When Classic Collision IT Manager Scott Britt looked for help reducing network outages and handling day-to-day IT duties, his search led him to Novatech. Working together, Novatech and Classic Collision formulated an ambitious 2- pronged plan: move Classic Collision’s entire day-to-day operations to the cloud, and provide day-to-day IT support for Classic’s employees.
“Our company used an another IT service previously. At that time, there was a server we had acquired when we bought an existing body shop. They hooked that server into our network without checking for viruses and compatibility, and it infected our whole system. We knew it was time for a change.”
Now, Britt reports, the new technology framework is helping the collision centers “do everything right the first time” for its customers.
Prior to signing with Novatech, Britt had been charged with managing the IT needs for the nine collision centers then owned by Classic Collision (currently 18). However, providing support and assistance for so many different locations was a struggle. “We did everything ourselves—from training people to use our management system to repairing PCs,” says Britt. “Even with just the nine locations we had then 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 untimely network outages hampered efforts to provide the excellent customer service for which Classic Collision is renowned. Britt interviewed four or five managed IT service providers but after meeting with Novatech’s VP of Managed IT Services, Chas Arnold. Novatech was hired to provide IT support, 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, who liked the availability, security and mobility of the Novatech Business Cloud.”
With the Cloud project approved, Classic Collision and Novatech immediately began working to implement the complete solution, which would include moving all of Classic Collision’s operations to the cloud, hosted at Novatech’s world class Tier 3 data center. Novatech would also provide 24/7/365 monitoring and maintenance, including software updates. Each Classic Collision location would still have a single on-premises server to assign 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, Classic Collision agreed to upgrade its aging 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 a collision shop management system, as well as estimating packages. “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.”
Moving to Mobile
With Classic Collision’s cloud-based operations in full swing, the company began focusing on its new
mobility benefits. “With the Novatech Business Cloud, we immediately saw the benefits on the mobility side,” says Britt. “Mobility gave our estimators the freedom to work from home, instead of having to come in over the weekend to complete estimates.”
To add to its mobility, Classic Collision has since purchased laptops for each of the estimators in its 18 current stores. Each laptop rests on a mobile cart, equipped with a printer, battery, and battery charger so that they can be moved wherever needed within the facility. For offsite estimates at one of the many dealerships that uses Classic’s services, the estimator simply takes his laptop and remotely logs into the Classic Collision network.
Supplemental IT Staffing
With his responsibilities growing along with the number of collision centers, Britt had a decision to make: try and hire a full-time employee with the knowledge base and skill set he needed to support him, or look for a more practical solution. The answer: Novatech Supplemental IT Staffing. Under this program, Classic contracts with Novatech for a full-time, highly skilled Novatech engineer who works on-site with Britt, and travels to all their centers. (Novatech also offers part-time staffing.) “In addition to our Novatech engineer, I also have access to Novatech’s own in-house senior IT executives who have been extremely helpful”
Bottom Line Benefits
Overall, Britt says, working with Novatech and their cloud solution has given him more confidence in their system’s stability and reliability. He also likes the security of knowing the entire Classic Collision network is being monitored and updates are being done. “Novatech is very efficient,” says Britt. “If the first tech cannot finish an issue, they stay with it until they resolve the problem.” On a professional level, the new solution has provided another benefit, 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 other potential Novatech clients, it’s to ensure they share with Novatech every possible detail about their business. “During the initial implementation, Novatech’s employees went above and beyond to learn how we do business and make sure every- thing interacted well with the cloud environment.”