This MSP’s persistence helped it beat out an incumbent IT company and win a cloud services deal and several upsell opportunities with a 60-user, multisite medical specialty office.
Like many success stories we write about in Business Solutions magazine, managed services provider (MSP) Haselkorn, Inc.’s win with a medical specialty practice didn’t just fall in its lap. In fact, the MSP was rejected the first time it bid for the job. Over the past 10+ years, Scott Haselkorn, president and owner of the business, has learned not to take rejection personally. Oftentimes, like it turned out to be in this case, “No,” merely means “Not right now.”
Two Cloud Crises Averted
During one of his appointments with the medical practice (yes, he was a patient at the practice before turning it into a client), one of the clinicians revealed his frustrations with the incumbent IT provider. “The incumbent’s support had slipped significantly during the previous few months, and the company wasn’t doing well financially,” says Haselkorn. “The customer had a lot of its data in the IT provider’s data center, and it was worried about the provider going out of business and not being able to get its data back.”
Adding to the drama, the medical practice office manager wanted to move all of the practice’s business applications and data to a new data center within two weeks. Haselkorn committed to meeting the company’s deadline and won the business, but it quickly turned into a bigger project than originally anticipated. “Our cloud provider at the time offered limited migration and management services, so we had to use basic tools on all 60 users’ workstations to transfer their Outlook files and other data from one environment to the other,” he says.
The MSP met the client’s deadline requirements, and the new client was happy with the switch – for the first several months. “After that point, our cloud provider started giving us problems,” says Haselkorn. “They started having outages on a frequent basis, and it became more difficult to get a hold of their tech support for help.” After having to apologize to his client on multiple occasions, Haselkorn knew he had to take matters into his own hands.
Finding A Professional Cloud Provider – Finally!
The MSP began investigating alternative cloud providers and was most impressed by DirectCloud. “One thing I liked right away was that, after I interviewed them and asked lots of probing questions, they had some tough questions for me, too,” says Haselkorn. “They wanted to make sure I was a fit for their company as much as I wanted to make sure they were a fit for mine.”
Additional points that sold the MSP on DirectCloud were its tech support’s responsiveness and the visibility the cloud provider gave to its channel partners. “After selecting them as our replacement cloud provider, we met with their team and told them what we needed, and they set up and configured servers, storage, and software in their data center right away. Using their data migration tools, we transferred our medical practice client’s IT environment over to DirectCloud in less than two days, which was 12 days faster than its previous experience.”
Not only was the MSP’s initial setup and onboarding experience better the second time around, but the new provider offered several additional services that were a fit for Haselkorn’s medical client, including an email security service that integrates with Outlook. “The reality is that in today’s world, email is often the most convenient way to share information,” he says. “This service protects sensitive data and ensures only the intended recipient can view the information.” The MSP also uses DirectCloud’s hosted desktop solution, WebTop, which places all data storage and applications in the cloud instead of the client’s workstations. “Employees don’t even have logins to their workstation, and the password saving feature is disabled,” says Haselkorn. “All logins occur through a secure browser connection.”
Show Your Value, Expand Your Offering
After proving his company’s value to his medical specialty client over the past couple of years, Haselkorn has been able to provide additional services, including upgrading the practice’s phone system to a unified VoIP system. “The client now has the ability to do four-digit dialing to reach an employee at any of its five locations. It has several additional features it didn’t have previously such as find me, follow me; presence; and integration with chat and email,” he says.
Scott Haselkorn, president and owner, Haselkorn, Inc.
One of the challenges of moving clients to a cloud environment is the dependency it places on the internet connection. The MSP has dealt with downtime issues in the past that were caused by a problem with a cable provider or someone digging up an internet connection during construction. “We avoid these problems by providing our clients with redundant internet connections,” says Haselkorn. “Oftentimes, we’ll use cable as a primary source and DSL or a wireless link for the backup connection. And to make sure we’re not wasting the secondary connection, we’ll oftentimes use it for guest Wi-Fi service, which also keeps non-employees off the client’s main network.”
As the MSP moves into its third year with the medical specialty practice, Haselkorn says it’s become one of his best customer relationships, thanks in part to the previous IT provider’s inability to provide a stable IT environment. “Not only was downtime a regular occurrence under the previous company, it was gouging the customer on price. We’re able to provide better business continuity, security, and support for less because we have the right vendor partners, tools, and in-house expertise to work smarter and more efficiently.”