As a division of a larger company, Southern Care Lawn and Landscape (SCLL) had access to superb in-house IT support. Whenever there was a problem with a computer or the network, the IT guys were just a short walk – or shout – down the hall away. But when the company branched out on its own, they found themselves in the market for a new Atlanta IT Services Provider.
There was concern among management, however, about whether they would be able to find an IT support company that could match the level of service and proficiency that the internal team had been able to provide. “We were nervous about having someone else support us because our expectations were really high,” said Katie Wilson, office manager for SCLL. The new IT provider needed to be able to address the needs of a multi-office business that has a mobile workforce.
SCLL was founded in 1996 to maintain the grounds of the industrial sites managed by its parent company. Today, under the leadership of Jack Kaiser, president and owner, the company continues to maintain those properties and has a client base of about 250 customers in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Because its operations are spread throughout the Southeast, MIS’s Greenlight Cloud solution was the logical choice for SCLL. “Being able to connect from wherever we’re working is a huge benefit for us,” said Katie. “And the transition from our old cloud to MIS’s private cloud was painless; we didn’t lose any of the functionality that we had previously.”
To further increase productivity, the company purchased MIS’s Greenlight Phone System, which allows users to seamlessly connect to those at other locations. It also allows its mobile workforce to access their office phones via their mobile phones. “By downloading the app on my phone, I can make phone calls and our customers never know that I’m working from home. There are so many features, like the shared phone book, that help us run our business more efficiently.”
Katie was pleased to find that MIS Solutions could not only maintain and manage SCLL’s cloud environment, but she was happy that their team of local engineers could also jump in and assist with any other technology snafus. For example, the separation from its parent company meant that Katie was on her own to make updates to the company’s website. No big deal – if you’re a web developer – which Katie readily admitted that she is not. In her attempt to make a small change, she managed to send the entire website somewhere “out there.” As in, not visible on the internet. It’s hard for companies these days to survive without an online presence. Luckily, an engineer at MIS Solutions was able to retrieve the website and put it back where it belonged without skipping a beat.
Although the internal IT guys provided exceptional support for the company, there were some drawbacks to sharing a small team with other divisions within the corporation, according to Katie. Shared support sometimes meant waiting in line to have issues addressed which occasionally lead to costly downtime. And unless there was a major disruption of service, there was no after-hours support, which meant smaller computer and network glitches had to wait until normal business hours, and, as you probably know, business doesn’t always happen within that Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe. “With MIS, having 24/7 support is nice. I’ve taken advantage of that flexible support schedule during weekends when working from home,” said Katie. “And there are several technicians who are available to call me or troubleshoot a problem quickly, so our downtime has been reduced. And that’s important to us.”
Having access to a deep pool of highly skilled and qualified technical engineers ensures that there is always someone available to tackle any IT problems that arise. “Everyone there has been great to work with. They’re professional, very patient and have a great sense of humor,” she said. “I know that when I’m talking to someone they really know what they’re doing – not just looking at a manual to try to solve a problem. And if that particular technician isn’t able to solve an issue, there’s someone else there who can. They have never given us the run-around.”
About Southern Care Lawn and Landscape: SCLL offers landscape consulting, maintenance and installations for both commercial and residential clients. It specializes in the installation of irrigation systems and drainage solutions, and offers pest management programs for trees, shrubs and turf. SCLL takes a consultative approach in developing a tailored landscape plan to meet the goals and needs of their customers. “We have a unique company,” said Kaiser. “We are the perfect size to give our customers customized service and to recognize the efforts and service our employees provide. We are always looking for good quality, dedicated people that want to make a career in our industry.” For more information, visit http://www.southerncarelandscapes.com.