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Research & Consulting Firm

Location: San Francisco, CA| Users: 85
The Challenge

This San Francisco headquartered research & consulting firm helps San Francisco Bay Area nonprofits, government agencies, and philanthropic organizations plan programs and allocate resources more effectively. As it expanded from San Francisco to Davis, San Diego, and Los Angeles, it struggled to make IT applications function uniformly across all four locations — in particular, the complex data analysis application at the heart of its business. The firm’s productivity suffered as it spent significant amounts of time trying make-do solutions that failed to solve the problem. The research firm needed to outsource IT support to experts.

The Solution

“IT was always our second or third priority, behind serving our clients, and it showed in the way our IT needs were always underserved and underfinanced,” says the president. “Once we realized how that affected our business, we decided to outsource our IT support to get the care and technical expertise we needed. Xantrion took a lot of time to understand our work before they gave us a proposal.” The proposal included the following changes:

    •  Ensuring hardware and software worked consistently across locations
    •  Consolidating four separate email systems onto one Microsoft Outlook server
    •  Upgrading both hardware and software as needed
    •  Monitoring network performance
    •  Developing an IT strategic plan for future growth
The Outcome

By outsourcing IT support, the firm now gets improved performance from all its applications, allowing it to generate higher-quality reports for clients in less time. In particular, Xantrion has optimized the complicated licensing agreement and hardware requirements necessary to use the statistical analysis tool on which the research company relies. In fact, the president says, Xantrion actually advised the firm not to upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Windows because it would interfere with the operation of this key application.

In addition to improving the firm’s productivity and customer service, Xantrion has streamlined communication among the offices by creating a company-wide email system with more features and higher cybersecurity. And with a Xantrion engineer always on call, employees now know exactly whom to call if they need IT support.

“Xantrion shares our style of customer support: a high level of client contact and willingness to do whatever it takes,” the president says. “They share our values around service and ensuring a high-quality result.”