Smartt helps Ventana Construction simplify their IT so they can focus on running their core business.
TRG Group Benefits and Pensions Inc. (TRG) is a Vancouver-based company that specializes in customized employee benefit programs and group retirement plans. Since its launch in 1997, TRG has built a base of more than 800 clients ranging from large corporations to not-for-profit organizations. The company is a trusted, well-regarded presence in the business community.
“We really listen. Our consultants work with each client to design a sustainable plan that makes sense for the client’s business,” says Jean Mill, CFO. “Clients benefit from our deep internal expertise as well as our relationships with well-positioned suppliers.”
Mill is always looking for ways to scale the business cost-effectively while making sure TRG staff has the resources they need to deliver first-class service to clients.
“The company is growing fast,” Mill says, “and we need to invest more into IT. But we also need to make sure we’re headed in the right direction before we move forward with upgrades.”
Capacity was not the only challenge. TRG’s technology requirements have become more complex as their consultants embrace Smartphones and notebooks for remote and after-hours use. TRG has to pay more attention to security as well as ensure reliable access to the IT infrastructure at all times.
Daniel Vazquez, TRG’s IT Administrator, came to Mill with a business plan from Smartt for an IT Service Management (ITSM) Audit.
“Smartt is our Internet service provider and they also host our website,” Vazquez says. “They’ve always been helpful and responsive, so we were open to bringing them in as IT consultants. Our priorities for this engagement were to take an inventory of facilities and operations, identify areas for improvement, especially security, and recommend improvements.”
For Vazquez, who was already working on plans to upgrade TRG’s IT systems, Smartt’s additional insights and suggestions were exactly what he needed to finalize those plans with confidence.
“I try to do my own research and talk to other IT professionals,” Vazquez says, “but it’s always good to get that expertise applied to your own specific situation. I found the discussions we had with Smartt really useful, especially around how we could make our systems more secure and robust.”
Vazquez has now added to his list dual firewalls for stronger network security, and moving their servers to a clustered architecture to minimize downtime. He also liked Smartt’s recommendation to streamline the helpdesk by implementing a ticketing system to manage trouble calls more efficiently.
The ITSM Audit deliverables include comprehensive systems and IT operations documentation, which Vazquez can use as a resource for training new IT staff and also to help external IT resources come up to speed quickly. The Audit helped Vazquez justify new IT investments by validating concerns, quantifying upgrade benefits, and providing cost estimates.
For Mill, the entire process has been extremely reassuring.
“We’ve been impressed by Smartt. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them. It’s been a positive, very comfortable working relationship all around.”