It is no secret that choosing the right IT provider is one of the most important decisions a business owner can make, because IT is used for operations, data management, and cybersecurity. A reliable technology partner ensures the optimum performance of your IT infrastructure, because they know that any disruptions can lead to significant losses.

However, as the demand for trustworthy IT providers grows, so does the amount of people who are more interested in making a quick profit than they are in securing your data. Despite their claims, some IT professionals do not always act in the best interest of the business. They may recommend unnecessary upgrades, fail to provide the necessary support in times of crisis, or may not proactively address potential issues. This lack of dedication not only affects the smooth running of the business, but can also lead to financial and reputational damages.

To better understand this issue, we will delve into a case study of one of our new clients, a construction services company we will refer to as Copper Penny.

Setting the Stage

Copper Penny is a mid-sized construction company that faced significant challenges due to the lack of support and proactivity from their IT provider. This case study will highlight the key issues faced by Copper Penny, the consequences of not having a reliable partner, and lessons that can be learned for other businesses in selecting and working with a managed IT company.

The Problem

Copper Penny Construction Services

Copper Penny Construction Services had a longstanding relationship with their existing IT provider, but this provider had recently raised their rates, claiming that it was necessary to maintain the quality of their services. However, despite the increase in cost, the IT provider was reluctant to provide on-site support. This lack of on-site support led to a host of problems for Copper Penny:

Employee time wasted on troubleshooting: Without on-site support, the employees of Copper Penny had to spend valuable time troubleshooting IT issues themselves, instead of focusing on their core responsibilities. This not only led to a decrease in productivity, but also increased frustration among the employees as they were not equipped with the necessary skills to resolve IT-related issues.

Lack of network security and organization: The IT provider did not proactively address network security and organization. This led to a disorganized IT infrastructure, making it difficult for employees to access and share information efficiently. Additionally, the lack of network security exposed the company to potential cyberthreats.

Internet outage impacting business operations: Copper Penny experienced frequent internet outages, which severely impacted their business operations. The IT provider, despite being informed about the issue multiple times, failed to address it promptly, leading to significant downtime and financial losses.

Ineffective backup system: The backup system provided by the previous IT firm was ineffective and did not work as intended. This meant that in the event of a system failure, Copper Penny would have lost crucial data. This could have had dire consequences for the business.

Unprotected networks leading to increased vulnerability to cyberattacks: The lack of proactive network security measures left Copper Penny’s network unprotected and vulnerable to potential cyberattacks. This not only put the company’s sensitive data at risk, but also exposed them to potential legal liabilities.

Copper Penny Construction Services faced significant challenges due to the lack of support and proactivity from their IT provider. Despite paying higher rates, they did not receive adequate support. The team at Copper Penny were often forced to troubleshoot their own IT, wasting their time, and causing unnecessary stress. Their experience underscores the importance of having a reliable and proactive IT provider that acts in the best interest of your business.

The Solution

Copper Penny

Paying more for service that was already subpar was the final straw for Copper Penny. It became evident that a comprehensive solution was needed to address the multiple issues at hand.

The IT experts at Professional Computer Concepts knew exactly what to do. Here are the steps the PCC team took to address the problems:

Organizing the network rack: The first step was to organize the network rack, which involved arranging the network cables, switches, and other equipment in a systematic manner. Decluttering the rack and dedicating equipment for specific functions helped in improving network performance and reliability. This made it easier to identify and troubleshoot issues, reduced the risk of equipment failure, and also made the network more scalable. At PCC we have a standard rack setup, which makes it easy for any one of our techs to walk on-site with a new client and immediately know where everything is. In addition to making life easier for our team, it also makes it very obvious when something has been moved or added.

Segregating networks with VLANs: VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) were implemented to segregate the network into different segments. This helped in improving network performance by reducing broadcast traffic and also enhanced security by isolating sensitive data from other parts of the network.

Implementing a firewall and advanced functionalities: A firewall was implemented to protect the network from external threats. Advanced functionalities, such as Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), were also enabled to monitor and block suspicious activities.

Enabling load balancing and backup internet: Load balancing was enabled to distribute network traffic across multiple servers, ensuring that no single server becomes overwhelmed with too much traffic. Additionally, a backup internet connection was set up to ensure business continuity in case of an internet outage.

Offering both remote and on-site support: To ensure that Copper Penny Construction Services received the necessary support, both remote and on-site support were provided. Remote support can be provided for minor issues that are easily resolved without physical intervention, while on-site support is given for more complex issues that require physical presence. Our comprehensive support ensures that all issues are addressed promptly and efficiently.

Professional Computer Concepts takes pride in doing things right the first time. Our team worked with Copper Penny Construction Services and we were able to address the multiple challenges they faced with their previous IT setup and create a more secure, reliable, and efficient IT infrastructure.

Red Flags To Watch For

We’ve gone over one case, but we can’t stress how important it is for you to educate yourself on what a good managed services provider should be doing, and to speak up when you see anything that makes you uneasy.

To make spotting a subpar provider easier, we’ve put together a list of signs that indicate that the support you are receiving may not be up to snuff. Here are some red flags to watch for when working with an IT provider:

Long response times: If it takes an unusually long time for your IT provider to respond to your queries or requests for support, it may indicate a lack of dedication or resources to properly service your account.

Lack of live person to answer calls: If you are unable to reach a live person when you call for support and are instead directed to a voicemail or automated system, it may indicate that the IT provider does not have adequate staff to handle customer support in a timely manner.

Repeatedly facing the same issues: If you find that you are repeatedly facing the same issues, despite having reported them and being assured that they have been resolved, it may indicate a lack of expertise or thoroughness on the part of the IT provider.

Lack of regular updates on ticket status: It is important to be kept informed about the status of your support tickets. If your IT provider does not provide regular updates on ticket status, it may indicate a lack of organization or a disregard for customer satisfaction.

Lack of access to your own passwords and configurations: As a business owner, you should have access to all of your own passwords and configurations. If your IT provider is reluctant to provide you with this access, it may indicate a lack of transparency and a desire to keep you dependent on their services.

If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to have a frank conversation with your provider about your concerns or to consider looking for a new provider who can better meet your needs.

The experience of Copper Penny Construction Services highlights the importance of having an IT provider that offers comprehensive support and empowers the client. When Copper Penny encountered problems with their existing IT provider, it led to a host of problems, including wasted employee time, lack of network security and organization, and potential cyberattacks.

It was only after finding a new IT provider that Copper Penny was able to get back on track.

If you read this and realized that your IT provider might not have your best interests in mind, give us a call. The team at Professional Computer Concepts is here to make your IT worry-free.