Our clients always know what's next

Switchfast Technologies is a leading IT Managed Services Provider (MSP) serving the Greater Chicagoland and Midwest Area. Switchfast clients understand that a true IT Partner goes beyond break/fix; rather providing long-term solutions to business challenges and goals. They ensure investment in Information Technology provides the maximum ROI to its stakeholders through IT Roadmapping, Planning and Strategy.

With one of the highest Client Satisfaction & Employee Engagement rates in the industry, along with the data, referrals and accolades to prove it, Switchfast Technologies builds lasting and trusted relationships.  Learn more about how we'd like to help you.

 
$10,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
2001
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • Switchfast Technologies
    4043 N. Ravenswood, Suite 203
    Chicago, IL 60613
    United States
    773.241.3007
other locations
  • Switchfast Technologies
    1821 Walden Office Square, Suite 390
    Schaumburg, IL 60193
    United States
    773.241.3007

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Your Size: 10 - 200 employees

Your Location: 60 miles within Chicagoland Area with remote sites throughout US.

Your Culture: We look to work with organizations that have a positive, forward-thinking culture.

You: You recognize that an IT partner with the expertise to strategically plan and budget can make a powerful, positive impact on your organization.

Reviews

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Helpdesk & Managed Services for Management Consulting Firm

"The experience has been extremely positive."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Feb. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast provides helpdesk and managed IT services. Individual projects for disaster recovery solutions, VPN automation, and file sharing complement ongoing laptop security and software support.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Partner, Gibson Consulting
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Scalable services are a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional IT resources. User surveys indicate exceptional performance, which is further demonstrated by impressive documentation and responsive communication. Customers can expect thoughtful and tailored solutions.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Gibson Consulting Group is a boutique management consulting firm that focuses on supply chain and operations for private equity middle market and Fortune 500 global companies.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Swtichfast?

Historically, the business had an IT manager, but in 2015, we decided to hire an outside IT provider that could provide stability and a broad array of services. We didn’t have a traditional IT infrastructure in-house because our consultants spend most of their time traveling, at client sites with their laptops. We needed an IT company to provide simple services for: troubleshooting laptops, helping with virus protection, setting up shared drives, installs, and file access across projects.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They provide standard virtual and phone-based laptop assistance. Issues have included: blacked out screens, locked computers, crashing software programs, software updates, and password resets. Additionally, they work on one-off projects.

As an example project, Switchfast is creating an online system to change expiring passwords to replace calling their helpdesk for Office365 and our virtual private network (VPN) connections. They are automating the system connection, which would eliminate manual network selections every time a consultant enables WiFi and further endpoint security.

Switchfast also assists with our shared drive network, which contains various folders with different access rights that correlate to employee seniority. The drive stores and transmits project files, internal HR materials, such as 401k and healthcare benefits, and recruiting information. In addition, they also install antivirus software and CrashPlan, a disaster recovery solution that goes on every laptop.

Relatedly, the team created a self-help 'how-to' guide to allow our tech savvy team members to setup laptops themselves in about an hour. This includes installing CrashPlan, Office365, accessing shared drives, installing Switchfast Agent software and a few additional features.

What is the team composition?

As our team’s primary point of contact, I meet them in person once a quarter and reach out via phone whenever I have questions. Otherwise, our team calls their 800 number or uses tickets through Switchfast’s Agent app.

How did you come to work with Switchfast?

We knew from my business partner’s experience that having a full-time IT employee wouldn’t make financial sense. We did basic market research to identify a service provider and interviewed a few possible matches. Switchfast’s services not only aligned with our needs, but also displayed a personal touch that distinguished them from competitors.

How much have you invested with them?

We’re in the ‘six figures’. The monthly fees for monitoring and helpdesk support are based on the number of employees, and this allows us to scale accordingly. The total cost has increased with our company size. Switchfast puts together a scoping document for each individual project outside of our standard service contract and as needed by the firm.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work started in February 2015 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Switchfast sends out surveys after completing each ticket item; we’re able to use those to assess performance. Feedback from my team has been glowing. Overall, they’ve been exceptional.

