Managed Services for Outdoor Consumer Services Company
- IT Managed Services
- $200,000 to $999,999
- Willing to Refer
"They're very organized, very efficient and communication is typically good."
- Consumer Products
- Plainfield, Illinois
- 51-200 Employees
- Phone Interview
SWC Technology Partners manages the network of a lawn care franchise. They maintain physical and online infrastructure, desktop support, and host all data.
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.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
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.
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.
Service & Deliverables
On time / deadlines
Value / within estimates
Willing to Refer5.0