When Classic Collision IT Managers Scott Britt and Johnny Ward, along with shop manager Shannon Blevins, looked for help reducing network outages and handling day-to-day IT duties, their search led them to Novatech. Working together, Novatech and Classic Collision formulated a more ambitious plan: to move Classic Collision’s entire day-to-day operations to the cloud. Now, Britt reports, the new technology framework is helping the collision center “do everything right the first time” for its customers.
A Step-by-Step Process
Prior to signing with Novatech, Britt and Ward had been charged with managing the IT needs for Classic Collision’s nine collision centers. However, providing support and assistance for so many different locations was a struggle. “We did everything—from training people to use our management system to repairing PCs,” says Britt. “With nine locations all over metro Atlanta, it was hard to get to everybody.”
In particular, Britt reports, keeping tabs on licensing requirements for software was difficult, and unnecessary network outages hampered efforts to provide the excellent customer service for which Classic Collision is renowned. After Classic Collision hired Novatech to provide IT support, Novatech’s VP of Managed IT Services, Chas Arnold presented Classic Collision with its ITility by Novatech Cloud solution, which dovetailed perfectly with Britt’s own plans. “We like to have the latest and greatest technology, and I had already envisioned that the cloud was where we wanted to go,” says Britt. “Once we got Novatech in for the day-to-day IT issues, we were able to set up a meeting with our boss, Brandon Bishop.”
With the project approved, Classic Collision and Novatech immediately began working to implement the complete program, which would include moving all of Classic Collision’s operations to the cloud, hosted at Novatech’s best-practices data center. Novatech would also provide 24/7/365 monitoring and maintenance, including software updates. Each Classic Collision location would have a single server to generate IP addresses and help connect the desktop PCs in the office to the cloud environment.
Making the Move
To prepare for the move to the cloud, Novatech informed Classic Collision that they would need to upgrade its outdated desktop PCs and then began transitioning the company’s software, as well. Novatech provided Classic Collision with hosted Microsoft Office and the Microsoft Exchange email client, two products frequently used in cloud environments.
However, a bigger challenge was transitioning several specialized programs used by Classic Collision, including ProfitNet™, a collision shop management system, as well as estimating packages Audatex and CCCOne. “We had one nagging issue with one of the estimating packages, and Novatech went above and beyond to figure it out,” says Britt. “As far as we know, none of the products had ever been run in a cloud environment before, and Novatech was able to make them work.”
A Mobile Future
With Classic Collision’s cloud-based operations in full swing, the company began focusing on its new mobility benefits. “With ITility by Novatech, we immediately saw the benefits on the mobility side,” says Britt. “Mobility gave our estimators freedom to work from home, instead of having to come in over the weekend to complete estimates.”
Now, Classic Collision looks forward to its next improvement—putting iPads in the hands of those estimators. “Once the estimators have iPads, they will be able to do estimates in the field,” Britt says. “We work with a lot of dealerships, and the estimators used to have to go out to a car, look at it, and then come back to the shop and do the estimate. Now, they’ll be able to go to the vehicle, do the estimate, and print or email it, right there.”
Overall, Britt says, working with Novatech and their cloud solution has given him and Ward more confidence in their system’s stability and reliability. They also like the security of knowing the Classic Collision network is being monitored and updates are being done. “Novatech is very efficient,” says Britt. “If the first tech cannot finish out an issue, they stay with it until they resolve the problem.” On a professional level, the new solution has proved a benefit for both Britt and Ward, as well. “We now have the ability to focus on things such as improving processes,” Britt says.
If there’s one takeaway from the project that Britt would offer to other customers, it’s to ensure they share with Novatech every possible detail about their business. “During the initial implementation, Novatech employee’s went above and beyond to learn how we do business and make sure everything interacted well with the Citrix cloud environment,” Britt concludes.