How did Switchfast perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re fantastic at providing documentation and setting expectations; everything’s well laid out and thought through. The follow-up is particularly impressive. Not only do they update us regularly, but they reach out with mini surveys and occasional phone calls to make sure the completed tickets or items are running smoothly and as expected.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The experience has been extremely positive. They understand our company and take the time to formulate tailored solutions. The team is proactive with testing and other services, and the help desk crew has remained fairly consistent over the course of our relationship.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind at this point.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They provide a wealth of IT experience that can’t be replicated by hiring one full-time employee. Switchfast is a great option for small and growing businesses because the customer can scale to their growth. That’s more cost-effective than hiring staff right away, and probably with limited or tailored IT experience. Furthermore, they bring a level of world-class IT sophistication and experience to young businesses that would be hard to replicate for the cost.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The value we get from the services is awesome. The fees are more than reasonable.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Managed Services for Real Estate Developers

"Everything has been completed on schedule and on budget."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast provides ongoing managed IT services, backup coordination, and desktop support for two-dozen end users on a predominantly Microsoft-based system.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Tim Feldballe
CFO, Development Management Associates
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Through a well-organized project management approach that maximizes both teamwork and long-term planning strategies, Switchfast has been able to provide comprehensive & effective IT services. Their regular meetings and thorough reports are integral to both present & future operational procedures.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the chief financial officer of Development Management Associates, which is a real estate project management consulting firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast?

We needed to engage someone to help with our support and overall strategic planning in terms of IT and related issues.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We have them set up to take calls directly from our employees whenever they require help with anything related to IT needs. Switchfast also manages all our hardware and software purchasing and monthly backups for both our employees’ personal computers and our onsite server. Their work currently supports at least 22 end users. The technologies on which they work for us are predominantly Microsoft-based, as we operate largely on Dell for both the computers and the server. We also use a Sonicwall router, Synology (our offsite backup service), and DATTO (our backup hardware and software). Currently, we are in the process of looking into a cloud solution for Switchfast to implement on our system. Although we have partially used Dropbox in the past, we are trying to unify the cloud platform throughout the company. As part of our ongoing relationship with Switchfast, we have a service level agreement in terms of uptime and responsiveness to desktop support requests.

What is the team composition?

They have a virtual chief information officer (vCIO) that heads up the team of around four or five people that work on our contract.

How did you come to work with Switchfast?

A previous client of ours had used Switchfast for their IT installation and recommended their services to us, conveying that they thought very highly of their services. We got to know Switchfast during the completion of that particular project, which coincided with us beginning to look for a new company to fill our IT needs. Our project manager spoke to them as well as a few other companies, and Switchfast won our business thanks to the prior service and relationship we were able to observe.

How much have you invested with them?

I would estimate that we invest around $45,000 in their services a year, once we have subtracted the amount that they spend on procuring our hardware and software.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in January of 2017, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

How did Switchfast perform from a project management standpoint?

We meet with their virtual CIO once a quarter to go over whether or not there were any recent issues, what we need to do going forward, and what our budget will look like for the upcoming quarter. From that meeting, we draw up reports that cover their output, including information such as how many calls they received, what the problems and resolutions were, what license and hardware expiration dates are forthcoming, and other related issues and data points.

I mainly interact with the virtual CIO, unless I have an IT problem myself, in which case I contact their helpdesk. Although I know that they use project management software internally, I do not know the names or details of their processes.

The service agreement covers the time between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and there is a backup plan to cover out-of-hours service emergencies and allow them into the offices to perform their work. Everything has been completed on schedule and on budget.

What did you find most impressive about them?

What I appreciate the most is the fact that they provide us with a budget outlook report once a quarter to project what we are likely to spend on both their services and any ancillary costs related to our overall IT needs. That is incredibly helpful for our internal planning. We were impressed with their office’s structure and how they had teams set up to service every client, rather than assigning whole contracts to a single person. This allows us to work predominantly with the same group of people on an ongoing basis. Siphoning everything through the virtual CIO position allows them to work using a proactive strategic approach, rather than being simply reactive. We appreciate their quality of service objectives and the way that they measure what their clients think of them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We have been working with them to try to get this comprehensive cloud service up for longer than we would have liked. I had hoped to have something in place already, but it has been in progress for about six months now, even though everything else has been done in a timely fashion.

