Registered training organisation Churchill Education have relied on Grassroots IT for Managed IT Support and Cybersecurity since 2008. Randall Smith, CEO of Churchill Education, said he appreciates the proactivity shown by the Grassroots IT team. “They fix things that I didn’t even know were broken, so that I don’t have to try and be across every detail,” he said. “I know Grassroots IT will have it sorted ahead of the game.”
“The team at Grassroots IT are great at adapting systems to work with us, rather than forcing us to fit the systems,” he said. “They also conduct regular cybersecurity reviews – in fact, we have one underway at the moment.”
Of course, cybersecurity is not a “once and done” proposition. It’s an arms race between IT providers and cyber criminals to stay ahead of the game, continually requiring new tools, techniques and strategies. In March 2022 Grassroots IT are delivering a cybersecurity assessment for Churchill Education to ensure their systems are as secure as needed.
Randall said that Grassroots IT set Churchill Education up with Microsoft Sharepoint, a system that works very well. “We have some specialised software but Grassroots IT has made everything integrate correctly,” Randall said. “We had a hybrid model with some data in the cloud and some in the office but the transition to the cloud went very smoothly.”
“We have remote workers and Grassroots IT have set up their systems so that everything is secure and runs well,” he said.
“We had a server room that cost us money, so we moved into the cloud — including moving historical files so that our business could continue seamlessly. It was a well-planned transition.”
Randall said he appreciates the responsive service he receives. “Everyone wants to feel like the number one client, and Grassroots IT do treat us that way,” he said. “They’ve grown with us but you never feel like you’re stuck in online chat or just a ticket in the system.”
“They have the personal touch and you can always just pick up the phone and talk to someone,” Randall said. “I don’t even buy a laptop without contacting Grassroots IT to get things set up properly.”
“From day one we have had a strong trust in what Grassroots IT are doing, and they’re yet to let me down,” he said.
When the Port of Darwin was privatised in 2015, this massive change affected their entire business operations from top to bottom. Craig O’Connor, the Head Of Technology & Information Systems at Port of Darwin, selected Grassroots IT to assist with four main areas for the Port: Managed IT Support, Microsoft Office 365, Azure, and Security.
Having worked in IT for 20 years – 95% of those in a managed service environment – Craig said he has been impressed with the level of customer service from Grassroots IT. “When you ask for something done, you know it will be done,” he said. “They never respond with ‘that’s not in scope’ – instead, they work to understand the problem and figure out a way to make it work.” Craig said Grassroots IT’s proactivity also impressed him.
“The Grassroots team don’t just do what they’re asked to. If they can figure out a better way to achieve the outcome than what we’ve asked for, they will say so,” Craig said. “We find that very valuable.”
As part of the privatisation process, the Port of Darwin needed to migrate from the Government’s internal exchange email to Microsoft Office 365. Craig said this was one of the smoothest transitions he had ever experienced. Grassroots IT set up the 365 environment, synced it with their AD – a complicated process since the new email addresses and usernames were different – as well as planning the data migration with the Port and actioning PST exports and imports. Craig said the process felt deceptively simple. “At first, because Grassroots IT made things so simple, I was asking ‘What am I not getting here?’ or not seeing here,” he said. “Now that I’m used to their very really high standards, I realise this is simply the Grassroots IT experience.” The Port of Darwin now has a consistent email experience with Office 365, allowing them to take advantage of other elements of the Microsoft Office 365 platform. The Microsoft 365 platform helps the Port defend against advanced cyberthreats and simplify their IT management with a single solution. It provides access to information for those who need it, and keeps out those who don’t, while enabling seamless collaboration.
Craig said that being confident in their IT supplier was invaluable to his work in a management role. “Because your eyes don’t get dragged down into the weeds, you can think more strategically,” he said.
George Blake, the IT Manager at Westside Corporation, has worked with many MSPs over the years. But he says there are few that deliver like Grassroots IT. “Grassroots IT are second to none with their knowledge of systems,” George said. “They have skilled staff – not people learning their way on my time. Their high end employees are very good.”
“They understand that I want a pre-planned approach to get my staff involved, not just leave it to people to figure it out themselves,” he said.
“They are responsive and they help me to keep IT under control.”
“Grassroots IT have an interest in our business, and they take the time to understand our strategy,” he said. “They then implement accordingly with the end goal in mind.”
George said that in his experience, IT must be a partnership between the MSP and the client. That’s exactly what he gets from Grassroots IT.
“Grassroots IT are an extension of our team,” George said. “Actually, it’s more like they’re a part of our team.”
“You know IT is working if no one is talking about it,” he said. “With Grassroots everything runs well; they take the time to understand what I need.”
“It’s definitely one of the better engagements I’ve experienced. “
Installing new IT solutions is another area where Grassroots IT have shone. “You can’t just leave it to someone who isn’t engaged and expect a good outcome,” George said. “How the installation is managed is critical — you need people who will engage with the business for implementation and Grassroots IT do that.”
Commercial & Industrial real estate agency Madsen Property have relied on Grassroots IT for Managed IT Support for many years, also recently working with Grassroots IT to migrate from legacy in-house systems to Microsoft 365. Madsen Property Principal Ken Madsen said Grassroots IT made sure that Madsen Partners’ IT works all the time, when they need it.
“In our business, IT is crucial, since a lost opportunity can be very costly,” he said. “We’ve worked with Grassroots IT since 2009. They handle everything to do with our IT, I don’t have to worry about it.”
“You could say that technology and I are ‘difficult friends’,” Ken laughed. “But Grassroots are serious about making it easy for humans to have seamless reliable IT.”
“Ben has cut through the nonsense and he and his team look at the problem, and tell me ‘This is what you need’. That’s very valuable,” Ken said.
With their ageing in-house servers approaching end-of-life, Grassroots IT recommended making the move into the Microsoft 365 cloud platform. Not only would this move save money by not having to replace the ageing servers, but it would enable a whole new way of working.
“We weren’t in the cloud, so we needed to change,” Ken said. “Grassroots IT helped us with a migration to Office 365.”
The move to Microsoft 365 would prove timely, allowing Ken and his team to embrace a remote working model that enabled them to continue working without disruption through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The last two years of the pandemic with Madsen Partners working as a distributed team has reinforced that everything Ben said was correct,” Ken said. “Very rarely are we down. Actually in the last few years, we’ve had no problems whatsoever.”
“Partnerships are important to us, and Grassroots IT have given us absolutely no reason to change,” Ken said. “I’ve met some of the team personally, and they all feel reliable and trustworthy.”
“I’d definitely recommend Grassroots IT. It all just works smoothly.”