount in support of four local charities.”

Warren Munson, Managing Director of Inspire, added: “It’s been great to work with QuoStar once again to jointly host the charity Christmas lunch. To raise such a considerable amount of money through the generosity of local business owners and directors each year is a great achievement and it has been fantastic to be able to support four great charities as a result.”

Check out all the photographs from the Christmas Charity Lunch

QuoStar & Inspire Christmas Charity Lunch

QuoStar sponsors Hampshire Sporting Club Autumn Dinner

Hampshire Sporting Club Dinner QuoStar

QuoStar were delighted to sponsor the recent Hampshire Sporting Club Autumn Dinner at the end of September. This dinner was hosted at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton. We have attended a number of the Southern Sporting Clubs’ Dinners and, as always, there was a great turnout. A testament to their quality, success and popularity.

We take part in a number of fundraising initiatives throughout the year, and on this evening we chose to support the Murray Parish Trust, who are working hard to raise an incredible £2 million for a brand new Paediatric Emergency & Trauma Department (A&E) based in Southampton to cover the entire South of England and the Channel Islands.

The evening was a great success with entertainment provided by Graham Gooch OBE DL and Geoff Miller OBE. Our thanks to all those who attended, and to David Duckham and his team for organising another fantastic evening.

The Hampshire Sporting Club hosts several dinners throughout the year, if you would like to find out more about their events please visit their website.

QuoStar & Inspire raise over £12,000 for 4 Dorset charities

QuoStar, the IT support and consultancy firm, and Inspire Tax and Business Advisers, are thrilled to announce today that over £12,000 has been raised from a successful Christmas Charity Lunch. The funds will be split equally between four local charities.

The lunch, which took place on the 27th November at the Cumberland Hotel in Bournemouth. Over 130 local businessmen and women were in attendance, and all donated generously. The four local charities, chosen by QuoStar and Inspire, who will receive funds are; Julia’s House, MyTime, Round Table Children’s Wish and Wessex Cancer Trust.

Raising money for Dorset charities

(L-R) Former AFC Bournemouth Goalkeeper Jimmy Glass, James Stelfox of QuoStar, Warren Munson of Inspire & former AFC Bournemouth Footballer Steve Fletcher

Money was raised through the sale of tickets, a raffle, a silent auction and an auction. Prizes included a signed Red Arrows poster, signed AFC Bournemouth memorabilia and a tour of Parliament with Afternoon Tea. All prizes were sourced by the charities or kindly donated by local businesses.

Guests were also entertained by a Q&A session between Former AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Jimmy Glass and former AFC Bournemouth footballer Steve Fletcher.

This is the second year running that the two Bournemouth-based businesses have joined forces for charity. This year’s lunch has been even more successful than the previous one, with an additional £4,000 raised. Plans for 2016 are already afoot and QuoStar and Inspire look forward to raising further funds for charity.

James Stelfox, Managing Director of MDS at QuoStar, comments:

“It was a pleasure to spend the afternoon with a wide range of successful businesses raising money for some great local causes. A wide range of local companies attended and they able to enjoy themselves and raise a great amount of money. We’ve already had a commitment on tables for next year which we are thrilled about.”

Warren Munson, Managing Director of Inspire Accountants, added:

“The lunch was a spectacular success. Significantly increasing the funds raised in the previous year for the four local charities to over £12,000. Inspire and QuoStar thank the generous local business people who attended and Jimmy Glass and Steve Fletcher for entertaining us. Certainly feel likes this was a great way to kick off the Christmas festivities.”

Karen Winchcombe, from Round Table Children’s Wish, comments:

“We are absolutely amazed by the generosity of those that attended the Inspire & Quostar Charity lunch! The amount raised is fantastic and we are so thankful to be one of the charities that have benefited from this. With the money raised, we will be able to grant more ‘handcrafted’ wishes for children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Bringing a touch of happiness to those families that have been through a great deal.”

Kim Lawford, from Wessex Cancer Trust, also added:

“Wessex Cancer Trust were delighted to receive this wonderful amount which will help towards the opening, in March, of our Bournemouth  Cancer Support Centre, which will be providing both emotional and practical help and support to those in the local area living with cancer, not only patients but their families and carers.”

QuoStar announces new business unit and jobs amid growth phase


James Stelfox, Managing Director of MDS at QuoStar

QuoStar, the business consultancy and information technology firm, has announced the launch of a new business unit, Managed Document Solutions (MDS). This development is part of a broader expansion programme, as the Bournemouth based business is on a recruitment drive to hire local candidates to fill five roles.

The MDS unit will be headed up by James Stelfox who takes on a new role as Managing Director of MDS, alongside his current position as a board member at QuoStar. James’ focus is to grow the current team working on MDS and expand its portfolio, in addition to improving the market share currently held by QuoStar in this area.

James Stelfox, Managing Director of MDS at QuoStar, comments:

“Our proven expertise and position with the outsourcing, business consulting and IT infrastructure arenas has mapped perfectly into the MDS space. It’s exciting to lead a new team of expert analysts and consultants into an area where we can really make a difference.”

Although QuoStar operates nationally and internationally, many of the new roles will be based in the Bournemouth operations centre. The firm is particularly keen to hire local people from the area, but will consider offering relocation packages for exceptional candidates to move to the South coast. The roles range from Head of Technical Services to Junior IT Technician.

QuoStar’s CEO, Robert Rutherford, comments:

“We’re entering a really exciting period at QuoStar; launching a new business unit puts us in a strong position to kick off 2016 on the front foot. With 10 years in our leadership team, we know James can deliver strong and fast growth within the MDS unit whilst retaining the high levels of quality and service that’s expected of us. At QuoStar we have always looked to invest in the local area. We are pleased to maintain this endeavour by encouraging candidates from Bournemouth and the wider region to join us in the New Year.

For more information about the jobs available, click here.