Transform IT

CRA is an award-winning provider of IT solutions to midsize organizations, government agencies, non-profits, and financial services companies.

For 25 years, CRA has excelled at delivering technology solutions that optimize productivity, strengthen customer relationships, enhance data sharing and drive profitability. The company has a demonstrated track record of helping clients to free up their internal teams and building a complete technical vision that is scalable and works.

Headquartered in NYC, CRA is a certified Minority Business Enterprise and is led by founder and CEO, Chico Ramnarayan.

 
Undisclosed
 
Undisclosed
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1992
Show all +
New York, NY
Headquarters
  • CRA | Computer Resources of America
    64 West 48th Street
    New York, NY 10036
    United States
    212-376-4040

Reviews

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Managed Services & IT Consulting for Investment Management Firm

"It's rare to not be able to reach our account representative or one of their senior executives. A personal touch to IT services is hard to find, but they've [CRA] succeeded."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

The client is a financial services firm that offers innovative, actively managed investment portfolios in hard assets, emerging markets, precious metals including gold, and other alternative asset classes. Limited resource availability required that the client find a partner to support the maintenance and support of their IT infrastructure. CRA was carefully considered and then contracted to assume responsibility for maintaining the client's network infrastructure. The client also utilizes CRA's independent consulting practice.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Greater New York City Area
Global Head of IT Operations, Investment Management Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client conveyed sincere appreciation for CRA's the service and support. According to the client, they have not experienced any unexpected server downtime since hiring CRA, and commends them for their proactive approach to maintenance and security. It was also noted that CRA has become an asset when it comes to the long-term IT strategy. The client maintains an ongoing relationship with CRA and recommends them highly.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a privately-held asset management firm. We've been in business since 1955, offering a sizable portfolio of financial products to our customers.

What is your position?

I am the global head of IT operations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with CRA?

We were looking for someone to build a custom solution for service-level desk support.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

CRA has provided us with consultants who offer support to our internal staff. The scope of their involvement grew into systems administration and backend server support. We also used them on project-based work, namely our office and data center relocations.

We operate as a Windows-based VM [virtual machine] office. Our servers use SQL, Windows Server 2010 and 2012, Exchange, and so on. Managed services extend to server support, as well as desk support.

They offer services both remotely and on-site, with the former being used in 70% of all cases. Individual technicians are dispatched locally for physical issues that have no other recourse. We don't have the necessary resources for providing these services in-house.

How did you come to work with CRA?

We were looking for network engineering as well as network administration skillsets. We needed to make sure that our VM environments and other server platforms had a certain patch level in order to minimize issues. We also needed design expertise in terms of rack configuration and relocation. We went through a few service providers that we found through different channels, from references to online research. I had worked with CRA in the past and had good experiences with them, thus bringing them to the company.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The annual cost for their services ranges between $250-500,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

CRA has been very good at addressing problems. Communication is one of their strongest areas, especially on the administration and engineering sides. 

We kept track of milestones for our relocation project. All of them were completed within or before our original targets. The end-result was a completely successful project.

The system administrators, engineers and service desk staff within my department have given very positive feedback regarding CRA. We've come to build a rapport by typically working with the same representatives over time. They're a good organization to work with, and we feel very comfortable with their services and support.

How did CRA perform from a project management standpoint?

Their approach is proactive in terms of the solutions offered. CRA's main goal is to manage the first level of any incoming ticket. If they can't tackle it remotely, the on-site support services then comes into play. We're always kept in the loop. The execution is solid from a managed services perspective.

We have an internal ticketing system and an account representative with whom we liaise. Most often we discuss upcoming projects for which we need support, and only rarely do we need to address actual problems for them to fix. At the end of the day, this gives me confidence.

What distinguishes CRA from other providers?

They're readily available. It's rare to not be able to reach our account representative or one of their senior executives. A personal touch to IT services is hard to find, but they've succeeded.

Is there anything CRA could have improved or done differently?

For the work in which we've used them, they've been very capable, and I'm sure they would be able to support larger environments if the situation required it. I haven't had any issues as far as my specific support needs went. CRA is good at what they do.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They are very accommodating, and will work within the best of their ability in order to conform to your schedule, whether it's an emergency or a planned event.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I typically don't give very high ratings, as at the end of the day, there's always room for improvement within any organization.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would highly recommend them based on the services I've leveraged.