5.0
Overall Score IT service is a crowded space, but I think they do a good job.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Aside from a recent hiccup, everything has been delivered on time.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They are not the highest priced provider, but neither are they the lowest priced one.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Their work has been helpful.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend them.

Infrastructure & Managed Services for Growing Financial Firm

"We've had a consistent and stable team for years."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2008 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast manages all the infrastructure, including helpdesk, external/internal network communication, and disaster recovery. They also handle colocation and build-outs of new offices.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
John Mautz
Managing Director, Cortland Capital Market Services
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Maintaining the relationship for nearly 10 years, they know the ins and outs of the client's business. They completed over 100,000 IT service tickets, managed 700 workstations and 130 servers.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Cortland is a capital market services firm that does accounting, taxes for hedge funds and investors, and provides other financial services. I'm the managing director and I'm responsible for our technology infrastructure and information security. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast?

Initially, we needed a company to manage all of our IT infrastructure.  We've been around since 2008 and Switchfast has been our technology partner from the beginning.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They architected all of our infrastructure and developed all the upgrades and enhancements over the years. Currently, they manage everything: desktop support, helpdesk, our server infrastructure, and all of our network communication –internal and external. In addition, they answer our clients' questions and handle our structured security controls, business continuity, and disaster recovery.

Just recently they managed a project on migration for us: we were hosting all of our servers in-house (our data center was located in our headquarters, in downtown Chicago). We needed to move everything to external data center and they helped us with colocation. They also managed the moves of some office space in Chicago and build-outs of new offices in Indianapolis, California, and Nanjing, China (this was done remotely). 

What is the team composition? 

For the past seven years, we've primarily worked with Chris Barker (vCIO, Switchfast Technologies) who's been our virtual CIO and our primary point of contact. 

How did you come to work with them?

They were a referral from a client we were working with at that time. 

How much have you invested with them?

We would prefer to keep that confidential.

What is the status of this engagement? 

We started working with them in 2008 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Over the years, they've responded to about 110,000 IT service tickets, managed about 700 workstations and 130 end servers as well as two storage area networks.

They've installed an agent on all of our equipment so that they can manage and monitor everything, which also helps with inventory and asset tracking.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

They have a ticketing system in the form of email or phone requests. They also provide a full helpdesk. We meet with them weekly to review the tickets and they provide us with the metrics in terms of how many tickets were opened and how many can be closed.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We've had a consistent and stable team for years, even though we're not their only client. They have a good understanding of what we do and our technology requirements, so we view them as a partner more than a vendor.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We've been very happy with them, but we've grown a little faster that they have – we started out with about a dozen employees in one location and now we have closer to 500 employees in 8–9 locations in multiple countries. In some cases, they need to catch up from a resources standpoint (usually, they do a good job with that).

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

I don't think so.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're US centric and don't have a well-manned 24 hour helpdesk, so for our China office the responses can be delayed.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They did very well.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Ongoing Managed Services for Design Firm

“They are the most organized supplier or partner I’ve ever dealt with.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast Technologies provide ongoing IT management services, taking care of all workstations, servers, firewalls, and other aspects. They work on other projects as needed, such as VPNs or Wi-Fi upgrades.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
CEO
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The services they provide are professional, organized, and well-planned, as demonstrated by the meticulous onboarding process. The high level of support continues as they respond to issues within minutes and approach all problems comprehensively, for example, retrieving data from crashed systems.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CEO and president of a custom commercial solar-control systems manufacturer. We sell our products to a dealer network which resells them to the market.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast Technologies?

We run our business through several workstations and hired Switchfast to manage and monitor our infrastructure on a 24/7 basis.

Our previous IT company had 3–5 staff members and was run accordingly. There was really no organization — we would call for their services, they would come to the job site after 3 or 4 days and then spend 8 hours doing the work. They were running from customer to customer.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They manage and monitor all our workstations, servers, firewalls, and so on. Any of our employees can call them, at any time, for support on any issues. This helps them be productive, which, in turn, helps me stay focused on my business goals, without becoming involved with the nuances of small IT issues.

I’ve also hired them for several other projects, including a VPN installation. They run backups of all our files and monitor our servers. We had a couple of failures in our server drives and Switchfast was able to work with Dell in order to get us warranty parts and install them, typically within 48 hours.

What is the team dynamic? 

