Supporting Role Ltd | History
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About us

We have been providing solutions and looking after systems for almost two decades, with hundreds of satisfied customers. We believe that computers are tools, not toys, and their value is in making our lives easier, not faster or more complicated.











2017: Tom joined the team. We rolled out a new terminal server system for Dynamic Media Solutions in Bracknell. Our 18 year relationship with Star Events comes to an end as their new parent company absorbs the IT into the internal systems. See the case study on the story of the growth of their IT systems over those years.

2016: Yvonne opened her cruelty free pet grooming salon in Chiswick (Chiswick Park Pet Spa). Nordic Pharma moved premises. See the case study page for more details.

2015: We did a bit of integration work that year, mostly linking Unleashed Warehousing software with a couple of internal systems. We also created a stop-gap job database system for Star Events.

2014: London Communications, one of our larger clients with ~30 staff, moved offices. We were part of the plan from the beginning and the move was done over a weekend with minimal downtime.

2013: One of our clients, Bettine Pellant, CEO of PICON, became a Liveryman of the Guild Of Stationers, already being a Freeman of the City of London.

2012:  We created an Internet distribution system for our office landlord so that the leased line could be fairly distributed to all the tenants, using VLANs and traffic shaping. Bartosz leaves for New Zealand.

2011: First version of the Niche ‘Job Tracker’ system. See the case study page for more details.

2010: Richard joins the team. One of our clients, Blissett Bookbinders, was awarded the Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen.

2009: Installation of Trevor Howsam’s Rentalpoint system. See the case study page for more details. Matthew leaves to go “up north” to live with his partner.

2008: We rolled out the second version of our email archive project for Gotham Erksine. See the case study page for more details.

2007: We created the first version the Spirit Design office database system. (See the case study page for more details). We also helped the then Bogen Imaging to move premises and transition into Manfrotto’s UK office.

2006: We spent a chunk of this year created a web based risk assessment tool for the Safety Focus Group of the International Live Music Conference. The project had EU-OSHA (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work) and created a system that allowed people in the events and entertainment industries to create their own risk assessments based on best industry practice.

2005: In early 2005, we took the idea of the rented server system we had started to come up with and created a proper command and control system and started a private cloud to run it all. This was spun off as a separate company called Forget About IT Ltd. The team was also bolstered by the arrival of Bartosz and Matthew.

2004: In January and February we rolled out a big upgrade for one of our clients. From a single server plus a backup, we increased the system to 4 fully integrated servers, across two sites. Buildings were linked via fibre optic, and we have started replicating data to the satellite office to look at reducing the network traffic over the WAN. In December 2004 John Edwards left the business to pursue other objectives. Also in December Supporting Role obtained offices in Grove Park Studios and moved to Chiswick.

2003: During January Supporting Role launched it’s IMAP email server, allowing small businesses access to a corporate type email server at a low cost. In April the team was joined by George Saxby allowing us to offer networking installations and computing hardware services. Unfortunately George became seriously ill in mid-2004 and left the company.

2002: During 2002 we started to roll out our leased IT product range. We began with firewalls and file servers, and followed this with our email server system. In February Supporting Role sponsored a web based course booking and training management system for Event Safety Training. This allowed them to easily update their web site adding course dates as they were booked. In July we designed a web site for LaunchPR, a new company specialising in product and brand launches. They were short listed by the PR industry for the ‘Best New Consultancy’ award. In October Supporting Role set up an Internet Monitoring Server. Based in TeleHouse, Docklands, this enables us to monitor our clients internet connections and servers, so often we know of a problem before our clients do.

2001: During April Supporting Role installed its own Web Server, allowing us to offer custom web-based internet solutions, such as databases and dynamic content. In August Marco was joined by John Edwards. John brought server skills in Unix and Sun, as well as skills in networking and bulk user management. During October the Web server was relocated at TeleHouse, in the Docklands. In addition we assisted Jack Morton WorldWide in setting up a complete on-site Health & Safety system to identify and allocate responsibilities during a production. The work also included designing a database for their in-house IT staff to program, and a number of training seminars for their staff and directors. At the same time we also created similar systems for LX Arts and Summit Steel.

2000: During 2000 Supporting Role helped Show Presentations Services set up a brand new Health & Safety system. We assisted Fuji International Productions with the problem of putting on a music series at Gainsborough Studios, a dilapidated and severely unsafe building. We also set up paperless safety documentation systems for ENTEC. This enables all their test certificates to be installed on a CD that is then available to any safety inspector who wishes to view them. In addition we installed a new server for Star Hire & Star Rigging.

1999: We assisted ScreenCo in evaluating a series of equipment rental software packages. We also managed the VLPS stand that won ‘Best Stand’ at the PLASA show. Supporting Role began overseeing Star Hire’s IT systems in both Bedford and Manchester. We did health & safety work for E/T/C, VLPS, Link Communications and Crystal Pro Audio, and helped ENTEC through their BBC audit.

1998: Supporting Role was set up in October by Marco van Beek. Marco realised his knowledge of Health & Safety, IT, CE Marking and Project Management placed him in a unique position to offer all these skills to the Event Industry and other businesses. One of the first jobs was to evaluate a newly purchased lighting company for technical competence.