"Putting our network in SOS’ hands has meant roughly 20% savings in annual IT costs, plus more time for staff to concentrate on the roofing business.”
- Matt Ludlow
Kodiak Roofing & Waterproofing
Kodiak Roofing & Waterproofing Co
, a specialist in commercial roofing and waterproofing, operates throughout the Western United States. The company has about 40 people on its network at its Lincoln, Calif. headquarters, plus another nine people at a Reno, Nev., branch office. Before Kodiak hired SOS, two members of the staff were spending about 10 to 15 hours a week on IT issues - instead of core functions such as business development. Since hiring SOS for managed IT services, the firm has gained uptime, quick response, and a 20% annual savings on IT costs.
"Until contracting with SOS for managed services, Kodiak had been designating various staff members to handle IT issues. Most recently it was me," said Matt Ludlow, Kodiak's Special Projects Manager. "But the amount of time it was taking me to troubleshoot IT issues made it difficult to focus on my primary work with the company."
"After meeting with eight or nine different IT consulting firms, we chose SOS for managed services," said Ludlow. "Some other companies promised a lot, but when we saw them working they were throwing rank amateurs at our network," Ludlow said. "Putting our network in SOS' hands has meant roughly 20 percent savings in annual IT costs, plus more time for staff to concentrate on the roofing business."
SOS provides a package called MANAGE-Smart COMPREHENSIVE for Sacramento region small businesses with between 5 and 75 employees. An "all-you-can-eat" offering for a set price, the package is designed to meet all a client's IT needs including help-desk questions, management of servers, management of critical updates, and management of data backups.
For a fixed monthly fee, SOS goes far beyond handling just the Internet, switches, servers, or PCs for Kodiak. SOS does it all, including handling mobile devices that sync back to data services. It provides emergency services with a four-hour service level agreement, remote monitoring, patch management, a dedicated consultant to guide IT direction and tactics over the long term, and management of vendor relationships.
Rob Thornton, previously the business practice manager for Cisco products, manages the new division.
"In order to make sure we can maintain client systems, SOS works with clients to make sure they have a solid 'sustainability factor.' For example, companies under SOS managed services contracts must have 30 minutes of backup power to deal with brownouts, updated software and secure firewalls. A disaster recovery plan is another essential," said Thornton.
"If a company has neglected technology for a long time, they need to invest to meet the criteria for this offering," Thornton added. "For those willing to make the investment, however, when they go fully managed, SOS will guarantee uptime and quick response."
"Before SOS stepped in there were two of us spending a considerable amount of time, probably 10 to 15 hours a week working on IT issues. The other individual was one of our primary estimators," Ludlow said. "Now the estimator is free to land new contracts for Kodiak, I can focus on my workload, and we have a network that can handle whatever we throw at it."
"Unless you have an experienced managed services provider like SOS working proactively on your IT, small problems pile up and will eventually bring the network down," Ludlow said. "In my mind, the issue is whether or not you want a ticking time bomb."