IT Consulting for Wealth Management Firm
- Cloud Consulting & SI Other IT Consulting and SI
- $10,000 to $49,999
- Jan. - Mar. 2020
- Willing to Refer
"They did a pretty good job from a project management standpoint."
- Financial services
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- 11-50 Employees
- Phone Interview
Resultant (formerly KSM Consulting) provided IT consulting services for a financial planning firm. They assisted the client with their migration efforts from a server-based environment to a cloud-based server using Box.
The team's ability to evaluate and suggest recommendations on how to achieve goals and maintain efficiency made for a fruitful engagement. Resultant (formerly KSM Consulting) helped in gearing the company's focus towards both short- and long-term objectives. Overall, they were a great partner.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
My company is Market Street Wealth Management Advisors, a financial planning firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana. I'm a senior financial planner and I mostly handle client relationships and client workloads on that front and supporting those clients with their financial plans, but I also have a little bit of technology knack.
In line with that, Patrick (Main Tech) and I coordinate a lot of items and projects with KSM Consulting when it comes to any kind of IT issue that we have within the office.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with KSM Consulting?
We specifically used the team for their IT consulting services. They handled our helpdesk support and other similar tasks, but one thing they do as part of that process is semiannual review every year. At the end of the year 2019, we conducted a roadmap discussion. The result from that was to move from our server-based environment to a cloud-based server using Box.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Essentially, we were moving our entire server environment online, allowing our team to be completely remote and virtual if they needed to be. We engaged KSM Consulting to manage the project including the backend, onsite support, paring down our servers, and enabling file migration.
Initially, the partnership started with an introductory discussion phase where we talked about our ultimate goals. The team did research on a couple of different options for us on how we would go about getting rid of our offsite server and moving things to the cloud. Box happened to be one of our options and Dropbox was also one of the companies they had vetted. However, Dropbox wasn’t quite good from a corporate side and our big thing was the compliance aspect of it. Box on the other hand was very good when it comes to compliance for SEC-registered firms such as ourselves.
Our second option was using Microsoft SharePoint, but Box has a much smoother integration. In addition, Box’s interface was more user-friendly. Ultimately, we had conversations about each of the different possible services and KSM Consulting’s recommendation was Box.
What was unique in our situation was that we were ready to move pretty quickly since we have pretty limited timeframes because of the nature of our work. A lot of stuff happens around each quarter-end. By end of March, we had a lot of cleanup for the first quarter, so we were trying to squeeze something within all of February and the beginning part of March. Normally, the migration takes longer for Box, but KSM Consulting was able to say that they did similar migrations before and they asked how they could help expedite the process.
We started our planning calls with Box on February 11, and by March 2 we were live. We achieved that within about a 3–4 weeks timeframe, which was pretty aggressive, but we were able to get it done. We just happened to get lucky that it was 1–2 weeks before the pandemic hit and we were also at home anyway.
What is the team composition?
We primarily worked with four individuals on the team. They had a project lead and their entire job was basically just managing and keeping IT guys involved and in the loop of what our concerns were and relaying their answers back to us so that I was keeping them on the go. We also had probably 3–4 individuals who provide some ancillary support throughout the process including general helpdesk support.
How did you come to work with KSM Consulting?
Since we use them for our ongoing tech support, we already had an established relationship with them. We’ve been a client of theirs and they’ve done our IT support for longer than I’ve been at the firm. I’ve been here a little over five years, so they’ve been helping us with tech support, probably at a minimum of seven, if not close to 10–11 years.
How much have you invested with them?
The contract estimate alone was between $12,750–$15,750 with an additional $6,000 for the cost of Box’s software. We came a little bit under the maximum of our budget, so we were in line with where we thought we might be.
What is the status of this engagement?
Our engagement ran from January–March 2020. We signed the contract on January 31, 2020, but it was probably around December 2019 that we first discussed the project with KSM Consulting.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
They were a good partner throughout the process, making sure that our eyes were looking long-term, not just in the short-term. We didn’t really have any hard metrics, but I guess one of them was how many support hours we were using from them following the move. Part of the move was that we would reduce some hours from server maintenance. In theory, some of the support hours that we were utilizing would go down. That may have been probably the only tangible metric that we had in place. The other one that was intangible was identifying if a certain solution improves our team’s connectivity and increased our efficiency, and other similar metrics.
How did KSM Consulting perform from a project management standpoint?
They did a pretty good job from a project management standpoint. I wouldn’t say they were quite perfect since we had to push for a couple of items to make sure things were getting done from a deadline standpoint. However, it was only because of the very aggressive deadlines that we were setting it as our process was faster than any other client that they had onboarded with Box and that they had been part of. We had to do quite a bit of legwork on our end, but we knew that was going to be the case. Otherwise, it would take longer to get through the onboarding process with Box.
KSM Consulting had set up communication tools for the project, but I'm not sure if they used their own internal software or just used a Microsoft product. However, we used Microsoft Teams a lot when we worked internally. There was a channel there where updates were provided in real-time. Since we had about 3–4 weeks timeframe, we called them twice a week and we would often go through where we were standing.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their ability to assess where we were and make recommendations on where we should be going in order to continue accomplishing our firm's goals and efficiency impressed us. We do not have cutting-edge technology, but we’re adopting pretty continually and that has served our firm really well.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They could do better with some follow-up related items. We ran into some issues that could’ve probably been seen ahead of time. Previously, we had some cases where our antivirus was blocking Box from running and it disconnected some users.
In addition, since they knew that we had a short deadline, they should've made sure they have a team in place to get it done. They ultimately did so they were able to finish it. However, I think we probably had to push them a little bit more than we would've liked.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Make sure that you are staying in contact with KSM Consulting and always be aware of the updates of where things stand, what needs to be done, and what has been done. That way, you’re not missing out and thinking that something’s taking place when it’s not.
Service & Deliverables
On time / deadlines
"We were able to meet the deadlines pretty well."
Value / within estimates
"We got pretty good value out of it and we were able to stay within our budget."
Willing to Refer4.5
"Out of the few tech support companies we have been part of or been involved with, this is one of the better ones.