Madeleine Crouch & Company, Inc. provides management services to local, national and international trade associations and educational associations. By providing much-needed administrative and support services to their clients, many of whom have been clients for ten years and more, Madeleine Crouch & Company helps firms reduce rising overhead costs by allowing them to select the specific support services they need most.
Madeleine Crouch & Company, a Dallas-based management services company, outsourced their IT support to a local IT firm. They suspected that all was not right with their IT support, but were uncertain how to evaluate the quality of services they were receiving. They were also uncomfortable with their provider’s technicians, who seemed “odd,” “depressing” and made Crouch’s staff uncomfortable.
The firm’s web designer suggested they talk with VentureNet. Preferring to offer consultative advice rather than employing a sales staff to simply sell products or services, VentureNet sent Tom Wright, their IT Services Director, to visit with owner Madeleine Crouch. After discussing their network with Ms. Crouch, Wright found a number of glaring problems and shortcomings that were impacting the firm’s network performance.
Wright discovered that a complete backup of the firm’s data had not been done in weeks and that backup software being used was two generations behind. He found among the weeks-old backup that not all data had been backed up – a problem easily detected had the previous IT provider properly monitored backups. Wright also determined that the firm’s servers and PCs were not patched and updated consistently – and some PCs had never been patched. Wright found undetected spyware on some PCs and a lot of server drive space chewed up by system-generated files – files normally cleaned out when a server is appropriately monitored. And he detected that certain built-in network functionality – especially useful to the firm’s remote users – had never been implemented by their IT provider, limiting these users’ ability to access the network.
“We suspected our previous IT provider had not done a satisfactory job,” said Ms. Crouch, “and all this just confirmed it. Tom was knowledgeable and honest and we knew this was a firm we could trust.” Impressed with VentureNet’s breadth of knowledge and professionalism, the management services firm began using VentureNet IT services from that day.
VentureNet put in place tools and services to correct these problems. 24/7 monitoring dealt with patching and update needs, antivirus and antispyware protection, and server and PC care that quickly eliminated their new client’s problems. They also implemented keepgoing.biz, the firm’s data protection and business continuity service that immediately gave Crouch’s firm reliable, fully-monitored data backup, as well as disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities the firm did not enjoy previously. Crouch found the keepgoing.biz service so impressive she began marketing the service to her firm’s clients.
“The change (to VentureNet) was immediate and obvious,” says Ms. Crouch. “And since then, VentureNet has lived up to every promise. Our network is more stable than it’s ever been. And, because they monitor our network 24/7, they save us money and staff downtime by often fixing issues remotely before they become problems.”
They have had to live with poor decisions made by their previous IT provider, but find these poor decisions impact their network less with VentureNet supporting their network. “Our previous IT firm installed computer equipment that we have found to be far from best-in-class,” says Ms. Crouch. “But VentureNet has been very accommodating – working with the existing equipment – to save us money and avoid replacing equipment that was basically new, even though not the best.”
Ms. Crouch also likes VentureNet’s staff. “They have great people! They are friendly and competent and truly enjoy their work and helping their clients. They smile. They’re ‘normal!’ And we trust them – in fact, they inspire trust. We think of them more as part of our team – you can’t buy that kind of relationship.”
Ms. Crouch has also found she can rely on VentureNet’s advice and guidance, helping her firm to provide better services to their clients. Having greatly upgraded the quality of their data backup, they now pass this service along to their clients. “When we propose our management services to prospective clients,” says Ms. Crouch, “they’re impressed with our comprehensive approach to data backup and retention.”
Planning future IT needs has also become far easier, more systematic and more participative. Impressed with a team approach involving IT provider and client that focuses on meeting client goals, needs and budgets, Ms. Crouch says, “VentureNet provides us Quarterly Business Reviews that are very helpful. We sit down with their technical staff to review services and to hear recommendations to improve our network.”
Ms. Crouch says she can sum up her sentiments in one word: “Wow!” adding, “Their communication is excellent both in these meetings and in all contact we have with them. And whether they are making recommendations or explaining their work, every one of their technical people provides clear advice and explanations I can understand – without drowning me in ‘tech-speak.’ I would recommend VentureNet to any company.”