Unlike our old service provider, they are tied into our server. They receive prompts when there is an alert on it or one of our workstations, which go to their staff. A ticket is generated, which then falls through the internal process, and goes to the right person. Myself or the vice president will then be contacted, and they will solve the issue. It’s a clear-cut process.

How did you come to work with Switchfast Technologies?

I met Tim [director of sales and marketing, Switchfast Technologies] through a networking platform. I found out that his company provided the IT management services we needed and asked if they would be willing to take us on. I started off as a time-and-materials customer.

I’d done a lot of research on this subject. Everyone has a great sales pitch, but not many providers could back it up. Everything I heard from Tim and their CEO, Jim, convinced me that they believe in processes and policies, and go forward with them. Everything is clear in terms of what my responsibility is, what theirs is, and how they get to a solution. There is peace of mind in knowing where they are, step by step, in solving an issue. I chose Switchfast because they are confident in their abilities and they are able to explain them to me.

How much have you invested with them?

We currently pay $600 per month for their services, but we have had other projects outside of the basic plan, such as the VPN installation, a new PC for myself, and a Wi-Fi upgrade. 

All in, we’ve spent around $20,000 so far. We plan to upgrade to the next step, which will cost us around $22,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them a year and a half ago, around September 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

When we switched from time-and-materials to a fixed plan with them, the process was handled by one of their team members, who came to our office and documented everything. He discussed our current issues, future wants, as well as our business in general. This was done for him to understand in advance what support they should be planning for. He discussed what we should expect from the contract so that my expectations could meet what I had hired them for.

My computer crashed 2 or 3 months ago and they had me up-and-running again in 1–2 days, with brand-new hardware and software. They were able to pull backups from my old computer which was invaluable. I’m very happy that I engaged them when I did.

They are the most organized supplier or partner I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve gotten my return on investment back, given that I’ve been able to recuperate all the time I had been spending on IT needs.

How did Switchfast Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?

They have a ticketing system and we can dial their 800-number 24/7 help desk. When there is an issue, we call, and I also have the ability to reach the account manager if I need to.

We can also email them and get a response from an intake technician. The longest we’ve waited was around 2 minutes for some type of reply — the response time is second to none.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They could probably overcharge me if they wanted to, given that they’ve made my life that much better. It comes down to trust and they have mine. They’re responsible, responsive, they know what the process is and communicate it to me, and they’re able to manage our IT services properly.

I’ve talked to quite a few of their employees and have also gone to one of their events to get to know them better. Their culture is top-notch; I wish ours was as great. All the team members want to be there and they want to be helpful. They have clear-cut core values and they live by them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

With any partnership, there will be ups and downs. The ups have been great, but we’re only a year and a half into the relationship. I moved from a bad supplier to one that I currently find to be top-notch.

One issue I had was with an Adobe update which keeps running over and over again on one of my laptops. A chunk of their time was used on a relatively simple issue. I reached out to my account manager and asked why I was being billed for it and why they were spending so much time on it. Even though it was in my contract, I felt that there was a problem in going too far on an insignificant problem. I didn’t understand why 5 hours had been spent on it, and the account manager looked into it. They ended up compensating me for all that time, even though they really didn’t have to.

I don’t want to say that it was their fault since they were working as per our agreement, but it was a little frustrating. They’ve since made some internal changes so that they reach out to me about persistent issues, in order to ask us if we want to proceed or not. Typically, I tell them to go ahead and take care of it.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

My advice is to use them. A lot of time can be wasted on IT services by business owners if they don’t have a plan in place. Find reliable and trustworthy partners with processes in place to meet current needs and grow with the company since IT has the potential to shut a business down.

5.0
Overall Score They are reputable, responsive, and I can count on them when I need to.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I can be impatient, but they have yet to fail on an agreed-upon deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It depends on the plan. I am considering moving to the more expensive one, since I believe I will have a bigger return.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    What they’re doing is clear and we have gotten results from the work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would refer them to someone I like, and I have done so already.

