Since opening its doors in 2001, Keystone IT, based in St. Louis, Missouri, has been servicing clients within the healthcare vertical. The MSP, which has been a Continuum partner since 2009, is in a critical position because of the role that it plays for its healthcare clients, some of whom are large medical facilities and hospital systems.
As a Continuum partner, Keystone IT has a “two-fold” relationship with Autotask. Originally, the MSP began working with Autotask about four years ago when it began utilizing its ticketing system. According to Eric Humes, Keystone IT’s CEO, he was pleased with the joint relationship that he had with both Continuum and Autotask; according to Humes: “Over the past year, Continuum has discovered and reported on 33% of our total (Autotask) ticket volume as proactive monitoring. This equates to an average of 635 issues that are proactively identified each month. The amount of downtime this has prevented is almost immeasurable, and the value of that downtime absolutely cannot be measured.”
Humes notes that the integration especially paid benefits at the end of 2013, when Keystone IT acquired nearby MSP, Cogent Innovators. As a result of the acquisition, the combined companies were now able to serve even more clients within their vertical specialties of healthcare and education. According to Humes, he first needed a solution that would allow for a fully integrated ticketing system and would merge both company’s databases and assets. It helped, according to Humes, that Cogent was already an Autotask user.
“After we acquired Cogent, the first thing we had to do was to merge the Autotask ticketing systems,” Humes said. “I found that our experience was ultimately positive, and overall, Autotask did a great job of merging the two systems—it was literally seamless. We had very little downtime, maybe five minutes, in total. They even set up a ‘dummy’ merged system where we could go in and test and check to ensure everything was set up properly before going live, and it has worked great since then.”
Following the successful merger of the ticketing systems, Humes was confident that the integrated Autotask/Continuum solution was the right choice for his business. This was especially valuable, since the MSP depends upon Continuum’s platform, including the 600-person network operations center (NOC) and white labeled Help Desk. Because many clients are in the healthcare field, Humes said it was absolutely critical that no mistakes were made.
He was also excited that Continuum announced an enhanced integration, using Autotask’s public API that would give his team access to even more effective workflows. Keystone IT configured and successfully launched the new API integration in their environment in May 2014.
“The systems we monitor and support are those that human life is dependent upon,” Humes said. “The servers we are monitoring are servers that support private practices, surgery centers, and hospitals. We host these services via our Kloud™ and monitor via Continuum, and therefore when an alert occurs, we must have the confidence that the alert is going to create the actions necessary to remediate the issues.”
Therefore, the migration to the API-based integration needed to happen seamlessly and with no downtime. Humes added that because failure is never an option, he knew that in working with both Continuum and Autotask that he could rest easy and everything would always be taken care of, flawlessly.
“When we completed the full API integration between Continuum and Autotask, I was dancing in the streets. I forwarded the good news to all 58 employees; I wanted to ensure everyone was aware of the benefits and the advantages of each.”
Since implementing the API integration, Humes added that he looks forward to the increased value-add he and his Keystone IT team will be able to provide for their clients. He also knows that the enhanced integration will allow his staff to continue to have the confidence they need when handling critical situations.
“It boils down to operational work flow,” Humes said. “If there is a gap in a system or process, our business will experience a failure, and therefore, our clients will as well. As a result of the tight integration between Continuum and Autotask business apps, the opportunity for any type of failure is minimized.”