First Solution Success Story: Our Continuum Partnership

Our journey from break-fix IT to leading-edge managed services has evolved in tandem with the needs of our customers. “Our business model escalated quickly from reactive service to a more proactive approach based on SLAs, and then strategic services like IaaS, high-speed connectivity, and the journey to the cloud,” says Paul Hillis, Sales Director. “Our mission today is to help modern growing businesses improve IT operational maturity.”

As we’ve grown, recruitment has became a key challenge. “We were struggling to bring good people into the business. It became a limiting issue and an enormous frustration,” says Nigel Church, the firm’s managing director. Initial attempts to fill the gap fell far short of expectations, as a series of outsourcing providers lacked the discipline, technical competence, and MSP-specific skill set needed to ensure reliable service. Finally, a well-timed meeting with Continuum offered a better way forward. “We decided to start with Continuum Command and the Continuum Network Operations Center (NOC) as the quickest way to create value,” says Hillis. Once Continuum Command and the NOC were up and running, First Solution migrated its clients to Continuum Assist Help Desk as well. The firm’s Continuum platform now also includes Continuum Fortify for Endpoint Security, Continuum Fortify for Protection, and Continuum Recover.

Rapid resolution ensures customer satisfaction

“The Continuum NOC is a brilliant service. It just works quietly 24×7, without aggravation, the way it should be. If there’s an infrastructure problem on Saturday evening, you don’t wait for it to have an impact on Monday morning—it gets fixed Saturday evening,” says Hillis. Continuum Assist Help Desk provides similar responsiveness for user support. “If we breach our service desk SLAs, we’re in trouble. With Continuum, 85 percent of tickets are resolved within half an hour on first contact. Continuum’s ease of use and great customer experience make people more likely to report issues right away, before the problem grows, which also minimises frustration.” Prompt, reliable patching for desktops and servers helps prevent many issues from arising in the first place. “The AI capability of the Intellimon feature has been invaluable—we can take a proactive maintenance approach to fix problems that haven’t occurred yet. We have customers running years-old infrastructure with no server issues at all. Intellimon keeps those investments viable,” says Hillis. “The AI capability of the Intellimon™ feature has been invaluable—we can take a proactive maintenance approach to fix problems that haven’t occurred yet. We have customers running years-old infrastructure with no server issues at all. Intellimon keeps those investments viable.” Stated Church.

Cost-efficient service delivery helps improve earnings

With the Continuum platform, NOC, and Security Operations Center (SOC) powering its services, First Solution can add customers and grow revenue more easily. “We can do more selling now that we’re not tied up with the technical aspects of service delivery, and we can add more customers without having to worry about resourcing,” says Hillis. “We’ve seen earnings increase over the years we’ve partnered with Continuum because we can take on revenue without overburdening our cost structure. Continuum has been a strong contributing factor to our firm’s success.”

First Solution solves a staffing challenge with Continuum

“To meet the needs of our customers, we have to manage and support a broad range of technologies and services,” says Hillis. “The Continuum NOC gives us dedicated skills and engineers in the disciplines that matter to our customers. We’ve also found that we can spend less time monitoring and managing technology, and more time engaged with customers.” The reliability of our firm’s Continuum-powered services helps keep those conversations productive. “Instead of talking about infrastructure problems, we’re talking about how to increase your IT operational maturity and achieve digital transformation, because the service just works.”

Looking ahead

First Solution is currently working to expand its presence in security. “As our key partner in the First Solution success story, the fact that Continuum provides a strong security offering as part of an integrated platform is quite valuable,” says Church. “Command Fortify for Endpoint Security incorporates industry-leading capabilities at a good price point.” The firm has set a target to grow its security revenue within existing customer accounts as well as to acquire new customers based on a security focused pitch. As First Solution continues to grow and evolve, its Continuum relationship provides a strong platform for success. “Having a really strong partner lets us focus on internal core-value services like digital transformation and the journey to cloud, so we can explore new ways to help our customers drive competitive advantage with IT.”