PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is a roughly 130-person company that is spread across three offices, including Herndon, VA., Chicago, IL., and Mexico City.
Consisting of three very distinct business units, this non-profit trade association serves the packaging industry in several important ways. Key functions include traditional trade association membership benefits, a portfolio of the industry’s largest trade shows and a media group who produces online and print magazines.
All of this adds up to a sprawling, diverse technology environment that has many different needs and priorities, including a mix of macOS, iOS and Windows devices.
This meant that Andy Lomasky, the Director of IT at PMMI, needed a Managed Services Provider (MSP) that had deep technical expertise in both Apple and Windows environments.
Most providers that Andy had worked with in the past did not have the true expertise nor the tools to properly manage Apple infrastructure, which meant Andy was often stuck trying to manage and mediate between two different service providers.
The goal was to find a trusted partner who not only had the required cross-platform expertise, but also met the needs and expectations of PMMI.
Under the supervision of Andy, PMMI has a team of 5 IT employees. About half of the team focuses on Line-of-Business (LoB) applications and services, while the rest of the team are generalists who manage infrastructure, operations and security with appropriate vendor partners.
Andy had a couple of important objectives when choosing to outsource specific IT services to a third-party IT provider.
For starters, he wanted his own team focused on more strategic projects that would really move the dial for the organization, as opposed to tactical work such as patch management, server management and help desk. It’s a much more cost-effective model to outsource this type of routine labor.
“I don’t want to be in the business of server administration or patching or help desk. Those are perfect targets to be outsourced so that we can stay focused on what differentiates us as a business,” said Andy.
Based on sub-par experiences with various providers in the past, Andy was adamant that PMMI employees get solid help desk support. The staff needed timely response with the right advice the first time, to prevent problems from slipping back onto Andy’s shoulders and keeping their workflow on track.
Security was another important issue. A huge part of Andy’s responsibility is keeping PMMI secure and compliant. It was critical that he was aligned with a provider who had their own security practice in order, along with the policies, procedures and mechanisms in place to properly protect PMMI as well.
And of course, he needed a Managed Services Provider who just as proficient in the Mac world as the Windows world, and who could offer a single platform and integrated set of procedures to ensure the entire support experience would run smoothly.
Andy had been working with Forget Computers, now an Ntiva company, for the past few years and was impressed with their depth of Mac and iOS expertise. He felt their level of customer service, responsiveness to tickets, and consistently high level of support was unmatched in the marketplace.
After meeting with Ntiva, Andy was pleased to discover that he could rely on a single provider that not only had a great depth of expertise on both sides, but a solid reputation for a consistently high level of service and support.
“The thought of the two best performing vendors coming together was one of the reasons we were so excited to sign up with Ntiva. Now we have access to one place with similar philosophies who provide a consistently high level of support, a great user experience and great expertise on both platforms…so we get the maximum benefit of all that.”
Having access to advanced cybersecurity products and services was another huge benefit.
Being able to rely on Ntiva’s managed cybersecurity services took a huge burden off Andy’s shoulder. The ability to proactively monitor threats that come up around the clock and respond with a well-formulated plan before PMMI even knew there was an issue was a huge step forward.
Closing gaps before the worst can happen is the kind of trusted resource Andy was looking for.
Having previously worked with many MSPs, Andy knew the value that a good MSP can bring to the table. The ability to access an entire team who are constantly being educated on the latest technology, and exposed to the collective learning from a large client base, is a tremendous advantage.
Andy also commented on the willingness of Ntiva to explore forward thinking and innovative solutions, working together to come up with the best solution for PMMI in a strategic manner. He appreciates the close communication and open partnership, which is a valuable component of the MSP relationship.
Andy firmly believes that when it comes to end user tools, employee choice is very important.
He believes that in 2020, the age of the cloud, nobody should be locked in to particular device or platform. Over the past few years he’s noticed a gradual shift to Macs as opposed to PCs amongst the staff, and stressed the importance of giving everyone the same access to corporate applications from their preferred device.
This underscored the importance of finding a provider that can offer Apple-certified technicians with Apple-native tools that will ensure that not only the Windows-based portion of the company is properly serviced and secured.
Ultimately Andy’s own team has been freed up by Ntiva, letting them focus on the strategic projects that differentiate PMMI and allowing them to better service both their staff and their constituency.