May 2020

Numerous IT Solutions customers using Windstream for their Internet were having trouble with their Internet.  Our advanced monitoring tracked the problem down to a Windstream router in Denver.  Explaining this to Windstream was not so easy.

Calling in a trouble report for a customer only got Windstream looking at that customer’s connection, not Windstream's network.  It was not possible to report trouble on their network as every trouble call was tied to a customer location.

Ray called their corporate headquarters to  report the problem and every time he called, his call was dropped, misrouted, or both.  On the 15th try, the call was misrouted to someone who could help with the problem.  When the guy answered he had no idea how the call got routed to him, but he said he could help.  Ray sent him the details and 4 days later the problem was fixed.  Here is the exact reply we received from the Windstream technician:

There were two emergency MOPs over the weekend to resolve the issue. There was fiber within our transport that was intermittently losing signal. This issue is believed to be resolved if you could continue to monitor and report back any irregularities.”

Apparently Windstream does not monitor their own network so they need IT Solutions to do that for them.  We continue to monitor their network, to the extent that it relates to maintaining service for our customers.

June 2019

An IT Solutions customer that started with us in 2017 with one location was opening their third location.  Their two additional locations were not staffed 5 days a week, but the phone needed to be answered five days a week.

We installed a solution where the phone rings in the office that is called, and if calls are not answered by the 3rd ring, they also ring in the main office which is staffed 5 days a week.  Calls to other offices come in on a different lighted button so people know which office was called, and their computer systems are all tied together, so an appointment can be made in the other office for a day when they are open.  The caller has no idea the call was answered in a different city.

This system significantly reduces labor costs by not having to staff the other offices and does it without losing any business.  Most customers won’t leave a message; they will just hang up and call someone else.  The annual labor savings for this solution exceeds the cost of the phone system, so the customer is getting over a 100% return on investment each year.

March 2018

An IT Solutions customer was having a problem with their customers accessing their website hosted on GoDaddy.  After spending 2 hours on the phone with GoDaddy support and not making in progress, they gave up and contacted IT Solutions to get the problem fixed.  IT Solution has never worked on this website, but we had a customer with a technology problem, so we had to get it fixed.

Ray called GoDaddy support and after just 20 minutes figured out not only is the call center not going to get the problem fixed, but that there is no way escalate the problem to a higher level of support. We were at the same dead end, but that didn’t stop us.  Next call was to their corporate office asking for the CEO by name.  We had no expectation that the CEO would take the call nor return the call, but it might get someone to call that can get the problem fixed. The call was answered in Hiawatha, IA, which helped break the ice and got a message through.

While waiting for a callback, Ray found a phone number that went directly into GoDaddy’s Network Operations Center (NOC), and with one call Ray was talking to Nick at the NOC.  Ray emailed Nick with details on the problem and it was fixed within a couple hours.  Three days later someone from the GoDaddy “CEO Team” returned Ray’s call.

October 2016

An IT Solutions customer contacted us about a new phone system.  They have five locations in three different counties in Iowa.  One of the locations had a relatively new phone system and it worked working fine, but the other four had phone systems that are so old nobody knew who put them in nor who to call for service.  We were afraid to blow the dust out of them because that might be what was keeping them together.  Everyone else they talked to wanted to sell them five new phone system, which was a lot of money.

We figured this was a classic example of where a cloud solution would work well so we setup a demo for them.  They hated it, as what they wanted could not be done in the cloud.  We setup another demo for them with a single phone box in one location with IP phones at their other locations.  With this solution we could also re-use their phones that were from their newer system that was working fine.  They loved it.

We got them a 3-year (almost interest free) lease to pay for the equipment and some of the installation, reduced their phone bills by more than the cost of the lease payment, and they keep that savings after the lease was paid off.  The phone system was exactly what they needed, and it didn’t cost them money; it saved them money. Purchasing a new phone system from IT Solutions improved their bottom line.

October 2016

A long time IT Solutions customer had grown their business and with that their technology needs had also grown. Their current VPN connection through the public Internet is no longer able to handle the amount of data they need to move, along with their phone calls, between their offices in two different cities.

IT Solutions negotiated a 100/100 meg dedicated fiber VLAN between the offices at a price that is less than 1/3 what others were offering for the same service.  We coordinated the installation of the service, programed their routers to use it, and all their connectivity problem disappeared.

July 2010

A locally owned movie theater's digital projection system crashed on a Thursday evening.  The system said, "Security Error", and won not recover.  The owner needed to refund everyone's money and send them home.

He spent Friday and Saturday working with the manufacturer trying to figure out where the problem was so he could re-open the theater.  By Saturday afternoon he was no longer working with the support techs; he was working with the engineers that designed the system, and they still hadn't found the problem.

Ray shows up Saturday afternoon, spends 30 minutes reviewing the logs from the system, finds the log entry that relates to the problem, and shows it to the owner.  He relays the info to the engineers, they send out two replacement boards, the projector is back on-line, and the theater re-opens for business.

July 2010

IT Solutions was doing a major network re-wiring job for a customer.  Their existing network cabling is so bad the CEO could not print a 20 page PDF to the copy machine.  It failed to print after too many network errors.  We ran all new Cat6 lines to every location in the building, and clean up a mess of old switches hidden throughout the office.

While do this work their server crashed (no relation to the work we are doing).  Their in-house IT person was not on site so the CEO asks us to take a look at it.  One of the settings was not looking correct and it would not boot up.  When the in-house IT person showed up he is not able to explain the setting.  We asked about backups, and fount that the USB drive the "set it and forget it backups" were supposed to go to was not connected.  The amount of data they might have lost was huge.

IT Solutions troubleshoot the problem to a corrupted RAID configuration but did not have a tool to do that type of repair (licensing for that software is very expensive and rarely used for this).  We found someone with the software and the skills needed, got the repair completed, and the server booted up right were it left off with no loss of data.

The customer ordered two new servers from IT Solutions and we took over managing their entire network, and still do today.