Managed Infrastructure & Tech Advisory for Wholesaler

“They’ve done an excellent and very professional job on all of the projects that they’ve helped us do.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Feb. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast provided advanced-level IT support to reconfigure the firewall, servers and hosting system for email. They managed the transitions and remain engaged as ongoing support.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Skokie, Illinois
Owner, Wholesale Importer & Inventory Management
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Excelling at making smooth transitions, Switchfast’s expertise proved to be above and beyond in-house and outsourced tech staff abilities. Good communication helped to deliver satisfaction, and their professional quality work assures a continuing partnership.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We manage inventory and we’re a wholesale importer. A lot of the things we do on a daily basis revolve around computers and technology. I am one of the owners.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast?

We had some IT support internally and some was outsourced. We needed a more sophisticated IT support firm for our company.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Switchfast helped us completely reconfigure our email and firewall. They helped us convert to new servers and reconfigure our servers so that we moved from three to two, which is more appropriate for a firm of our size. We use Switchfast on a frequent basis for day-to-day technological needs that our staff doesn’t have the skill set to figure out. They manage our on-premise technology, not our full technology stack including Internet servicing. The bulk of the work is done remotely, but a fair amount of it has had to be done on-site as well.

What is the team dynamic?

We have an account manager, but not the same technician comes on-site when we have issues.

How did you come to work with Switchfast?

One of my colleagues worked with them at a prior firm. We considered other companies, but Switchfast appeared to have the best skill set for what our needs were.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in February 2016 and the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They’ve done an excellent and very professional job on all of the projects that they’ve helped us do. When we switched provider hosting systems for our email, they fully managed and completed that project and did it very well. The server project was also handled fluidly and seamlessly and without any major problems. With the firewall issue we were having, they helped us to figure that out when the other parties that we were working with couldn’t. That was terrific. We’ve been very pleased and satisfied with the quality of their work.

How did Switchfast perform from a project management standpoint?

We communicated through a ticketing system, by phone, and by email. We had a dedicated account manager. They were helpful in resolving things and being communicative.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their overall skill set to deal with projects of this size was impressive.

Are there any areas they could improve?

For a firm of our size, it really would be better to have a dedicated technician, but I recognize that that is not how their firm is set up. We’re not a big business. It can be very frustrating to try and communicate issues to new technicians. They do accommodate their billing appropriately, but from my standpoint, time is very valuable and it ends up wasting our time. I find that frustrating. I would prefer to see a dedicated technician to our account who at least can handle most of our issues when it’s not totally urgent.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We spent a lot of money with them and we’re not a huge firm. The scope of these projects is very important, so I’m sure it’s very competitive.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I definitely would recommend them.

Managed Network & Infrastructure for Private Equity Firm

“It's tough to measure how much value their team added over the years.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2007 - Nov. 2016
Project summary: 

Switchfast administered full-range IT services, including network and infrastructure management. They also integrated IT services using an existing infrastructure, as well as provided desktop and email support.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Controller
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Switchfast’s team is personable, and they became more like a business partner than a third party vendor. They were able to build a trusting relationship by providing dedicated and thoughtful service, and even ensured the safe delivery of a server by offering to move it themselves.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We were a private equity firm that invested in several energy businesses, and since 2015, we’ve liquidated all of our investments. Our engagement with Switchfast has recently wound down as we've continued to dissolve the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast?

The biggest reason they were hired was that we were a relatively small group, and we didn't want to have a dedicated IT person.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They provided desktop and email support, while also monitoring our server and ensuring all data was backed up. I was very happy with them early on, and coming from a group where we did had a dedicated IT person for a number of years, I could see the benefits of having Switchfast’s additional resources. We could tap into their services for a wide range of things.

They delivered throughout the entire relationship, but one situation, in particular, stands out. We had opened another office, and I remember them coming to our downtown Chicago office with a pickup truck and helping us physically move our server to the new area. They were on-site until midnight making sure everything was up and running so that we had a seamless transition.

What was the team dynamic?

We had some dedicated team members that helped by coming to the offices, while some worked remotely. These individuals were trusted and everyone knew them by first name when they came into the office.

How did you come to work with them?

I essentially assumed responsibility for the business relationship and kept it running. I had no reason to look elsewhere.

What's the status of the engagement?

At this point, since the company is dissolving, we aren't doing any kind of real work. They do advise periodically, but it's nothing like what they were previously doing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We migrated over to Microsoft Office when we closed one of our offices in 2015 and sold our power plants. They were essential when it came to that implementation.