Desktop Virtualization & Network Management for Foreign Bank

"Their flexibility sets them apart... If we ever called them on Saturday night requesting extra support for Monday, they've always delivered."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

The client is a foreign banking institution offering a wide range of financial products and services. Limited available resources required that the client find a partner to assume responsibility for their desktop virtualization efforts. CRA was carefully considered and then chosen to support the client to virtualize and manage a series of Microsoft solutions.

The Reviewer
 
5001-10000 Employees
 
Greater New York City Area
IT Manager, Financial Services Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client conveyed great satisfaction with the support services rendered by CRA. According to the client, they have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from executive stakeholders and internal site administrators alike regarding their system improvements. It was noted that, in particular, their help desk service has seen a considerable improvement in process efficiency and a substantial time reduction in resolution delivery. The client maintains an ongoing relationship with CRA and recommends them highly.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I work for a foreign bank in one of their regional facilities. Like a typical bank, we offer a wide range of financial services and products on an international level.

What is your position?

I am currently in charge of desktop and server infrastructure.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with CRA?

We wanted to access certain expertise to help us complete project work. It was going to be more cost effective to find an outsourced partner than to hire locally.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

CRA offers support for Wintel technology, in other words, anything related to Windows (from Server, Active Directory, mail, and so on). They offer tier 3 analysis and support for us. Their work primarily is done on-site.

They also provide training for our staff as we grow our technology division. Previously, they offered desktop and tier 2 support only. Their involvement has only expanded since hiring them.

How did you come to work with CRA?

They previously worked for our company on a small demo project. Their staff was very reliable and efficient. We did approach other vendors but decided to work with CRA because of their expertise and previous experience.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

I do not have this information. The budget is in the hundreds of thousands region.

What is the status of this engagement?

The work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

Since CRA is now involved in our helpdesk system, their activity is tracked in terms of time for fixing issues and how quickly they can respond to inquiries. We've definitely seen an increase in efficiency since bringing them onboard, which has been fantastic. 

How did CRA perform from a project management standpoint?

Our experience has been very positive. If there is ever an issue, it will be escalated to CRA management, and they will take care of it. Any major issues are handled by our account representative. They have great turnaround time for resolutions; they're extremely reliable. 

What distinguishes CRA from other providers?

Their flexibility sets them apart. We're located on the East Coast, which has seen major snowstorms in the past few years. If we ever called them on Saturday night requesting extra support for Monday, they've always delivered.

Is there anything CRA could have improved or done differently?

No, there isn't. Their customer support has been invariably good. If someone finds a shortcoming for a CRA staff member, the issue will be escalated, and the appropriate training will be provided.

5.0
Overall Score We've renewed their contract every two years, so the overall experience has been great.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are cost effective most of the time. CRA is below the market rate.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I recommend them for what they do best: desktop infrastructure support.

Managed Network Services for Home Care Provider

"Although we're a small client, we receive the same attention as a larger one. The other thing is their availability, which is great."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

The client, SelectCare, was founded in 1985 with the declaration that homecare can be delivered in a compassionate and professional manner, keeping the client, caregiver, and family in the forefront of their decisions. Limited technical expertise required that the client find a partner capable of assuming responsibility for modernizing and supporting their IT infrastructure. CRA was carefully considered and then contracted to provide ongoing maintenance and network support services.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Greater New York City Area
Carla Holub
Co-Founder & Vice President at SelectCare
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The client expressed great enthusiasm and appreciation for the support provided by CRA. According to the client, they have only experienced one unexpected network failure and CRA was able to resolve the issue within a reasonable amount of time, constantly providing detailed updates. CRA received further praise for their transparent pricing and their proactive approach to maintenance and support. The client highly recommends CRA to others.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

SelectCare is a licensed home care service. We are regulated by the Department of Health in New York State. On average, we have approximately 60-70 clients at any given time. We are not a Medicare/Medicaid agency, but rather a for-fee service. We have a staff of 14 members, including registered field nurse supervisors and service coordinators for scheduling, interviewing and making staff appointments. We've been in business for 31 years.

