For the past 17 years, Bay Computing Group has grown throughout the San Francisco Bay Area by servicing clients differently than other IT services providers.
Like many Managed Service Providers, Bay Computing got its start by selling and servicing on-premises systems. Yet with the advent of the cloud era, they’ve transitioned to providing cloud services to businesses operating under stringent IT security requirements—businesses like hedge funds and healthcare organizations worried about SEC OCIE examinations or HIPAA regulations.
These kinds of clients require both technology and services to be delivered at a higher level. But Bay Computing, like all IT support providers, faces strong competitive pressures around pricing and services. Can a Managed Services Provider offer high-touch service as well as strength-tested infrastructure all while maintaining high margins and competitive prices at the same time?
Bay Computing is a IT consulting firm serving Silicon Valley
Headquarters: Concord, California
Intermedia’s customer since: 2014
Bay Computing simplifies office IT for clients by making expert technical expertise easily available. Rather than just supplying compliant technology, Bay Computing provides each client with a designated industry-specific specialized team of people to manage the implementation and ongoing optimization of their technology.
“Most IT services providers will assign one or two people to each client—a primary technician and maybe a backup,” says Kirk Harding, CEO of Bay Computing. “But history shows that the backup never really gets involved because over time the primary technician ends up taking over. That’s why we have our team-driven approach. We have four or five technicians assigned to a group of clients so they all get to know the client environment, and just as importantly, the people behind the business. If one person happens to be out of office or someone quits, we’ve still got great depth of knowledge when it comes to both their technical environment and their end users.”
For a time, Harding considered using Office 365™ to underpin his offerings, but he quickly realized it wouldn’t support Bay Computing’s business model. “They wanted to offer margins that were so miniscule that I had to get out the electron microscope to view them,” he said about Office 365. “They were also very adamant that they would not allow white-label reselling and so we looked elsewhere.”
“In the end, stickiness always comes down to whoever owns the customer relationship. You have to be in control to head off problems proactively and to show your value—otherwise, they start looking at the pieces of the build and say, ‘Well, why don’t I just do this by myself? Let me solve the puzzle- What do we need you for anyway?”
The need to integrate best-in-class technology with the professional expertise of his seasoned teams/veteran teams for his clients drove Harding’s search for a provider. Eventually, it took Bay Computing to Intermedia.
Harding stated that, “As a managed service provider, you don’t sell the ingredients, you sell the cake.”
Intermedia lets Bay Computing create seamless offerings that combine high-caliber technology products with their relationship-based, hands-on approach to providing IT services in San Francisco. “We don’t hide the Intermedia name, even though we are a private-label partner. It’s one of our ingredients. Our value comes in how we’ve selected the ingredients in a strategic way that’s suitable for our customer’s business, how we combine those ingredients to achieve the high-caliber results our customers need and in how we ensure that they get the same reliable results each and every day.
“But it would be untenable if we provided 10 different bills from all of these components. It’s got to be single billing otherwise the message and the value get convoluted.”
For Bay Computing, their team-driven approach is especially critical in serving the needs of customers who must maintain compliance with across various industry-specific regulations and legislative requirements. “We've architected our teams by vertical so clients get dedicated expertise in areas like finance and healthcare. A healthcare team will receive training on things such as providing Nextech support, answering questions on EMA EMR and learn about the concerns related to managing HIPAA EPHI as they get certifications and complete the Healthcare IT Technician “HIT” exam. The finance teams are very familiar with key utilities such as Bloomberg, RealTick and various other tools. They’ll have a background in dealing with matters related to security, compliance, SOX, audits, and the SEC OCIE’s cybersecurity requirements for hedge funds, etc.”
Intermedia makes us a lot more profitable in terms of our service margins by freeing up more time. Since we have lower administrative costs, we can focus on supporting our end users and on our corporate strategy going forward.Kirk Harding, CEO
One of the key benefits of Intermedia is that it protects Bay Computing’s margins.
“Intermedia reduces support costs for us because its services are turnkey and don’t require a lot of troubleshooting,” Harding says. “There are no ‘server down’ emergencies with Intermedia. We haven’t dealt with a down email server in several years.”
“Intermedia makes us a lot more profitable in terms of our service margins by freeing up more time. Since we have lower administrative costs, we can focus on supporting our end users and on our corporate strategy going forward.”
Having the ability to support each business as a unique entity with specific needs stems naturally from experience-based expertise and is a key element when selling services to clients that have compliance at top-of-mind; but understanding the technological underpinnings is just as critical to building the trust needed for success. This is where Bay Computing knows they can rely on Intermedia’s team to supplement their own.
Harding explains: “Intermedia’s services enable customers to establish and maintain compliance with regulations such as PCI, the SEC FINRA regulations and SOX. When we sell services to clients in the healthcare or financial services industry, that’s the first thing they’re going to want to know. Big clients like hedge funds want to make sure that they’re in a strength-tested environment. With a big name like Intermedia, we can provide our customers with relevant documentation, such as a SOC Report, or attestations of compliance (AOC) directly from the auditors which answers their questions right away.”
But Intermedia’s assistance goes beyond technology. “We also get a lot of great sales support when we have clients that have unique compliance needs. The sales teams and the engineering teams can articulate what the technology does, how it’s designed to work and how it keeps them protected. It really impresses clients because Intermedia can talk at such a deep level and address each concern from the ground up.”
Office 365 is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.