They also helped us with IT integration services for a power plant we acquired in New York in 2013. This project was complex because it involved incorporating the existing infrastructure and network with what we already had. The transition had to be near instantaneous and completely seamless. They were extremely helpful with the planning process all the way up to project execution.

How would you compare their performance to others?

It's tough to measure how much value their team added over the years. Having an in-house IT professional can cost well over six figures, so using a third party group with virtually unlimited resources was much more cost-effective.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The thing about Switchfast I appreciate the most is that they’re more like a business partner to us than a third party vendor. I really felt like they took ownership, and they were extremely responsive.

There was a personal aspect to the relationship, and most of the time when we called, we spoke with someone we knew. We weren’t getting routed to a call center. 

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

Managed Services for Local Law Firm

"Attentive and professional."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast acts as a remote technology team. Assigned resources manage the network infrastructure, help ensure data storage & backup, monitor security, and lend ad-hoc troubleshooting support.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
James Erwin
Principal Attorney, Erwin Law, LLC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Switchfast offers emergency assistance within 15–20 minutes. The strategic advice they give concerning hardware solutions and proactive security measures saves both time and money. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a small transactional and litigation law firm here in Chicago. Our areas of practice are real estate, business, estate planning and bankruptcy. I’m the founder and principal.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast?

As we were growing, we needed someone to better manage the overall IT aspects of the firm and assist with things like security and reliability. Those were our biggest issues going into it. Trying to manage all of our IT vendors, plus the different IT aspects and products we have, but without the expertise that we needed, was getting unwieldy. We were running into reliability issues and concerns with respect to data storage and security, and we realized that with some further growth, we were definitely going to need professional management.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We’re on something that they call a managed services platform with them, but in the beginning it was more of a put-out-fires type of arrangement. Slowly, as they were able to review our environment, they made recommendations as to hardware improvements we needed to make. They worked with us on a cloud-based storage system and then transitioned us into something that worked better on-site. So now they truly manage just about everything for us: our internet service, storage issues, backup issues, everything. They’ve worked remotely and on site over the past four years.

How did you come to work with Switchfast?

Prior to Switchfast, we had a few vendors we’d used on a limited-scope basis, but nothing as extensive as Switchfast. They’re actually here in the same building as our office, so that’s how I became aware of them. I’ve been a customer of theirs for roughly four years. I do vividly recall that their account rep first visited here and really made a good impression, so we continued the conversation. We retained them for an initial form of IT management that we’ve since expanded upon in terms of the scope of services that they provide, but it was a process in which they listened to our concerns, took a look at our environment and we came to an agreement.

How much have you invested with Switchfast?

It’s probably averaged around $45,000-$50,000 per year. That’s not just on Switchfast but on hardware that they’ve recommended.

What is the status of this engagement?

It’s been four years now.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I could give you hundreds of examples. Working with them has been nothing but success: we went from a completely scattered approach to our IT management to very well planned, smooth operations of our IT stuff. That’s not to say that we don’t run into standard issues, but now we have a system in place for addressing any kind of outages or loss of service. From that standpoint, it’s an absolute success. They’ve saved us money on various contracts; they’ve saved us time and the possible loss of data. I could go on and on. I was completely in the dark about these nuanced technology things, so maybe it’s really easy to take someone from that position and make them really happy, but in all honesty, every aspect of it meets the objectives I lay out each year. It’s a long chain of successes, small and large.

How did Switchfast perform from a project management standpoint?

Right now we’re in the second year of smooth-running maintenance. They produce quarterly reviews, and now our quarterly meetings are really just confirming that everything is going smoothly. They have a really easy system. It’s an email to their support team. Everyone has that email address. If we label the issue as an emergency, then they’ll respond within 15 minutes. Only one time in the last three years can I recall them not meeting that particular standard, and that was just an accident. It’s super simple. They assign it to somebody who lets us know that it’s received; there’s an auto-reply as well. If it’s not an emergency, we’ll hear back in a couple of hours and they’ll start the process of figuring it out. It’s extremely streamlined and easy to use. Very user-friendly.

What did you find most impressive about Switchfast?

