Business | Technology | Success

SWC Technology Partners is an award-winning provider of IT solutions to midsize organizations throughout the Midwest. We work in partnership with local organizations to leverage technology that drives innovation and accelerates business transformation.

 

For over 35 years, SWC has been perfecting our IT consulting services and technology solutions to meet the changing needs of midsize businesses. Our diverse practice areas, strategic partnerships with leading technology vendors such as Microsoft, and highly trained and certified IT consultants make SWC uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive, high-value solutions that deliver real business impact to our customers as we partner in your midsize business’ success.

Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois with offices in Chicago and Indianapolis, IN, SWC has been honored to receive numerous awards including being recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the Best Places to Work in 2012-2016, one of Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in 2017 and making the Inc. 500|5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

To learn more visit www.swc.com or call 630.572.0240.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1980
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • SWC Technology Partners
    1420 Kensington Road, Suite 110
    Chicago, IL 60523
    United States
other locations
  • SWC Technology Partners
    33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1830
    Chicago, IL 60603
    United States
  • SWC Technology Partners
    8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1300
    Indianapolis, IN 46240
    United States

Reviews

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Managed Services for Outdoor Consumer Services Company

"They're very organized, very efficient and communication is typically good."

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

SWC Technology Partners manages the network of a lawn care franchise. They maintain physical and online infrastructure, desktop support, and host all data. 

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Plainfield, Illinois
Paul McDonald
Director of IT at Spring-Green Lawn Care
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team is responsive to issues, and there are multiple points of contact available in the event of an emergency. SWC has managed both big and small projects with ease and care. The team takes suggestions well and improves accordingly. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are a franchising organization with roughly 75 franchises currently across the country. We provide primarily lawn care fertilization as well as chlorination and seeding, lime and other lawn-care related services.

What is your position?

I am the director of information technology.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with SWC Technology Partners?

It was before my time, but from what I understand we were growing and our network infrastructure was managed by one person. We were at the point where we needed to get a more established and recognized company to partner with us in order to manage that infrastructure and provide us guidance moving forward. This was previously outsourced, but it was outsourced to one person, and we had outgrown his services.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in more detail.

They maintain our physical infrastructure as far as switches, servers, routers, and all those things. They also maintain our desktop environment as well, from a computer standpoint. We have a managed services agreement with them, where they provide desktop support to us, a ticketing-based system, and a whole host of things that they do for us. They are also hosting our data.

If something is down, broken or not working, we call their help desk and then their network operating center. They reply that way, and we have a dedicated account manager who is included on every alert that goes out. He's really in tune with what's going on with our environment and how it's set up. When there are bigger issues, he usually steps in and gets involved as well, even though those are typically routed through the help desk and through the support line. He's pretty close to the account as well.

More recently, they made some recommendations as far as upgrading our SAN [storage area network] infrastructure and our SAN environment. They saw the need to position ourselves better, to allow for growth as well as the performance of the environment as far as data transferring back and forth from out different tools. We actually went through that process last year. Hand in hand with that, they also helped us move and switch data centers. Both of those things were big projects, and they turned out very well. We're very pleased with the results, with their recommendations, and with how everything turned out.

How did you come to work with SWC Technology Partners?

We went through an RFP [request for proposal] process. From what I understand, it was in depth, and the result of that process was choosing them as our partner.

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

I can probably extrapolate out. I would say probably $300,000-plus.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working with them for about four or five years.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

I can think of one incident, in particular, last spring when our website went down. We maintain a very short and compact selling season as far as lawn care services go. In the spring is when we are able to sell our products and services when the weather is starting to turn warm and people start to think of their lawns. Our website went down during that critical time and Joe, our account manager, was actually out sick that day.

However, when I called the network operating center, and they realized the gravity of the situation, it was immediately forwarded on up the ladder to a regional director and then the network operating center manager was involved, too. He followed up with me with a conference call within a half an hour, and then had 15-minute updates for me pretty much throughout the whole process.

It was resolved quickly, and I was well informed throughout the entire process. That's pretty much been my experience through most of anything that's ever come up as far as them helping us resolve issues or problems, or even one-off projects and new things that we were looking to install. They're very organized, very efficient and communication is typically good.

There was another time when Microsoft Exchange went down – it was on a Friday night. The server went down, and we were without email for a good portion of the weekend, but Joe had stepped in and recommended at that point that we transition data centers. We had always looked and talked about moving it to our SAN. It was on a physical server here at our Plainfield location.

There were some initial problems getting it back online, so Joe at that point had said that it's a good time to move it. We did that and it turned out well. Obviously, we were down for a while, but it wasn't their fault. Again, communication was very good. They kept us informed throughout the entire process, and it was a very good response overall.

