shovel digging in the dirt

BITS' Co-Managed Service Support Helps NC811 Overcome Crises and Maintain IT 24/7

For any business or organization, maintaining servers, databases and computers is important. But when an organization needs to be on and ready to address client needs 24/7, then consistently keeping IT operations humming is absolutely vital. An organization like that requires a managed services partner that can be relied upon to always be vigilant and ready to step up to handle any issue that arises without delay.  

North Carolina 811 – or – found a partner like that in Beacon IT Services (BITS).

Critical Infrastructure

"Call before you dig."

That's the tagline for NC811 a non-profit organization that collects information from anyone in North Carolina planning to conduct excavation. NC811 then transmits that info to member facility owners—including homeowners associations, municipal governments, universities, and more—who then have three days to send out locators to mark any publicly managed underground facilities or important utility lines that may be impacted. This service is free and is crucial in maintaining utilities throughout the state.

NC811's customer base includes contractors, construction companies, and homeowners. And with about 2.6 million customer requests coming through a year, the organization needs to always be ready to process excavation requests efficiently. "We are 24/7. We take emergency requests on weekends and holidays. We cannot be down," explains Louis Panzer, executive director of NC811. "So it's critical that our infrastructure is maintained. And that's the main reason we work with BITS."

Peace of Mind Service

Since 2014, BITS has provided a variety of standard IT services to NC811 including general server maintenance and monitoring. NC811 has its own internal IT team, so BITS typically took on a role of providing critical support. That support has proven necessary and valuable on multiple occasions, particularly during crises. 

One such crisis occurred when an air conditioning unit—located on the roof of NC811's building, directly above their rack servers—began to leak. Even worse, the leak began in the middle of the night, and before long, the server room was flooded. The water could have significantly damaged the servers and created serious problems for NC811's operations, but fortunately, BITS was quickly made aware of the problem and quickly got technicians over to NC811.  

"When these kinds of things happen in the middle of the night, you can't wait until morning to begin working on a fix. By the time I woke up and found out about the flooding, BITS had already been on-site for several hours," Panzer recalls. BITS technicians checked the servers, helped dry the blades, and worked quickly to bring NC811 back online and operating at full strength.

Another incident occurred when NC811's IT director had to take a leave from work following an injury. It fell on BITS to step in and take on many of the tasks the IT director typically oversaw. "We communicated to BITS that it was an emergency and we'd be needing a lot of extra help. BITS set us up with a project manager to oversee our needs and they communicated with our upper management about what the expectations were to put together a gameplan," Panzer says. 

BITS technicians kept NC811's servers running without issue, and the organization was able to weather their IT manager's recovery without issue. Even better, the incident led to a fuller and closer collaboration between BITS and NC811, creating a full co-managed services partnership. "In the past, BITS work with us has been more on a limited basis. But now, we've made sure that BITS is up to speed with full access to all of our servers and telecommunications," Panzer says. "That provides peace of mind that you just can't put a cost on."

A Partner You Can Rely On

BITS co-managed services work with NC811 is carrying on with both standard server maintenance and special projects, including setting up servers and a company-wide telecommunications migration.

Regardless of the project, Panzer is confident that the BITS team will deliver. "The professionalism of BITS has always been top-notch," he says. "We've worked with other IT entities in the past, and I'm always happy when it comes time to renew our contract with BITS and we sit down and talk about what our needs are. I know that BITS will give us an honest appraisal of the needs and expectations. It's so very refreshing, and we appreciate it very much."

Panzer also points to BITS' communication and organization as key factors in the success of the collaboration, as well as the BITS' team's willingness to meet NC811's needs. He explains: "BITS was very adjustable in terms of how their rates were structured. That flexibility is critical for us, because when there does come a time that we need the service, we know we have it at our fingertips, and we're going to get the excellent service that we expect."

Don't Worry, We've Got IT

If you're looking to reduce your stress and experience the peace of mind that comes from knowing your IT infrastructure is being monitored and maintained by one of the best and most dedicated teams in the Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point area, we invite you to contact us today or request a free audit. As Panzer says, "BITS has historically proven themselves to be there when we need them. They offer a layer of protection that allows me to sleep at night." 

Services: managed IT services | server support | IT consultative services | expansion support