It would be disingenuous for me to compare them to other IT vendors because I’ve never used vendors like this. But I have worked with other vendors in other sectors, and the unique characteristic is that they provide what I feel is truly white-glove service. They treat us like their top-dollar client, and I know we can’t possibly be. Everybody they hire has the playbook down. They’re attentive and professional, qualified. It’s without fail. That’s what’s unique about Switchfast, not as an IT vendor but as a business. For what I’m asking of them, I couldn’t be happier.

Are there any areas Switchfast could improve?

I’d have to dig pretty deep. I can’t think of anything I would ask them to improve.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Switchfast?

People feel like they can’t afford to spend the money. What I say, particularly with IT, is that you can’t afford not to. Prior to retaining Switchfast, we didn’t realize how much we were losing, whether it was time or money or both, on doing it ourselves.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Other vendors might charge a little less, but the value is better.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Managed Network Infrastructure for Non-Profit

“They have been incredibly kind and friendly.”

 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast serves as the outsourced technology team. Responsibilities include troubleshooting technical issues, conducting comprehensive cyber security assessments, and supplying ad-hoc end-user support. 

The Reviewer
 
11–50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Operations Coordinator
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Switchfast is highly professional and responsive. The remote ticketing system they use to troubleshoot and resolve customer support issues is predictable and easy to use. Client satisfaction is a top priority and it's made clear on a regular basis. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a non-profit in Chicago. We invest in high-performing education non-profits across the city. We have just over 10 employees right now, and I’m the executive and operations coordinator.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast?

We were looking to find a different IT vendor that could help us with different support needs. Given that we’re a small team, we don’t have a dedicated in-house IT staff member, so we have to outsource our IT activities to others. We were looking for a vendor that would be more responsive to our needs, given that most of our business is run via email.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Switchfast manages all aspects all of our technology infrastructure. Our relationship with them is kind of ad hoc, so if we have an issue, we’ll contact them. So far, they’ve done a cyber security assessment that helped us identify new systems we can use to beef up our firewalls. They wrote up a huge assessment and noted areas where we could improve and put some configurations into place. An engineer came and spent two hours here to get a feel for our organization and our servers and all of that fun IT stuff. They also help us troubleshoot when we need it. We were having some dropped conference calls, so they helped us troubleshoot that. They suggested a different dial-in system, and so far we haven’t had any issues.

How did you come to work with Switchfast?

We were introduced through another non-profit.

What is the status of this engagement?

We signed them on in January, so it’s been around two months. They have been incredibly kind and friendly. A colleague of mine emailed them about a support question and they responded within a few hours. They’ve been really on top of it.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Their work definitely resulted in some action items for us. For example, they suggested that we add certain configurations to our firewall, so I think we’ve gone ahead and implemented them. That was the kind of proactivity that we needed from a supplier. It wasn't enough to conduct the evaluation. They proposed meaningful suggestions afterward and helped us understand all the different variables involved.

How did Switchfast perform from a project management standpoint?

They use a ticketing system. You email a support helpdesk and pretty quickly they respond. We haven’t had an emergency yet, but I have no problem getting them on the phone right away if need be. I was working with one gentleman yesterday and we were in and out of communication all day, and he was really committed to helping us with the issue at hand.

Are there any areas Switchfast could improve?

It has been a short relationship, so it’s hard to say at this point.

4.0
Overall Score I’ve been very pleased so far, but it’s only been two months.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They’re pretty comparable to other IT vendors.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer

Managed Infrastructure for Nonprofit

"[Their] team is well-trained at listening, responding, [and] being cordial."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Aug. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast delivers ongoing maintenance and support for an existing technology infrastructure. This involves vendor/solution management, strategic road mapping, and retroactive bug fixes.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Executive Director
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Highlights include uncompromising responsiveness, a well-organized ticketing system in place, and a knack for educating their clients on all things related to business technology solutions.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We're a nonprofit organization serving 1,000 people, primarily through educational programs. We have around 30 employees. I am the executive director of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast Technologies?

We had outgrown our original IT [information technology] manager and needed a more reliable partner who could stay three steps ahead of us, instead of responding to what we knew and always fixing things after they went wrong. We aren't professionals in the field so it was impossible to do it ourselves, plus hiring internally for it wasn't going to be cost-effective. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Switchfast Technologies is a liaison for all of our IT [information technology] needs, working with our hosted servers, ISP [Internet Service Provider], backup system, workstation setups, email management solution, and so on. We don't have any custom business solutions in place, but Switchfast Technologies has tailored the systems we have to our specific needs. Most of their work has been maintenance and support.

