The Security Industry Association (SIA) is a global trade association with more than 1,000 corporate members including manufacturers, integrators and distributors of converged IT/physical security solutions used throughout commercial, residential and government markets. SIA’s mission is to help its member companies grow through the association’s strategic networking, research, standards, advocacy and learning and development programs.
SIA’s partnership with Nortec began 8 years ago when SIA needed a new phone system. After successfully providing a unified communications solution, Nortec continued to work on projects with SIA, assisting the IT director on an as-needed basis.
In early 2019, as SIA continued to grow as the leading voice on behalf of the security industry, their IT director took a position with a different company. SIA evaluated whether to hire a new director or work with a third-party managed IT provider. The organization recognized the need to augment IT services beyond common issues and sought to improve operational efficiency by devoting more time to researching new technology solutions. SIA knew they needed new tools and to improve their overall security posture.
SIA decided to contract with an external IT partner and researched several managed services providers. Ultimately, they chose Nortec because of their extensive familiarity with SIA’s operations and IT infrastructure.
At the time, all of SIA’s systems were on-premise. To provide the security, operational and communication enhancements they needed, Nortec migrated the organization to Microsoft 365. This bundled solution includes Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Now, SIA can monitor threats, receive security recommendations, control employee devices and easily communicate and collaborate.
Under Nortec’s comprehensive managed modern workplace, SIA has been able to consolidate vendors and access advice about which solutions to implement. When SIA needed new accounting software, Nortec provided useful information about cloud-compatible application vendors and highlighted the best options.
SIA pays Nortec approximately 55% of what they previously paid for internal IT. They are saving money and accessing a full team of experts instead of relying on the limited expertise of one staff member. When a power outage was planned for over the weekend, a Nortec engineer went to SIA’s offices at 1 a.m. to ensure everything would power on correctly Monday morning.
Nortec has brought a new strategic perspective to SIA. There are more resources and the dedicated team from Nortec outlines the pros, cons and costs of new technologies to SIA’s leadership team. Together, the companies evaluate the budget and long-term plans to see if SIA wants to immediately adopt the tools or incorporate them over the next 1 to 2 years.
One key result of their work with Nortec is the 10-fold increase in SIA’s Microsoft Secure Score, which happened over a period of several months. The improvement is critical for current and future members who can see SIA as a true industry leader and use the organization as an example of best practices to follow.
Processes have been streamlined, especially issue resolution. When SIA had an internal IT department, all problems first went to the IT director, who then resolved the problem or passed it to Nortec. Under that system, it could take days for an issue to be acknowledged. Nortec’s ticketing system ensures problems are promptly worked on, resulting in high satisfaction scores provided by SIA staff upon completion of issues by Nortec. Additionally, Nortec pairs clients with the support staff best suited for their needs. For SIA, this is Greg Smith and Deb Wiker.
SIA’s engagement with Nortec has had a very positive impact upon our operations. Deb and Greg complement each other very well. Deb offers substantive and well-reasoned IT options for consideration and Greg provides exceptional knowledge and a high level of responsiveness that has been noticed by our entire staff. When you get the two of them in the room together you’re overwhelmed by their commitment to address our challenges and produce results. – Don Erickson Chief Executive Officer, SIA