One-Stop IT Shop Lands Condo Association Business
By Gennifer Biggs, Business Solutions magazine.
Solutions provider secures real estate management firm business by offering full IT support plus 24/7 monitoring and management.
When New Jersey-based Galaxy Towers Condo Association (GTCA) faced the challenge of upgrading its IT infrastructure while sticking to a tight budget, it looked to ACE IT Solutions for help. Not only did the solutions provider offer a full assessment of the existing technology solutions in place and recommend needed upgrades — such as a reliable business continuity solution and a new operating system — it signed Galaxy Towers to its monthly managed services offering to offset the customer’s budget and reliability concerns.
Warren Finkel, managing partner at ACE IT, says the GTCA was struggling with an outdated IT network, which it relied on for storing client data and records. Because the network was coupled together with outdated components and an old operating system and lacked any backup or redundancy, the client had serious concerns about its ability to service condo and business owners in its locations when and if the network went down. “This management team handles 1,200 condos and commercial retail space within that complex, and their client base — the owners — expect access to records and information around the clock,” explains Finkel. “Since the Galaxy Towers network was in complete disarray, we started by upgrading that environment and getting a backup solution in place.” ACE IT drew on 25 years in the IT business to complete a thorough assessment of the GTCA infrastructure and business operations before determining its recommendations. In the end, the solutions provider installed and configured a new HP server (ML350G6) and operating system (Microsoft 2008R2 Standard with Exchange) to enhance overall network performance. ACE IT then layered on Symantec Endpoint Protection (a network security solution) and the Datto hybrid backup and disaster recovery solution to address the client’s concerns over security, data loss, and a system outage. ACE IT also assumed management of the client’s licensing and vendor relationships. “Lastly, we implemented a flat-fee managed services agreement that includes proactive maintenance, 24/7 monitoring and help desk, and on-site support,” explains Finkel.
Leverage IT Operations Partner For 24/7 Support
The solutions provider used IT operations partner NetEnrich to gain visibility into the Galaxy Towers environment in order to provide 24/7 monitoring, maintenance, and remediation of the network. “We put in place a comprehensive management program so that we worry about their IT 24/7, and the GTCA no longer has to be concerned about uptime and availability of key services,” says Finkel. A year later, ACE IT Solutions serves as the one-stop-shop for all of Galaxy Tower’s IT needs — from applications to servers to desktops.
Finkel credits the GTCA contract to ACE IT’s longterm experience with IT networks as well as its capacity to offer affordable and predictable 24/7 support to businesses that have an extremely low tolerance for outages. With NetEnrich in place, ACE IT is confident about promising strong uptime numbers, driven in part by off-hours maintenance work that keeps the network optimized without impacting productivity during the work week. “We don’t consider NetEnrich outsourcing, but rather a strategic partner,” explains Finkel. “When you outsource, you still review and check everything. We rarely have to check on their work; they execute their work efficiently and on time.” Plus, Finkel adds that NetEnrich offers timely, customized reports and communications that enable ACE IT to have immediate access to client information anytime it wants or needs to review that data.
ACE IT now shares the Galaxy Towers success story at real estate management conferences, with expectations of opening up a new market. “Galaxy Towers is a major player in the New Jersey real estate market, and if we can handle their needs, it’s implied that we can service about anyone in this space,” says Finkel. “We definitely see the potential in this vertical.” While ACE IT did have to explain and convince Galaxy Tower’s board and condo association of the value of managed services when it first bid on the job, when it came time to renew the contract, the association was happy to re-sign, even though ACE IT’s competition offered lower prices.