How did you come to work with Switchfast Technologies?

I found Switchfast Technologies through a Google search. I vetted a number of companies and chose Switchfast Technologies because of their commitment to customer service. Not only did Switchfast Technologies have good IT knowledge, but they were also committed to completing tasks in a satisfactory way, which can be a problem with IT companies.

How much have you invested with Switchfast Technologies?

We have made some infrastructure investments that came together with Switchfast Technologies' monthly maintenance fee, so I can't provide an exact figure.

What is the status of this engagement?

We have been working with Switchfast Technologies since August 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Switchfast Technologies has responded quickly to all of our issues and was able to complete our first project, a Microsoft Exchange Office 365 integration, seamlessly. Switchfast Technologies is now building a technology roadmap for us, which will allow our organization to budget in the future when our needs will diminish. Most of our work so far has been remedial and strategic, but without their involvement, we would not have a good grasp on where we were heading and what we could do to prepare for our future growth. 

How did Switchfast Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?

Switchfast Technologies has a specific and thorough system of opening tickets and reporting on every move made for specific issues. We've used this system in the past and found it effective.

What did you find most impressive about Switchfast Technologies?

Switchfast Technologies' team is well-trained at listening, responding, being cordial, and helping the customer understand the technical nature of the proposed solutions as well as the business aspects.

Are there any areas Switchfast Technologies could improve?

No. They are great.

5.0
Overall Score It's great to work with a cordial and professional team.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Managed Network Services for Electrical Manufacturer

"Out of all our IT providers, Switchfast Technologies is the most proactive in handling the technologies we use."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2012 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Switchfast replaced a former vendor and thereafter became responsible for managing the existing network infrastructure. The engagement remains ongoing.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Founder & CEO, TMI
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Key strengths include access to a wide variety of expertise, a proactive approach to network management, and uncompromising responsiveness regardless of circumstance. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the owner of Transformer Manufacturers Inc., a manufacturer of low-voltage appliance transformers. We also produce value-added assemblies, transformers with customer componentry acting as power units. We sell our products strictly to OEMs [original equipment manufacturers].

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Switchfast Technologies?

We were looking for a service-oriented firm because our previous IT company was not able to stay abreast of current technologies. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Switchfast Technologies provides equipment-related services, inheriting complete responsibility for our infrastructure. They are responsible for managing, updating and processing our tools. They handle everything: our modems, connectivity, spam software, filters, and so on. Occasionally when remote intervention does not work, Switchfast Technologies sends resources on-site. We haven't used them for accounting software management or other types of platforms.

How did you come to work with Switchfast Technologies?

I came to know Switchfast Technologies' chief operating officer through business networking. I also considered another candidate but Switchfast Technologies was more competitive. They were responsive and had a more comprehensive line of services.

How much have you invested with Switchfast Technologies?

We've spent $800 to $1,000 per month on Switchfast Technologies' services.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Switchfast Technologies in 2012 or 2013. Our relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Switchfast Technologies has been proactive in understanding each segment of our upgrades and services. They know what is happening on a monthly basis. At the same time, we also understand exactly what they are doing and why. Everything is spelled out in our agreement and followed to a tee. We've also been pleased that they addressed issues that were outside of the original agreement. For example, they assisted us with an out-of-scope hardware issue. Switchfast Technologies got us back online using their contacts and resources.

How did Switchfast Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?

Switchfast Technologies have the right processes for solving problems like ours. We submit issues through their ticketing system. They logged us in immediately and issued internal tickets. Our lines of communication are also excellent.

What did you find most impressive about Switchfast Technologies?

Out of all our IT providers, Switchfast Technologies is the most proactive in handling the technologies we utilize. They solve problems immediately and their service is better than anything we've had before.

Are there any areas Switchfast Technologies could improve?

There's nothing glaring. Switchfast Technologies has been able to keep up with the communication technologies used by our team. I would have mentioned response time a year ago, but Switchfast Technologies has addressed this. As far as I'm concerned, there are no issues.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I wasn't displeased, but I don't have a good grasp of what is the industry standard.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've recommended Switchfast Technologies to colleagues. They have been quite pleased.