BOOSTING THE BOTTOM LINE FOR THEIR CLIENTS
Running a business has always been challenging. On top of that, success in the Digital Age now requires organizations to stay on the cutting edge of information technology. With advances in IT occurring constantly, that can be overwhelming. There is hope, though. Warren Averett Technology Group is one company that works to make IT systems not only more manageable for businesses, but also more profitable.
“We’re not here just to be a technology entity; we’re here specifically to help our clients grow,” said Warren Averett Technology Group President Jason Asbury. “We do our best to be a true, trusted adviser for our clients.”
One of several affiliates of the certified public accounting firm Warren Averett, Warren Averett Technology Group, like its sister companies, grew from the organization’s desire to provide clients additional resources to help their businesses thrive.
“Our inception began as a support component and an adviser for our clients relative to accounting software,” Asbury said. “If you’re supporting accounting software, then you naturally need to be able to provide a support function for the rest of your computers and systems, and that’s how accounting software kind of complemented those traditional tech services.”
Now in its 16th year, Warren Averett Technology Group has expanded its services to help clients navigate the ever-evolving world of IT. It has always provided traditional IT assistance such as maintaining and troubleshooting systems. Tying into its accounting roots, the company also sells, implements and maintains accounting software. In addition to those areas, it is focused on helping clients use innovative, efficient and reliable IT solutions to grow their business.
In recent years the company has begun concentrating more on data center services and cloud computing. As Asbury explains, there are times when a client needs a new software solution, but wants to avoid purchasing a new server to go with it. In that case, Warren Averett Technology Group utilizes its partnerships with vendors such as Microsoft Corp. and IBM to offer customers cloud platforms, and then configures their services, remote access and backup systems. Asbury says the company has taken this a step further for clients who want peace of mind knowing they can access their data in the event of a problem. More than a year ago, the company began leasing space in the Retirement Systems of Alabama Dexter Avenue Datacenter. The facility, according to Asbury, is not only the most advanced in the state, but also a leading facility in the Southeast.
“We wanted to create a private, managed cloud solution for our clients, so we acquired this space and then we invested in some enterprise-grade infrastructure,” Asbury said. “We bought state-of-the-art servers, storage and systems and software to run it and now we’re able to host our clients’ systems for them.
“We provide everything down to carrier service. They don’t even purchase their own Internet connection; rather, we provide a connection to the data center and then we provide Internet through that. Our goal is to be an all-encompassing, one-stop shop relative to IT for our clients.”
Another plus the facility offers is that it is SOC 2 compliant, meaning regulated industries can be assured their data is secure. Even clients who maintain their own servers can take advantage of back-up and disaster recovery services at the data center. Should a catastrophic event occur, Warren Averett Technology Group can restore these clients’ systems in up to four-minute increments.
Because cyber security has become a concern for many businesses, the company has developed a security consulting services practice. This is particularly beneficial to clients in regulated industries who must meet federal compliance standards. For those customers, Warren Averett Technology Group performs a risk assessment and then works to bring them into compliance.
The company can also perform risk assessments for clients who process credit card transactions. Asbury points out that while large companies such as Target and Home Depot make headlines when a security breach occurs, the same problem can happen to smaller businesses as well.
“What we’re trying to do for our clients is get in front of it and be proactive,” he said. “We try to educate and make them aware and help them through these assessment steps to prevent the actual breach from occurring.”
No matter what service Warren Averett Technology Group is performing for a client, Asbury says its primary focus is always the relationship with that particular business. He says the company takes time to truly understand their clients’ needs so they can help them become more successful. One recent example is a customer whose payroll process had taken nearly three days, but now takes only four hours.
“Our rule of thumb is any time we recommend a technology solution for our client, first and foremost we’re trying to improve an existing process, but secondly, we’re recommending five-year solutions,” Asbury said. “We’re not a break/fix organization. As true business consultants with a five-year solution for technology we’re thinking forward, and we’re trying to think about ways for them to adopt new technologies to improve their bottom line.”