How did SWC Technology Partners perform from a project management standpoint?

They have an internal ticketing system that we use. All of our requests are tracked through their system. That's pretty much how we manage all the problems. From a project perspective, more file sharing through ShareFile. They put the documents out there, and we look at them that way. Then, Joe provides us a monthly managed services report on everything. That's how we handle it.

What distinguishes SWC Technology Partners from other providers?

They're highly organized. Anything we do with SWC Technology Partners gets documented. There are other vendors that we've had struggles with, where we've done projects, technical or otherwise, and sometimes failed to receive the proper documentation. But, with them, they're always on top of the documentation, always providing it to us and updating it when needed. They're just very organized with respect to that as well, which is much appreciated.

Is there anything SWC Technology Partners could have improved or done differently?

We're actually working through that now. It had to do with contract pricing. We'd been static for a while and then we took on a big increase because of – it's probably both of our faults – not planning and foreseeing a little better to take on some incremental changes versus one big change to the contract as far as bumping that up. We've been in discussions since then, and we've both recognized that was an issue, and we are working to resolve that and plan accordingly moving forward so that it doesn't happen again.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Managed Network Services for Morton College

"They're very personable, and they have wonderful employees."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

SWC Technology Partners manages a small community college's IT network. The team specifically works on upgrading network infrastructure and assisting in outdated help desk issues.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Cicero, Illinois
Jeri Machino
IT Director, Morton College
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

They are prompt and responsive, providing 24/7 management resources. SWC Technology Partners provides a support center that is always open and can send help quickly. The team is approachable and easy to work with overall. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

It's a small community college located in Cicero, Illinois, with about 5,000 students. We have about 1,000 computers on campus, and a lot of virtual servers.

What is your position and responsibilities?

I am the IT [information technology] director. I direct all help desk, ERP [enterprise resource planning] system, the administrative staff, and managed services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with SWC Technology Partners?

When I started working at Morton College, SWC was there because the college had outsourced a lot of their technology resources. The board had decided to get rid of the outsourced aspect, and to let a director handle it. The director they hired didn't last very long, and wasn't replaced for a while. They had a part-time student aide and a full-time person trying to handle everything. There were 200 outstanding tickets, and some of them hadn't been touched for six months. The network was just in shambles. Our hardware was out of warranty, the switch closets all needed to be redone, and so on.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in more detail.

We got SWC on board mainly to assist with the help desk and to upgrade the network infrastructure we had. It took several years to get staff hired, then we no longer used them for help desk. We used them for managed services and strictly all network support. They've also taken most of our servers and made them virtual, which has been great. They don't do anything with our ERP system. They just maintain the servers, the VM [virtual machine] – things like that.

They also perform some consulting tasks for specific software solutions when we need it. For example, the last project we just had occurred during the summer, and it was the installation of our new storage access network. We needed it upgraded because we were running out of data storage capacity. That was a big project. SWC had a guy come out and do an analysis on what we use, what we need, what we have, what we can work with, and what we need to replace. Then, they gave me recommendations and a cost estimate. The project ended up less than what they had budgeted, which was great.

How did you come to work with SWC Technology Partners?

I believe it a referral about 10 years ago, but I'm not sure.

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

It was between $300,000 and $400,000 annually.

What is the status of this engagement?

This is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

They're great. They're very prompt. They monitor our network 24/7. They have what they call a 'NOC' [network operations center] support group. For example, at four o'clock in the morning, they see that our servers are down. They have people on call, and we have an onsite person every day, which really helps. They address the situation right away and come onsite to fix it when needed.

How did SWC Technology Partners perform from a project management standpoint?

We use the Spiceworks management tool. We do a ticket system, and they do our Barracuda, our web filtering. If an instructor calls and says they can't get to a certain site, we'll see the reason it's blocked and we'll either unblock it, white list it, or explain to the instructor why it's blocked.

What distinguishes SWC Technology Partners from other providers?

I speak with the VP [Susie Cummings] regularly, and she's not hard to contact. They're very personable, and they have wonderful employees. The employees that SWC Technology Partners sends out are very good, very skilled, and talented. They're not afraid to take on something they don't know about. They'll bring in a person skilled in that area to assist. I think it's hard to be expert in everything, but they have people who specialize in all the important skills. I like the way they intermingle with each other on their skill sets.

Is there anything SWC Technology Partners could have improved or done differently?

I believe that I should be part of the annual evaluation process for the person who works onsite here at the college. He spends 95 percent of his time with me, but I don't even know what they evaluate him on. It makes sense that when they evaluate him, I would be involved since it's ultimately our issues that he's there to resolve and support. Maybe in the future they could consider roping in the clients that their technicians are working with when they do these performance reviews.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them to others.

