Case Study

Managed Service Provider Case Study: Thom Child and Family Services

calendar iconMay 19, 2023

Contributors: Chris Martin, Senior Manager of IT and Managed Services

When faced with challenges in managed services and moving to the cloud, Thom Child and Family Services turned to Cherry Bekaert’s Digital Advisory.

The result: a dynamic partnership, enhanced security, collaboration and performance.

Supporting Children and Families

Thom Child and Family Services, founded in 1921, is a nonprofit organization offering early intervention programs and services for children, from birth to three years old, who have developmental difficulties due to identified disabilities or whose development is at risk due to certain birth or environmental circumstances. The organization manages 11 locations across Massachusetts and employs workers specializing in the areas of occupational and physical therapy, nursing, social work, speech-language pathology, early childhood development and mental health counseling. Collaboratively, these employees work to form specialized teams to address the needs of children and their families.

Pivoting During a Pandemic

In December of 2020, John Beevers joined Thom Child and Family Services as Director of Information Technology. In the months that followed, Beevers evaluated the strategy and execution of their IT infrastructure, including an ongoing initiative to move their services to the cloud. Prior to the pandemic, Thom Child was a heavily paper-based business without a huge emphasis placed on data entry, technology and IT infrastructure.

As the pandemic settled in, operational needs shifted as employees began working remotely. Thom Child worked with, at the time, its present MSP, who hosted several of their applications, to stand up a traditional IT network with VPN topology to connect the different networks and locations. Pain points of this structure quickly became evident as the organization struggled to manage infrastructure and provide timely and efficient IT support to its remote employees. Given the strategic goals of the organization, Beevers knew he needed to make some changes. Key initiatives included deploying a strong managed service provider team to include an onsite resource, implement an extensive data protection strategy, and perform cloud migration and licensing.

Relationships as a Business Priority

Leaning on his professional network, Beevers identified a reputable team with a demonstrated history of building productive and trusted relationships while delivering on strategic goals – Cherry Bekaert Digital Advisory, a Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform provider. With a consistent 70.2 Net Promoter Score, it was clear the value that Cherry Bekaert Digital Advisory places on the customer relationship.

Beevers noted a unique differentiator: Cherry Bekaert, historically a CPA and Advisory firm, took a holistic approach to their work, offering services and advisement in the areas of governance, infrastructure, cybersecurity, app development, DevOps, compliance programs and core financial/value chain processes. “We are business leaders first in the IT context, leveraging technology to grow a company’s top and bottom line,” remarked Chris Martin, Senior Manager, Managed Services Leader for Cherry Bekaert. “We strategically align with our clients to provide them the advisory needed. Essentially, we are a managed service partner, beyond a provider. We understand business and how technology applies to your business.”

Reimagining IT and Managed Services

The Cherry Bekaert team met with Thom Child’s internal team to review the organization’s IT needs. Together the team evaluated the status of the organization’s infrastructure and systems and worked to articulate a new vision for IT and managed services. This would include moving the organization to Microsoft 365 cloud for improved communication, collaboration and enhanced security while improving the network and core infrastructure components.

Managed Services for Growth

The Thom Child executive team hired Cherry Bekaert in June of 2022 for a three-year managed services agreement to deploy managed services. Cherry Bekaert’s objective was to make infrastructure and operational improvements with the endpoint migration to Microsoft 365. Within the first 90 days, Cherry Bekaert established a new managed service infrastructure which included discovery, endpoint/server onboarding and service desk preparation. Additionally, the team positioned an on-site resource to improve IT services and train end users on the new technologies being implemented.

Within a six-month period, all devices were brought into Microsoft Endpoint Manager, including elements of their e-mail and configurations for e-mail. Efforts are currently underway to consolidate more services to the Microsoft Stack and will be migrating Mail security and Malware protection to Defender for O365 and Defender for Endpoint. As the agreement evolves, Cherry Bekaert is working to identify areas to automate and simplify operations, including migrating their custom billing application to Azure. Additionally, the team is continually improving Thom Child’s security posture.

Cherry Bekaert Digital Advisory team brought added value to Thom Child with:

  • Improved infrastructure reliability
  • 24/7/365 incident response, resolution and maintenance
  • Consistent service and support levels
  • Improved confidence in IT to deliver supportive outcomes
  • Remediation plan to protect against cyber threats
  • Trustworthy data for decision-making
  • Well-monitored environment, providing greater visibility

What Are the Benefits of a Managed Service Provider?

Technology and talent are two of an organization’s most valuable business assets. Ensuring that an organization maximizes each is key in reaching and sustaining business performance goals. Relying on a Managed Service and Technology provider enables an organization’s internal IT department to focus on advancing the client’s mission, products and services with better efficiency and focus. A Managed Service Provider can lower costs by helping business stay flexible and scalable when it comes to resources and can accommodate changes an in-house team might not be able to respond to efficiently. Likewise, they offer 24/7 support and can cut down costs associated with downtime by predicting and preventing disruptions. They understand the complexities of compliance and auditing, and ensure an organization meets all regulations. Outsourcing these skills allows an organization’s internal team to focus on higher value tasks that lead to personal and business growth.

About Cherry Bekaert

In a rapidly evolving complex and uncertain marketplace, businesses look for innovative ways to continue to meet changing customer needs and manage profitable revenue growth. Cherry Bekaert’s Digital Advisory team is comprised of strategists, technologists and analysts who have broad industry experience and keen business acumen. We drive important change management and ignite growth in productive and cost-effective ways by helping companies predict outcomes with data while adopting and applying relevant technologies to optimize performance.

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