Aston University and Echo Managed Services 

Echo Managed Services

Aston University is currently working on a Short Knowledge Transfer Partnership (sKTP) with Echo Managed Services, looking at two change programmes and the 'people aspects' of the company's change management.

Aston MBA Alumni Karen Caine and Dr Michael Butler from Aston Business School, are working with Mark Alfer, Echo's Programme Manager, to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the process changes being implemented under the two change programmes.

Company Programme Manager Mark Alfer explains: “The sKTP provides Echo with a resource that is on-site and this gives us the flexibility that we need to align the sKTP objectives with our business as usual activities. Karen has many years of experience in a service provision environment. This, coupled with access to the knowledge bank at Aston - containing established and new innovative ways of thinking - allows us to deliver the solution we require.”

The sKTP is allowing Karen to diagnose and solve organisational issues, relating to the people and cultural aspects of change, in order to deliver real and sustained change, whilst being involved in the translation of leading-edge theory into useful, pragmatic business techniques: “This kind of valuable experience is just so easily transferable that it surely has to help when seeking further work at the end of the partnership,”.


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is a UK-wide programme enabling businesses to improve competitiveness, productivity and performance. This is achieved through the forming of a partnership between businesses and academic institutions (such as universities, further education colleges or research and technology organisations), enabling businesses to access skills and expertise to help them develop.

Business performance outputs vary considerably from case to case, given the variety and type of projects. Business benefits from recent KTP projects (typical duration 1-3 years) include: an increase of over £220,000 in annual profits before tax, the creation of three genuine new jobs, and an increase in skills of existing staff.

To find out more about how your business can benefit from working with Aston University, please email bpu@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4242.