Managed Services for Business Machinery Provider

"I think I get good advice, and I get good help. There isn't a thing that I would want more from them as a provider."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

SWC Technology Partners manages computer networks for an industrial mixing equipment company. The team helps with customer relationship management, infrastructure, inventory and general desk support. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Julie McMillin
Chief Information Officer, Simpson Technologies Corp.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The team is responsive in emergency situations and is willing to work weekends if necessary. SWC Technology Partners provides a project manager as a point of contact as well as a general support desk for reporting issues. They quickly rectify any miscommunications.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We make industrial mixing equipment, mostly for the foundry industry. Our equipment is used to mix sand and chemicals together, and that is used to make the mold that iron and metal is poured into. The molds are used to make castings in automotive, cast iron frying pans – that kind of thing. We also sell our products to the process industries to mix dry ingredients, so things like Kingsford Charcoal and battery paste. We're a fifth-generation family business. We've been in business more than 100 years, located in the Chicago area. Worldwide, we have about 50 employees.

What is your position?

I am the chief information officer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with SWC Technology Partners?

We're a smaller business, but we have a lot of big company challenges. We don't actually manufacture our own equipment. We actually subcontract all that work out, so a lot of the work that's going on here is the custom engineering and design. We've got mostly knowledge workers here, and our computer systems are really like our factory floor. It's important that we would keep those up and running and provide the best possible tools we could to the folks that are working for us.

The challenge was to find somebody that would help us support that endeavor, so that we could keep a small IT [information technology] staff here, and contract out some of that more specialized, specific IT support, but still keep a best-in-class kind of environment when it comes to the IT-related areas.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in more detail.

We needed help with inventory management, customer relationship management but also infrastructure - maintaining our network, voice-over-IP [Internet protocol] systems, hosting environments. We have SWC monitoring not only our physical infrastructure, but they also provide help desk support for us. We have basically standardized everything on the Microsoft stack, so we have Microsoft Exchange, we have Microsoft Dynamics AX, which is our ERP [enterprise resource planning] system, we've just started with Microsoft Dynamics CRM [customer relationship management] in the cloud, so that's going to connect our AX system, and then things like Office and Windows and all that kind of stuff.

How did you come to work with SWC Technology Partners?

We had actually started with a different company, which then got acquired by somebody else. They were not doing the job we asked, and I was not happy. I had received a sort of general email from SWC saying, "Hey, if you're ever looking for managed services, take a look at us!" I met with them, we talked and I really liked what I heard, so we made the switch and never looked back.

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

Standard per year it's about $79,000, and that's just sort of basic monitoring, support, help desk – that kind of thing. Then, we also contract with them on a project-by-project basis with separate statements of work, depending on what we might need. For example, we did a security upgrade that included new firewalls, and we put in a FireEye device and those kinds of things. That's separate and varies from year to year, depending on what kind of projects we want to do.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our relationship with SWC is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

Probably the best benchmark is that I think since we started with SWC, we've had only one incident of unplanned downtime, and we've been with them now for maybe three years. The only time we really had a major interruption, we had one of our own employees that clicked on an email that they shouldn't have, and we got infected with a virus across the network. We found out on a Saturday morning, and I called SWC immediately, and they had us completely back up and running, restored from backup and so on, by noon on Monday. It was just phenomenal. They were great.

How did SWC Technology Partners perform from a project management standpoint?

I've got an account manager who is sort of my day-to-day point of contact, and we work on forecasting what we're going to need, strategizing on things we want to do. When I have an issue, it depends on what it is. If it's a desktop/laptop kind of thing, you can just call the help desk, but then they've also got a network operations center.

When I got a phone call – it's actually my family's business – my brother called me because he had seen this issue on the network, so I called their network operations center, told them what I was experiencing, they started to go into triage mode. I had a call back within maybe 45 minutes or an hour, and they identified not only what it was but also where it started, and then they proposed a remediation plan. I gave them the OK, and they worked on it all weekend, getting it all up and running again. I didn't have to do a thing. They did it all.

What distinguishes SWC Technology Partners from other providers?

I've only had the experience with two, but I get phone calls every day from people trying to solicit that business from me, and I wouldn't even think about changing. I'm very happy. SWC Technology Partners is very responsive. I think I get good advice, and I get good help. There isn't a thing that I would want more from them as a provider.

Is there anything SWC Technology Partners could have improved or done differently?

They could provide their services for free. Wouldn't that be great? I'm really very satisfied with them. I can't think of anything right off the top of my head that I would do differently with them. If there are things I need, they're always there to talk to and work it through, so I can't think of anything that I would wish I had and would go out actively searching for.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I think their quality is outstanding.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer