Meet Aspen Solutions
Aspen Solutions provides business solutions that allow companies of any size to stay connected through various technologies. Located in Cumbernauld, Scotland, Aspen was formed in 1998 and has been growing steadily to where they are today with over 30 employees.
Their end-to-end services are comprehensive as they discover, plan, and implement hardware and software solutions (including infrastructure, broadband connections, office phone lines, anti-virus software, etc.) and continue to service and maintain the outcomes. Although they boast an impressive roster of software and hardware providers, Aspen’s pride comes from their customers’ satisfaction since not everyone can be an IT tech expert! Just ask the Head of Business Improvement, John Clark, “We frame as ‘We will be your IT head for your business,” meaning any company — from a local business to a national corporation — can rely on their services as if they had an in-house IT manager.
What distinguishes Aspen is its personnel. They are a team of inquisitive people with an appetite to learn and always look for unique ways to solve critical business issues. They are passionate about making every customer’s experience unique through every department from beginning to end. They have created a culture that delivers.
The need for scaling speed
Any company wishing to survive in today’s competitive marketplace must prioritize a scaling strategy and be nimble enough to overcome challenges in the roadmap and the market. Aspen Solutions is no stranger to scale; the company began 24 years ago by selling and servicing photocopiers, latterly moving into the IT hardware space, then software and IT Support. So, they needed to scale their headcount and clientele in addition to evolving with technology and prioritizing giving high-quality, in-house-like IT servicing.
“We want to provide support services to more of our clients, and we quickly realized that Atera is going to be the tool that allows us to do this in a scalable fashion.” John Clark: Head of Business Improvement, Aspen Solutions
As much as we want to move on from it, Covid-19 was one of the biggest triggers for Aspen’s scale. To keep up with the trends, they had to offer quick service to make the transition for these companies to allow remote and hybrid work a reality:
“We’ve seen a lot of opportunities with businesses looking to move to a remote or hybrid model for their staff. We’ve been there as trusted advisors for these technological changes. Atera has played a key role in helping us support these businesses as we took them from a server in the office’s back room to being able to work from anywhere, hot desk in different offices, and all the infrastructure changes and support that come with that, ” explains John Clark, Head of Business Improvement at Aspen Solutions.
Despite reasons to grow, Aspen still faced several obstacles: cross-company collaboration, company productivity, and low visibility toward how to best solve their customers’ needs.
“Better together” is a common motto, and it holds especially true when teams collaborate. The sales representatives must stay in sync with the technicians to scale their customer base and offerings. When a sales representative knows a customer’s issue via the technicians, they can be ready to suggest the right upgrades and essentials, thus growing the customer’s lifetime value and satisfaction. However, the existing tool struggled to cope with the needs of a quickly growing IT Service department.
Additionally, Aspen Solutions needed help knowing what was going on with the technicians. The business of IT solutions can be very reactive, John describes. “Customers will call in or email for a problem.” Therefore, it’s of utmost importance to respond to them promptly. Still, with low visibility into the pipeline of tickets and commonalities between them, efficiency can become stalled. For example, a technician could solve similar issues or think someone else is on the job when they aren’t. Aspen’s ideal world would be where they can find problems with their customers’ IT hardware and software and resolve them before it gets to their inboxes or voicemail.
While Aspen’s existing tool integrated perfectly with the business CRM and ERP system, allowing technicians access to up-to-date sales, customer service, and relevant customer data, the tool was not designed for the rigors of a fast-moving IT support environment. Within the IT support environment, Atera allows technicians to collaborate on tickets, report on specific issues, and use IT-specific resources to log, analyze and resolve issues together. This boosts productivity beyond the existing solution’s capabilities.
A page out of their own playbook
Internal communication was a pain point in the existing tools, and their motivation to improve their processes is simply customer satisfaction. But chat apps and text messages wouldn’t cut it — so they took a page out of their own playbook and found a solution to help them resolve the issue and boost satisfaction. After some research and pricing comparisons, John decided to bolster the scaling efforts with Atera’s IT management platform. Working with the technicians and the department management, Aspen got Atera up and running in days. “If I can use it, anyone can,” he chuckles.
When technology becomes a force multiplier
John demonstrated to the rest of the business the IT Service Department’s potential to expedite time to resolution if they could secure the right technology. Atera quickly became the obvious choice, acting as the glue between their technicians. This glue eliminated redundant work among technicians of all levels. It encouraged proactive maintenance in their systems, leading to lower ticket numbers in the first place – a big win for a customer-centric company.
“Before Atera, we added management and bodies,” said John. “Now, we close more tickets than ever before. We do more automatically, resolve issues quicker, and add customers quickly. We have greater visibility.”
All-in-one solution for every customer’s needs
Not only are the engineers better synced, but the entire workforce of Aspen Solutions is synced with each other. Now, a once predominantly reactive team has become proactive, getting tickets straight from clients and using custom fields to redirect the tickets to the right technician. Atera is the traffic director, smoothing out solution-building and response times. As a result, there are no more redundancies in tasks, and clients get regular updates on the progress of their requests or issues.
“A lot of what we are doing now is being ahead of issues using alerts and thresholds. More complex problems go to senior engineers; longer-term, Atera will allow us to interrogate information and direct it to relevant technicians,” said John.
This boost in visibility also enhances cross-team collaboration regarding predicting and selling new solutions to customers. “We can see what problems are happening, feedback to sales who can propose new projects or on-the-spot solutions for our customers. It has opened opportunities for us.”
When it comes to the future of Aspen Solutions, John is optimistic about their ability to meet the goals. “For the next few years, we are looking to grow our IT service departments to our 700 regular buying customers. We want to provide support services to more of our clients, and we quickly realized that Atera is going to be the tool that allows us to do this in a scalable fashion.”