When it comes to business technology needs, what is more critical than email? This regional dental association was having email trouble its IT vendor couldn’t solve, so it turned to Anderson Technologies, a managed IT company with a track record of helping St. Louis small businesses with their technology challenges.
Greater St. Louis Dental Society (GSLDS) is a nonprofit professional trade association that provides networking opportunities and professional development to its members, a group of nearly 1,000 dentists in the St. Louis area. GSLDS is a component of the Missouri Dental Association and the American Dental Association.
For GSLDS—and for many small businesses and nonprofits—budgetary restraints make taking an ongoing, proactive approach to IT challenging. Recently, GSLDS realized the benefits of doing so firsthand and discovered the risks associated with not prioritizing technology needs.
Meg Shannon, executive director of GSLDS, was introduced to Anderson Technologies by an active member of the association that is also a managed IT services client. This member arranged a free Onsite Cyber Security Training for new dentists, an educational workshop hosted by Mark Anderson, principal of Anderson Technologies. “She raved about the level and quality of service she had received, and since we had been having technology challenges, I decided to reach out,” explains Shannon.
These technology challenges included a finicky, frustrating email system in which emails mysteriously failed to send and/or be received. Shannon was working with another IT provider at the time, and although it never called itself a managed IT company, it charged a monthly fee in exchange for ongoing support. The company attempted to troubleshoot the issue multiple times but couldn’t solve the problem.
In general, Shannon and the team felt they weren’t getting the time and attention they needed. “We are small, and we have a small budget, but we still need quality customer service and support from our IT vendor. We weren’t getting that, but that has completely changed since we have started working with Anderson Technologies,” she says.
Mark Anderson and his team performed an onsite infrastructure audit to identify areas that needed improvement. He then worked with GSLDS to prioritize issues. Shannon notes that “within half a day of working with us, Luke [Luke Bragg, senior system administrator at Anderson Technologies] was able to figure out the email issue” that had stumped her previous vendor.
Anderson Technologies migrated data from the previous email service provider to Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based provider, and put an end to the email headaches. This required updating the association’s locally-installed Microsoft software to a newer version. “Mark went above and beyond to find the most cost-effective way to do this,” says Shannon. “Since we are a nonprofit, he was able to get us software at a reduced fee, which saved us quite a bit of money.”
Saved by the Backup System
Shannon describes Anderson Technologies as responsive and professional. She appreciates that when they are trying to solve an IT challenge, Anderson provides a few solutions with different price points and walks her through the pros and cons of each option.
In addition to the email migration and software update, Anderson Technologies improved the association’s approach to cyber security and disaster recovery by establishing a dual-destination backup system for the server and other key computers. Now their data is stored in the cloud and on a local hard drive. Soon after this transition, one of GSLDS’s hard drives malfunctioned. “Because we had completed the email migration, all of the user’s emails on the crashed drive were in the cloud safely backed up. This made the failure an inconvenience, not a disaster,” explains Anderson.
“It is never a good time to lose a hard drive, but we were thankful Anderson Technologies was onboard when it happened,” notes Shannon.
What Managed IT Services in St. Louis Should Look Like
Managed IT services is not reserved for big companies. Reliable IT functions are crucial for businesses of all sizes. “You want to come in every day and have your computer turn on and work, whether you are a small company or a Fortune 500,” says Shannon. “If you can’t afford to have IT support in-house, you need to partner with a solid firm that you can rely on.”
Shannon cautions that her business, like many St. Louis businesses, did not put enough onus on IT, and, as a result, Anderson Technologies had its hands full when it came onboard. “This experience opened our eyes even further to the problems that can occur when you don’t make IT a priority,” she stresses.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Greater St. Louis Dental Society’s computers are running faster, and Shannon has peace of mind that her data is being backed up appropriately and that her systems are more secure. Perhaps most importantly, she and her team are getting all their emails.
Anderson Technologies specializes in managed IT services. St. Louis businesses of all sizes should consider the benefits of adopting an ongoing, proactive approach to managing their technology needs. For more information on what a managed IT company can do for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314.394.3001 today.