It's not about tech - it's about your business.
Vintage IT Services provides small and medium sized businesses with the same computer and network management services utilized by enterprise-level companies. Using an infrastructure of servers, networks, monitoring systems, and applications, Vitage IT is able to cost-effectively serve customers with the latest advances in IT support.
Tarrytown Expocare, The Contemporary Austin, Sun City, Texas Association of Housing and Aging, Sun City Georgetown, Texas Health Institute
"Vintage IT should be a shoo-in for any company."
Vintage IT overhauled the entire site infrastructure for a large housing association. They provide strategic guidance and assume responsibility for hardware refreshes and help desk services.
"Vintage IT should be a shoo-in for any company."
Apr 3, 2017
Vintage IT masterfully handles a high volume of requests and are quick problem-solvers. What’s more, they repeatedly demonstrate their commitment to excellence, going above and beyond to guarantee results, such as when they provided free financing to save $15,000.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
The Sun City Texas Community Association is a large-scale homeowners' association based in Georgetown, Texas. We currently have over 7,500 homes on the ground and will expand to 10,000. We also offer a wide variety of fitness and recreational facilities. We're more of a resort than a standard homeowner's association (HOA). I wear two hats, serving as the community standards director and the IT director. All the networking and telecom stuff belongs to me, although we have a managed-service provider for copiers. We have 225 employees.
What challenge were you trying to address with Vintage IT?
The association used to be a part of a larger housing consortium, but one of the smart people in charge figured out that we were the only HOA in the organization, so they spun us off. As part of that, we were required to get our own IT support, since we would not be getting it from the organization anymore.
What was the scope of their involvement?
Vintage IT was initially tasked with reviewing the architecture of our network so that we'd know where we stood. The former parent company threw us the keys to the door, but we didn't know anything about how switch architecture was setup, which places were connected through fiber, and which ones had coax. Vintage IT bottom-lined everything from the standpoint of our equipment, and detailed what we'd need to do and the investments we'd need to make. We pressed forward based on their information.
We have an annual $50,000 check-refresh for the 125+ computers in our network. I told Vintage IT what I was looking for, and they came back with some recommendations. I would pick one, tell them how many of each kind to buy, and Vintage IT would take care of everything else, including sourcing, delivery, and setup. They make sure that everything works, and that everyone is up and running. If we have a warranty problem or another issue, Vintage IT will take care of it.
They also manage our software licenses, updates, and patches. When it comes to the security aspect, we are dealing with a separate company that helps us with cyber and physical security.
We make backups on site, over different locations. We do it through a couple of 10TB Buffalo DriveStation units on three locations. Vintage IT also makes a copy of daily data and keeps it in their data foundry in case our stuff fails.
We have a separate company in charge of telecoms. Some of my locations are carried over the IT network, and Vintage IT has worked hand in hand with separate contractors when we needed to get some stuff done. There were a couple of remote locations where the local telephone company couldn't offer support, but Vintage IT was able to install VoIP units. This can be a challenge to fine-tune since data and voice are different beasts, but Vintage IT resolved the problem proactively, and let me know afterward.
How did you come to work with Vintage IT?
We put out a request for proposals and got responses from 14-16 companies. Five or six of them actually followed the format, while the rest deselected themselves by default. We went through some interviews, talked to a bunch of clients from those companies, and liked Vintage IT the best. They had some of their people come out and validate the information we provided in the RFP in order to get a feel for the place and see what was going on. Only one other company did that, and they were quite perfunctory. The people from Vintage IT wanted to have a better understanding of who we were, what we were doing and how. They didn't see us as only one more potential source of revenue.
How much have you invested with Vintage IT?
We have a managed-services contract for 155 computers, with $22 per machine, per month. We also run individual projects as needed. Our fare is for remote work, and if Vintage IT's team needs to come on site to work out an issue, the cost will depend on how many technicians are used, and for how long. Our monthly bill is around $9,000, so the overall budget is around $110,000 per year.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Vintage IT seven or eight years ago.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We receive a monthly report, mainly around patches, updates, that sort of thing. I don't have any metrics off the top of my head, but I know that Vintage IT will typically handle 100 to 150 email or phone helpdesk issues per month from our local staff.
Unless there's a hardware issue that requires Vintage IT to come on-site, most things are resolved via the phone on the same day. We have worked on some long-haul projects as well, dealing with problems with an accounting software vendor for our clubs. Most of the time, Vintage IT will require no more than 48-72 hours for any issue, with 80% of them being resolved on the same day.
How did Vintage IT perform from a project management standpoint?
In the early days, when we were still figuring out what we had inherited from our parent company, we had multiple meetings with Vintage IT's lead technician and head architecture people, collaborating on coming up with a joint vision for what the infrastructure should be. In an earlier life, I was involved in the Air Force's intelligence, surveillance, and recognizance center, so I'm familiar with computers and other tech items. We were able to collaborate and come up with a consolidated roadmap. It took us four years to get from where we were to where we are now, and it involved numerous tweaks and upgrades to our older hardware.
Let me give you an example of how they work. Vintage IT saw the opportunity to become a good steward of our company's money, and they took it. They went out when we bought some new servers from Dell EMC, and used their own money for the units. We had a drop-dead date from their salesman for placing the order, and I didn't have the money right then, given that we were at the end of the financial year, and our books were pretty much closed. Vintage IT did this, knowing that we would be buying back the hardware from them in January. It was a sweet gesture, and it saved us around $15,000. They only required an email for me for approval.
What did you find most impressive about Vintage IT?
Vintage IT took ownership of our infrastructure. They feel responsible for us; they know that we don't have the internal capabilities for doing everything we need, and, when we have issues like critters gnawing through our fiber-optic cable, they'll source and coordinate with any other provider and work on it. I couldn't go looking for a fiber-optics company in the Yellow Pages, so their help was important.
Are there any areas Vintage IT could improve?
Some of Vintage IT's technicians can be scruffy, professionally-speaking. As someone who has spent 32 years in the military, I have higher expectations from vendors. This is the civilian IT world and it can be hard to know what people look like on the other side of the phone when they're remotely accessing a computer.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Vintage IT?
Don't even bother reading the other RFPs unless it's a necessary procedure. Vintage IT should be a shoo-in for any company.