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Becoming a trusted advisor requires patience, commitment and expertise. But it helps to have the right tools in place, so that you can deliver the kinds of services that ensure success for your customers.
Cat Tec started out as a traditional “time and materials” IT provider in 1998. In 2004, in an effort to transition to a more predictable revenue model, they introduced three tiers of service levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze. For competitive differentiation,they also began offering more proactive services, such as daily on-site network checks and end-of-week summary reporting. Even though customers were happy, they still felt like they were missing a big part of the opportunity with
proactive services. In 2006, they began looking at other ways to enhance their services, including professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools. For their PSA, they chose Autotask, which they implemented with great
The next step was to find the right RMM tool. “We wanted a platform that was flexible, scalable, and that would support multiple integrations, now and in the future,” says Rick Martin, VP Sales and Marketing at Cat-Tec. “We’d also developed and branded ourselves as ‘your IT guardian’, based on our core business philosophy of offering effective management and maintenance of IT at affordable rates. If it didn’t work with that philosophy, we weren’t interested.”
Cat-Tec chose Level Platforms Managed Workplace in 2007, about five months after implementing Autotask. Managed Workplace offers them everything they were looking for, including deep, two-way integration with their new PSA tool. Initially, they purchased one Service Center and three Onsite Managers, which they tested internally and then deployed for free to two clients. Today, a third of their clients have Onsite Managers, and having seen the results of using Managed Workplace, there are now plans to market and deploy the
solution across their customer base.
The Benefits – Customer Testimonial
For Cat-Tec, one of the best things about using Managed Workplace has been the increase in customer satisfaction. How it has helped them work with one of their biggest customers, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, illustrates some of the many benefits of Managed Workplace for Cat-Tec and their clients.
Louise Alary, Director of Administration and Systems at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, explains how they chose Cat-Tec eight years ago. Before discovering Cat-Tec, Chamber employed another IT Solution Provider. But when one of their main servers went down unexpectedly, the Solution Provider took the server off-site for repairs, and the Chamber experienced over 60 hours of crippling downtime.
That was when they realized it was time for a change. “Being a non-profit organization, our funds are really tight; our objective was to find a solution provider that could offer reliability and peace of mind.” Now Cat-Tec plays a key role in every aspect of their IT, from strategic planning and budgeting, to support, risk mitigation, and maintenance. “Every proposal includes a range of options, some of which are not the most lucrative for them, but which has the potential to be best for us. We always feel very well-informed. Proposals and reports from Cat-Tec communicate the options so clearly that we now get projects approved by the executive team in days instead of months.
Cat-Tec is like our CTO; they are part of our family,” says Alary. Recently, the Chamber centralized its IT operations for its Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary regional offices. The decision was partly motivated by budget constraints, but also followed a massive hardware failure at one site (not managed by Cat-Tec) that resulted in 60 hours of unplanned downtime.
Cat-Tec proposed centralization as a solution that would save the Chamber money and allow for more efficient, effective IT management for all their regional offices through the use of Managed Workplace. Cat-Tec was involved with the detailed planning from the start, right until centralization was completed successfully—over a weekend, and with no interruption to the Chamber’s productivity, and they have experienced no unplanned downtime in the 18 months since making the
“There are never any surprises. We know exactly what will happen and when, and I can’t say that about every vendor,” says Alary. “And while we can’t afford state-of-the-art technology, our system uptime is remarkable.”