No business ever wants to have its telephone system stop working--especially at the beginning of a workday. But that's what happened to Business Insurance Associates a few months ago. Thankfully, James Parks of James Parks Consulting was able to quickly resolve the situation. Business Insurance Associates doesn't have any internal IT professionals, so it relies on Parks to manage its routers, servers, and other technology-related hardware. "He keeps us online and takes care of everything, so we don't have to spend the time and resources to figure it out," says President Christopher Pobieglo,
Business Insurance Associates, with a total of eight employees in Alaska and Idaho, is an independent commercial insurance broker that depends heavily on outsourced IT services. The Anchorage company uses The Agency Manager (TAM) Online from Applied Systems for various tasks, including client billing, maintaining policy records, and issuing certificates and auto insurance cards. The cloud-based system, which the company has used for about eight years, gives employees the flexibility to log in anywhere and work remotely. "It manages the entire operation," Pobieglo says. "It's super critical to what we do... They provide things on a level that we couldn't [provide] internally."
Varied Solutions Available
IT providers offer a wide range of services to help businesses maintain the hardware and software they need to keep their operations running smoothly. The complexities of modern IT are driving many businesses to enlist the aid of managed services specialists, according to Cindy Christopher, Alaska Communications' senior portfolio manager of managed IT services.
Alaska Communications offers a range of managed IT options, including full-service desk support, around-the-clock network monitoring, technology budgeting and planning, proactive equipment maintenance, and vendor management. "Along with general IT support, cyber-security is a critical focus for businesses," Christopher says. "Businesses need a provider that can provide layers of security, protecting from external threats. Alaska Communications' engineers follow current cyber trends and employ industry best practices to protect against attacks."
However, IT is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It's important to select a provider that understands the business and can provide appropriate solutions, Christopher says. She adds: "Alaska Communications works with customers to create unique solutions to meet their needs. We take care of our clients' IT so they can focus on running their business."
DenaliTEK offers fully managed services to cover a variety of IT processes and functions. In fact, the firm only offers fully managed IT services; it does not conduct hourly billing. "This allows us to focus on doing business one way and doing it well, as opposed to trying to be everything to everybody," President Todd Clark explains.
DenaliTEK's fully managed service includes long-range planning to provide clients with a comprehensive...