In the wake of the economic downturn, PAR was short-staffed and still reliant on an outdated server stack with an offsite system administrator for its network needs. Data storage was problematic, requiring tapes to be manually switched. Although a consultant managed to overhaul the network so that it was multi-user, security then became an issue as it went back and forth between single- and multi-user to accommodate remote workers.
“In order to share secure files with those offsite, we had to use QuickBooks routed through a virtual private network,” bookkeeper JoAnn Reitz explained. “Because 99 percent of our invoicing is done electronically, this slowed down our workflow considerably due to a sluggish network. We eventually determined that the only way to do invoicing efficiently was from the main office – not an ideal situation if someone needed to work remotely.”
Then came the classic “silver lining” scenario. When PAR was notified it was losing its lease, it was the organization’s chance to make a change in its IT system. Although the staff’s first task was to find a way to keep PAR running smoothly, the second priority was to eliminate its outdated server tower and the need for an out-of-state administrator to make any network changes.
“The possibility of losing our office space gave us just the motivation we needed to find a solution that allowed us to become less dependent on hardware and remote IT personnel,” Reitz said.
After researching several product offerings, PAR selected Swizznet’s QuickBooks Hosting for Businesses as the ideal solution for meeting its needs. Swizznet’s hosting and online accounting solution ties the versatility of Intuit’s QuickBooks with Citrix’s technology and the reliability of the Swizznet network for fast, secure online access to any file or application. With Swizznet’s QuickBooks Hosting for Business, all employees – 6075 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98136 swizznet.com | firstname.lastname@example.org 1.855.795.5767 onsite and remote – can stay connected for collaborative efforts and can connect to the cloud 24/7 via any computer or mobile device.
“Moving to Swizznet was the first step in being less IT dependent,” Reitz explained. “With our previous system, people were spending a lot of time trying to complete IT tasks they didn’t fully understand. Now, Swizznet’s technical support team replies in a timely manner with real can-do help.”
Reitz added that Swizznet’s knowledge, response time and seamless integration have been a pleasant surprise. “The initial migration to the Swizznet platform went very smoothly,” Reitz said. “I came in one morning and everything was ready to go. Now our staff has reliable real time access to our files and a fantastic support team from Swizznet to answer any questions they may have.”
Although PAR is using Swizznet’s platform, the organization has not kept analytics that compare the before-and-after benefits; still, Reitz points out that, as PAR’s bookkeeper, she no longer relies on IT support, but feels well supported by Swizznet’s on-call customer service staff. She also feels that the Swizznet platform’s security is more than adequate for the organization’s needs.
“Because there is no VPN, Swizznet makes the experience of working at home the same as working from the office,” she said. “Multiple users are not an issue. Best of all, when a new technology is introduced, there is usually a learning curve for the team. But with Swizznet, we have the ability to call or do online tutorials to solve our problems.”