Rightsizing IT Costs

Verteks Consulting helps Bernie Little Distributing slash its IT budget while maintaining optimum levels of support.

Information technology is essential to the operation of most businesses these days. Having someone on staff dedicated to IT may not be. According to Ken Daley, president of Bernie Little Distributing, it's a matter of how much IT support the organization really needs versus the cost of a full-time salary.

In June 2008, downsizing forced the Ocala, Fla.-based distributor of Anheuser-Busch products to take a harder look at its IT budget. That's when the company called Verteks Consulting for help in better aligning its support costs with its business needs.

"For six or seven years we had an internal IT coordinator who did a very fine job for us but it was kind of like a ‘Maytag repairman' situation. We had a full-time person and not quite a full-time need," Daley said. "Then about a year ago we sold part of our territory, which was located in Brooksville. We downsized somewhat, and unfortunately had to make the tough decision to eliminate our internal IT resource.

"We had already been working with Verteks for several years, and asked them how they might be able to help us fill this gap. We learned that they had invested in software that allows them to monitor a network like ours from their location. Long story short, they offered us a solution that provided us with on-demand support for roughly half of what we had been paying for our full-time employee."

Dollars and Sense

Some small to midsize businesses maintain an internal IT staff capable of handling workload spikes and emergencies, with the tradeoff of inefficiency when that staff sits mostly idle. Others keep their IT support "lean" in order to save money, leaving the organization vulnerable when issues surface unpredictably. After crunching the numbers, Bernie Little Distributing found that neither model made good business sense.

"In the IT world, you never know when things will decide to go funky on you and break. But we sat down and estimated how much IT support time we needed when we signed up with Verteks in June of 2008. And when we renewed with them in June of 2009, we came in pretty much on target in terms of our estimated number of hours," Daley said. "From my perspective, it hit our objective, which was to rightsize our IT budget. In this day and age, you can't always afford the luxury of having IT support within your four walls - especially given the difference in the cost of outsourcing. The Verteks solution was exactly what we were searching for."

Rick Lindquist, business manager for Bernie Little Distributing, says that using Verteks for managed IT services minimizes business risk while lowering overall costs. The Verteks team is highly responsive, and has the skills and experience to resolve problems rapidly.

"Like Ken said, sometimes things can go haywire, but a lot of our needs don't require immediate attention," Lindquist said. "We laid it out in our contract with Verteks what sorts of issues required same-day response, next-day response and so on. Their responsiveness is excellent and when they get here they tackle the problem in a short amount of time. We've been very happy with the results we've gotten with Verteks."

Perfect Choice

Finding the right partner is the key to success in IT outsourcing. For Bernie Little Distributing, Verteks Consulting was the perfect choice. Founded in 1997, Bernie Little Distributing employs about 100 people and covers a five-county area in Central Florida. Strong ties to the local community and a proven track record of success set Verteks Consulting apart from other providers.

"I met them through the Chamber of Commerce four or five years ago, and since then we used them for a number of projects - I think the first thing they did was upgrade our server," Daley said. "It was very helpful to have them come in and expand the internal expertise that we had. They have a wealth of knowledge, much more than you would expect from the typical IT services firm."

"Verteks has a lot of customers here in the Central Florida area that we could call to discuss their capabilities, security, and so forth," Lindquist said. "It was a no-brainer for us to let them remotely monitor our systems on a daily basis. They can take care of routine maintenance and resolve problems without having to send someone over here - all with a high level of security. Verteks has also implemented a WatchGuard security solution that detects viruses and other risks and notifies them immediately. That gives us confidence that our systems remain secure on a day-to-day basis."

Right on Target

Some firms worry that their unique IT needs cannot be supported adequately by a third-party provider. Verteks Consulting offers customers the cost benefits of efficiency and economies of scale without forcing them into cookie-cutter solutions.

"Our sales people use handhelds for communication and to access the information they need," Lindquist said. "Even though these devices are unique to our market, Verteks ramped up on this technology immediately. There was no concern about downtime whatsoever."

In today's economic environment, many organizations are seeking to lower costs, increase productivity and squeeze every drop of value out of every dollar they spend. Outsourcing to Verteks Consulting helps them do that by replacing unproductive IT overhead with highly efficient services that maximize the value of their technology investments.

Solution Summary

  • Comprehensive monitoring, management and maintenance services delivers the benefits of an enterprise-class IT team at a fraction of the cost.
  • The responsiveness and expertise of the Verteks team minimizes downtime through rapid problem resolution.
  • Monitored security solution ensures that systems are protected - day in, day out.
  • Flexible services accommodate customer's specific requirements cost-efficiently.
  • Strong local presence and extensive experience sets Verteks apart from other managed services providers.