What is your position?

I am the vice president, co-owner and founder of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with CRA?

Since 1985, we had worked with individual IT specialists, followed by a company that had gone out of business. We were still using green bar paper and operated a UNIX platform that was no longer supported. We were in a bind in this sense. We desperately needed to modernize our operations and needed a partner to help us do that.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement.

As a company, we're customer-oriented and paper-driven. It was difficult for some of our administrators to move from what was familiar, to an unknown system. The representatives at CRA have, very kindly and gently, pushed our employees into the 21st century. They did it with confidence, competence, and compassion. CRA understood, not only what needed to be done on a technical level, but also on the emotional and business side of things. They're very adaptable. 

Our office manager works with CRA on an ongoing basis. When there is a problem with our computers, our office manager would submit tickets and send email follow-ups. She will then give us any directions or guidance from CRA.

CRA comes in whenever a bug cannot be fixed remotely and they offer us an expected arrival time. On-site work is rare since we've moved to a different platform. Much of the processing is being done behind-the-scenes.

In 2010, we had an unexpected disaster in our office: our accounting administrator had an emergency, which took him out of the office for eight months. CRA came in and worked with us in transitioning from the Focus accounting software to Microsoft. We were also using a scheduling program dedicated to the home care field. They helped out and walked us through the entire installation and configuration process. The CRA reps didn't understand what it did; they learned its functionality from our program administrators.

CRA has been on target with recommendations, especially within the context of the disasters that hit New York City, especially hurricane Sandy. We were discussing backing up our data somewhere off-site at the start of October. Sandy hit on October 28th. The next day, two reps from CRA were climbing eleven floors in order to take our towers to their headquarters and enable us to continue our business. We didn't see the situation coming and realized that we had to be more prepared for any future incidents. All the while, CRA was there to guide us through the process. They didn't say "we told you so", but just executed their plan. Within 30 days, everything was back on track. They were excellent at what they did and managed to do it quickly.

How did you come to work with CRA?

Our company came to a desperate point with the death of our original IT person. Nobody had knowledge of our program anymore. His son-in-law was making patches for us but was becoming as frustrated as we were.

One of their reps gave us a cold call while we were considering another IT company. The way in which they explained what they could do for us is why we chose CRA. They wanted to learn what our programs were and look at our network. They untangled everything that previous IT companies did.

Before even doing anything, we had a meeting in which they explained in layman's terms what was going on, and what was needed in order to make the proper reparations. They were upfront with their costs and transparent in what they were doing.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

Our monthly costs are around $2,000. We consider it to be a high investment but definitely worth it. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with CRA for over nine years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We've had a meeting in January about the general state of our computers and collaboration with CRA. Our office manager has been very pleased with them.

There will always be blips in any relationship, but whenever we have a problem, it will be fixed. There haven't been many occasions for us to say that they failed our expectations. We had a rough patch last year which was ironed out within little time.

How did CRA perform from a project management standpoint?

There have been some changes within their company recently, for which they worked closely with us in order to ensure that we would have an easy transition. We had worked with two or three of their representatives for several years. They explained who the new people were, and ensured us that they were dedicated to us.

Even though we're a very small business, we get the perception that we're just as important as any of their large clients. They're cognizant on how we should spend our money in a frugal way. If we don't need all the bells and whistles for a feature, they won't be put on.

We don't understand the magic that happens behind the scenes. If we call and issue a ticket, the problem will get fixed in a timely manner. This is all I want to know.

What distinguishes CRA from other providers?

Although we're a small client, we receive the same attention as a larger one. The other thing is their availability, which is great. CRA has hired two great representatives but, ultimately, we get the impression that Chico, their Chief Executive Officer, oversees everything that happens with their clients.

Is there anything CRA could have improved or done differently?

I have nothing to say. All I know is that, when I press a button on my computer, it works, and I'm happy. That's the bottom line.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I know that there are many costs involved in their operations which I'm not aware of. Our monthly costs may seem high to me at times but, when I know that I can turn on my computer and have it work, the money that we spend turns out to be a great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them.