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“This is taking way too long.”
That’s what James Coffman, our Chief Operations Officer, said.
I knew it.
But I didn’t have an answer for him…
That was the day that everything changed for our financial services firm.
But let me back up and get you up to speed here…
My name is Fred Statesmen. Our firm here in Langley currently has forty-seven employees using forty-two computers, twenty-three company smartphones and tablets, an in-house server, and cloud hosting for applications and data storage.
I know all that because that’s what our former IT services guy told me. – I’m not a tech guy; I’m a numbers guy.
Anyway, back to the day everything changed…
I Told You That Our IT Services Guy Was Our “Former” IT Services Guy.
No, I didn’t fire him. I REALLY liked him and his team.
Unfortunately for us – but not for him – he retired, closed his company here, and moved to sunny Florida.
So, we were in the market for a new, Langley-based IT services company to help us out.
What was taking “way too long?”
Well, James was trying to fill in the gap of our retired IT services partner. Computer updates, security patches, troubleshooting, answering employee questions – every part of IT support was taking too long. And worse, it was taking James away from the work that he was highly paid – and highly qualified – to do.
I agreed with James.
I Knew That Trying To Do Our Own IT Support Wasn’t A Long-Term Solution.
I promised that I’d make finding an IT services company the top priority on my “to do” list.
After all, James’ time is too valuable for him to be spending it doing tech support.
So, the next day I typed, “IT Services Companies in Langley” into Google and began my search in earnest.
What did I find?
I found that after the paid ad placements (Who pays attention to them? – Not me.) an IT services company called Coleman Technologies ranked at the top of the list.
Now, I’m savvy enough to know that ranking on Google doesn’t mean that you’re good at delivering IT services. But the one thing I did notice about Coleman Technologies on my Google search was their twenty-two positive reviews.
That got my attention.
So I picked up the phone and gave them a call.
My call was answered by a polite young man who took my information and promised that someone from the leadership of Coleman Technologies would be in touch.
“Sure,” I thought as I hung up. “I’ve heard that before.”
It was time for a coffee break anyway.
I walked down the stairs to the parking lot, got into my car, and headed to the nearest Tim Hortons.
I had just gotten my coffee and sat down to have a chat with some of the old guys that congregate there every day when my cell phone rang.
It was Darren from Coleman Technologies.
He was in the area and asked if I wanted to meet.
“Why not.” I thought.
I gave him the location of the coffee shop and waited for him to show up.
Ten minutes later, we began our conversation.
What Did That Conversation Teach Me About IT Services Companies In Langley?
Not all IT services companies are created equal.
This should have been obvious to me, but I guess it wasn’t. You see, our last IT services guy had been so good to us and had kept us running so well, that maybe I took him for granted.
As I talked to Darren, I realized that he was cut from the same cloth as our last IT support partner. Sure, there are inferior tech support companies here in Langley, but it soon became apparent that Coleman Technologies wasn’t one of them. Darren talked about efficiency and data-driven business intelligence with the same passion as our former IT guy. So, I knew I had to learn more about the Coleman Technologies team.
Not all IT services plans are the same.
Darren talked with me about the different IT services models that tech support companies here in Langley use.
- The Break/Fix Model – This model is just what it seems. You break it and then call someone to fix it. Break/Fix IT support companies charge on a time plus materials basis and can get expensive.
- The Block Hours Model – With this IT support arrangement, you buy a block of hours from an IT services company and use them up over time. You still have to pay for materials, but because you are buying hours in bulk, you’ll likely get a price break over the hourly cost of a break/fix contractor.
- The Managed Services Model – Managed IT Services is designed for companies that need continuous, on-call IT management, maintenance, and operational monitoring. It is a monthly subscription service that provides a company with all the IT support they need for a stable, predictable monthly payment.
Not all IT companies understand my industry.
What impressed me most about my talk with Darren – and later, the technicians on his team – is that they had done their research. I discovered that they understood the workflow of a financial services business and were able to offer informed advice in an effort to improve the efficiency of our internal operations.
By the end of my coffee shop conversation with Darren from Coleman Technologies, I was ready to sign up.
Because it was apparent that he knew what he was talking about.
I saw in Darren the desire to be a partner in business – not just a computer-fix-it phone call.
It’s been four years now since that coffee shop talk. Over that time Darren and the Coleman Technologies staff have impressed us with their willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that our staff has the IT foundation they need to get their daily work accomplished.
I’d recommend Darren and his team to anyone.
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