Sticking with the Best

Cedar Hill Golf and Country Club decides to try another outsourced
IT provider — and quickly returns to Atlantic-IT.net. Here’s why.

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

It’s an old proverb that neatly sums up a truth about human nature. Whether in our personal lives or in business, it’s natural to think that another situation is better than the one we have. Sometimes, however, we discover that what we have is actually far better than the alternative.

Cedar Hill Country Golf and Club found that to be the case when it comes to IT support. The club was a longtime client of Atlantic-IT.net, but decided to look at other options when its contract came up for renewal. One company had been trying to win the club’s business for several years, so management decided to give them a try.

“Like any company, we occasionally get quotes from other suppliers, just to see what else is out there,” said Pam Figueroa, Controller, Cedar Hill Golf and Country Club. “One company offered us something that sounded good — an all-inclusive package at a little bit lower price. That’s why we went with them, but we were with them for less than a year. We were not satisfied with the service, so we decided to go back to Atlantic-IT.net.”

 

Cost versus Value

The market for outsourced IT services is highly competitive, with many companies promising to provide prompt, professional support. However, delivering that support requires not only technical knowledge but a high level of customer service and a disciplined approach. As Cedar Hill soon learned, some providers aren’t up to the task.

“The other company’s service was not anywhere near what Atlantic-IT.net offers,” Figueroa said. “Sometimes when we called for support we wouldn’t be able to get anybody on the phone. Sometimes we would get people on the phone who didn’t know what they were talking about. I know that company wasn’t monitoring our systems, even though they said they were. We felt like a lot of things were falling through the cracks.

“We had two security breaches with viruses coming into our systems. They said, ‘You don’t have very good virus controls,’ but we wondered why they would let us operate like that. That’s something Atlantic-IT.net would never do. And by the time we added up all the extra expenses, we figured we were paying about $400 more a month than we had been paying with Atlantic-IT.net — and getting a lot less service.”

 

Understanding Business Needs

Located in Livingston, N.J., Cedar Hill is a private club that was founded in 1921. The club is family friendly with a relaxed dress code and a variety of membership opportunities. Like most clubs, Cedar Hill relies upon its computer systems for point-of-sale and back-office functions. But with just a few computers and about 25 end-users, the club cannot justify hiring an employee to handle IT support.

Atlantic-IT.net fills that role for the club. Experienced engineers and technicians monitor and manage the club’s systems and keep them up-to-date. Should a problem arise, expert help is always available through the Atlantic-IT.net Support Center.

“They support all of our technology, including our point-of-sale systems. I feel that they understand our needs,” said Figueroa. “When we went with the other company, we were told we would be able to get service 24×7. But they failed to tell us that they only have minimum support staff on call after 6:00 in the evening. We’re a country club. Some of our busiest times are on the weekends and in the evening. We need to be able to call our IT company anytime, and we get that with Atlantic-IT.net.”

 

Comfort Level

Figueroa says that the club was already using Atlantic-IT.net when she came on board. Although she wasn’t involved in the initial decision, she was part of the decision to stay with Atlantic-IT.net when the club’s first contract came up for renewal.

“In the past I had worked with smaller IT support companies. So, for me, having a company that’s a little bit bigger with more access and more people is really the best,” she said. “Over the years we’ve seen Atlantic-IT.net evolve as well — they’re able to handle a lot more without coming out onsite, for example.

“I have a big comfort level with them. We needed a new server and were comfortable with them helping us through that. We didn’t reach out to anybody else or get any other quotes.”

It’s important in business to take a look at what’s available and seize new opportunities when appropriate. At the same time, care should be taken when evaluating outsourced IT providers.

“Sometimes change is good. Sometimes it’s not. You live and learn,” Figueroa said. “I think with IT solutions, you really need to be consistent. When somebody has a long history with you, it makes a big difference.”