Each year, our sister publication Computer Dealer News hosts the Channel Elite Awards to recognize IT Solution Provider for their innovation, leadership, and commitment for creating value for their customers. As Canada’s leading IT channel publication, CDN invited solution providers to submit their best work to nine different categories for 2013’s awards. Here, we present the case studies these award nominees put forward to us. Find out who the big winners are on Sept. 11 when CDN presents them at the CEA Awards Gala.

Learn more about CDN’s Channel Elite Awards 2013

Nominee: CTECH Consulting Group from Calgary, Alberta

Managed Services Solution description

CTECH’s 24/7 Support Help Desk and top-certified technical professionals address IT issues that reduce a client’s vulnerability to costly downtimes or data loss. Our Managed Services Plan seamlessly combines our IT services and support processes into a client’s IT operations, seamlessly and effectively. Essentially, we are their full-service IT department. CTECH makes it easy to ask for help. Every member of a client’s staff can contact us whenever support is needed, without obtaining internal approval. The client is able to choose the way they prefer to contact us, via our toll-free phone line, email, web portal, and/or desktop support icon. Clients can reach a trained help-desk support technician directly, without involving call centers or dispatchers. We handle all of our clients’ IT devices and issues, including desktops, printers, firewalls, servers, network devices, as well as mobile devices such as smart/superphones and tablets. All devices are monitored 24/7 using LabTech monitoring that was designed for Managed IT Service providers, and the ConnectWise Professional Services Automation tool. LabTech was designed to regularly record performance indicators and compare them to thresholds based on CTECH’s best practices, and fixes are applied as needed. In addition to Managed IT Support, CTECH offers Managed IT Service. We handle the responsibilities of a full IT department, including the creation of IT policies and procedures, yearly IT budgeting and planning, attending client staff meetings and act as their trusted IT advisor. CTECH covers every aspect of a client’s business as it relates to IT, from start to finish, attending their business meetings and ensuring technology is aligned with their business goals.

What makes your Managed Services innovative or original compared to the competition?

CTECH has evolved from a simple IT-support company to a Managed IT Services Provider. We delve deeper into the goals and operations of a business than traditional managed services providers. We become the client’s IT department: assembling an IT budget with their finance executives; creating and reviewing their IT policies and procedures with business managers; attending their staff meetings; and planning and contributing to the continued growth of the client’s business. As a leading MSP, CTECH was one of the first completely private cloud-based IT firms in the world. Our managed services offering was incorporated into our internal infrastructure. All of our services are 100% cloud-based, including our monitoring, help desk, VOIP, PSA solutions and billing systems. We provide an automated internal IT infrastructure, and we always share our expertise with our clients. Additionally, CTECH provides valued-added services outside of our regular IT services plan, such as Office 365 Support, cloud based-backup services, antivirus and anti-spam monitoring, search engine optimization, website development, and social media consulting. We expand our services as needed in order to meet the desired goals of our clients.

What were the benefits of your Managed Services Solution for your client and what evidence can you provide to show this?

CTECH is a trusted IT advisor, observing our clients’ month-to-month or week-to-week business operations; this allows us to guide their business in the right direction. We help our clients increase revenues by customizing their IT services, and anticipating the future needs of their business. Our entire managed service plan encompasses every aspect of their business to greatly reduce costs. Since CTECH provides 24/7 support, we can support our clients anywhere in the world, as long as their device is under a managed service plan. CTECH also does a lot of work in the Calgary hospitality market. A good example is a medium-sized Calgary hotel that operates 24 hours a day: After the initial onboarding was complete, CTECH started attending meetings with the client and came up with an IT plan and budget for them. This allowed us to schedule their IT resources, and provide policies and procedures that earned us the position of their IT department, as opposed to being a regular managed service provider. With our combined IT services and support, we were able to cut their call volume in half. We continued to reduce the need for IT support by increasing IT services as we upgraded obsolete software, trained users, added imaging to quickly deploy desktops, and proactive monitors on critical systems. This further reduced their call volume by another 50%. Once things were stabilized, we turned our attention to other projects. Now with the systems properly working, the staff is able to focus on their jobs, instead of being frustrated and waiting for IT support and services. With CTECH onboard, our clients’ staff members can focus on what they’re paid to do, while we focus on the various technology requirements within the business. If anything happens, our clients’ know that help is a simple phone call away.

What are the main reasons that your Managed Services are better for the customer than an on-premises solution?

The staff at CTECH offers 24-7 IT support, and our services are completely cloud based. If anything happens to our clients’ business, we’ll have the tools and knowledge to keep them up and running. By providing help desk services for a fixed monthly fee, our clients never receive any “surprise” invoices that many other businesses get from their IT firms. Many of our clients cannot afford, or require a full-time onsite technology support team; CTECH offers this benefit at a fraction of the cost. We have also invested heavily on supporting our own staff and creating a solid and automated support back end. Our automation and integration allows us to remove a lot of the administrative overhead, which allows us to be more responsive and field top-level techs at a lower cost. Our monitoring system resolves issues proactively, with automated escalations to our 24-hour help desk, as well as being backed up by several trained IT staff. Everything is transparent to the client, and they’re able to see exactly what CTECH is doing at any time. The client always has multiple, redundant, layers of support. Our monitoring systems, 24-hour help desk, local onsite techs and automated support tools provide a comprehensive support package.

How did the Managed Service improve the customer’s ability to server its internal or external clients?

Regardless of where the client is, or what type of device they’re using, they’ll be supported under CTECHs’ Managed Services Agreement. Additionally, CTECH focuses on ensuring our clients’ businesses have the right technology support. This is done by becoming their IT department; working with human resources, on policies and procedures, C-Levels on high-level planning and corporate direction, as well as with the staff to ensure that the tools we provide are doing the job. We also work with a client’s accounting department to create a budget that works for them. We are no longer just an outsourced, third party, IT support cost center, but are now a profitable IT department dedicated to the growth of our clients’ businesses. For example, our hotel client’s core property management system became unresponsive. Over the span of three hours, 100 guests were scheduled to be checked in. If the guests were unable to receive service, our client was facing a potential disaster. Our help desk staff answered the client’s phone call, and immediately contacted the application vendor. CTECH worked with the application vendor and repaired the client’s hospitality management system. CTECH’s monitoring system provided the vendor with the necessary diagnostics and systems information, and our management team and onsite service professionals arrived the next day to implement an action plan. Through our past discoveries about the client and meetings we attended, we identified that there would be issues with the property management system. We had already designed an emergency recovery plan, worked out an IT budget for the purchase of the new system, and set a time frame as to when the replacement system would occur. A serious, mission-critical issue, virtually had no effect in the immediate or long term for the client due to our evolved Managed IT Service and Support!

How does the solution further your client’s green or environmentally friendly plans?

CTECH has drastically reduced the need for vehicles and traveling to onsite locations; the majority of our work is handled proactively by our monitoring systems and help desk. We’re also completely cloud-based, which means a physical office isn’t necessary; all of our techs are able to work remotely on our client sites, or from home. The majority of our payments are handled electronically. All of our information, such as invoices, reports, and updates are sent electronically to the client. In addition, we ensure that all end-of-life hardware is donated to a local charity. We extend that offer to not only all our clients, but to local businesses as well.

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