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20 Feb 2018

Jennings Motor Group


Jennings Motor Group are a motor dealer based in North East, consisting of 8 main sites and over 500 employees.

The Challenge

To find an affordable and effective web filtering and firewall solution.

Big results

Jennings now provide safe internet access to all users whilst minimising costs.

What’s the background?

Jennings Motor Group have been serving customers for over 100 years, ever since Septimus Jennings started repairing bicycles in Morpeth in 1912. After becoming one of the country’s first main Ford dealers in 1917, Jennings has continued to grow and now has several dealerships across the north of England. The group have two Harley-Davidson dealerships, one in Leeds and one in Gateshead, as well as Kia, Mazda, and SEAT showrooms covering the Tyne-Tees region. Winners of several customer service awards, Jennings are proud to continue providing the north east with high levels of customer service, and hope do so for many years to come. For more information on Jennings Motor Group, please visit their website.

What was the problem?

Martyn Hepple, Group IT Manager at Jennings, explained that previously the company had the Microsoft ISA in place, “we were prompted to look for an alternative solution when Microsoft stopped supporting and developing the ISA firewall.”

Explaining their requirements from a new solution, Martyn commented, “we were looking for a simple and easy to use solution that allows us to monitor and restrict internet usage. Pricing was a big factor in our decision as previously, we only had a one-off payment when signing up, therefore moving to an annual fee was a big hurdle for us.”

Martyn went on to explain who put him in touch with Smoothwall, “Brighter Connections were assisting us with our search for a new solution and after we explained our requirements, they suggested Smoothwall.

Smoothwall is a great all-in-one solution available at a very good price!

Martyn Hepple Group IT Manager

How Smoothwall helped

Martyn and his team went on to trial Smoothwall alongside two other UTM providers, “the trials proved valuable to us as we were able to identify that there were no performance or feature differences between the solutions; the only clear difference was the cost – Smoothwall being significantly cheaper. Also, as Smoothwall is an all-in-one solution you don’t have to pay extra for additional features unlike the alternatives.”

Comparing Smoothwall to the Microsoft solution, Martyn stated, “Smoothwall is so much more advanced, the Microsoft solution was quite temperamental whereas we’ve never had any major issues with Smoothwall.”

“The Smoothwall solution is great for the firewall and web filter, but also has some good and affordable add-ons such as the mail filtering.”

Explaining his experience of Smoothwall in practice, Martyn said, “the most useful feature is being able to restrict the time staff spend on social media, we have ours restricted to 45 minutes each day. The basic filtering functionality is also very handy as we know users are always protected from harmful content.”

When asked about his experience with Smoothwall’s support team, Martyn commented, “support have always been very helpful and are clearly the experts. Every six months I like to do a health check to make sure the system is working correctly and to the best of its ability, and your team are always able to help. More recently they’ve been assisting me with regards to the upcoming GDPR legislation which has been very useful! Also, our Account Manager, David, is always on hand should we need his assistance.”

Moving on to discuss their recent renewal, Martyn commented, “we’ve been with Smoothwall for over three years and when it came to our recent renewal, we were that happy I didn’t even look elsewhere! For us, Smoothwall does everything and more!”

“I’d definitely recommend Smoothwall to any business because it’s a great all-in-one solution at a very good price! It’s an ideal solution for small/medium size companies looking for an effective web filter and firewall who don’t have a massive budget!”

We’ve been with Smoothwall for over 3 years and when it came to our recent renewal, we were that happy I didn’t even look elsewhere! For us, Smoothwall does everything and more!

Martyn Hepple Group IT Manager

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