Generate is an Auckland-headquartered award-winning KiwiSaver and wealth manager, with a track record of consistent long-term performance through responsible investments. Generate is proudly New Zealand owned and operated, and has a goal of educating and empowering Kiwis to make smart financial decisions that will help them be better off in the future. The company manages the retirement savings of some 125,000 people.
By switching their managed services provider to Lancom Technology, Generate has achieved something every business wants – practically invisible technology that just works. As a result, their people are free to focus on what matters to their customers, rather than stressing about technology issues, which previously hampered daily work. Generate KiwiSaver have worked with Lancom Technology for two years now, and have seen their IT support completely turned around, from a previously adversarial situation, to one where everything is taken care of – and Lancom is always just a call away.
As it set off on an IT maturity journey which included a full move into the cloud, setting up its own Microsoft tenant, and establishing the Microsoft Intune endpoint management solution for device control, Generate realised there were shortcomings from its then-managed services provider. Specifically, explains CTO Asya Ivanova, certain functions which should be straightforward, just really weren’t. “Things like onboarding new employees was complicated, time consuming and difficult. Imaging new machines took forever, and setting up new users within our environment was tricky.”
This also meant any time a computer failed and had to be rebuilt, a similarly challenging and murky process left people unable to do their work. “We have 150 people here, and every one of us relies on a computer for productivity. If we don’t have a machine, we can’t work,” Ivanova reveals.
That’s not all. When users required support, they didn’t feel comfortable getting in touch with the support provider. “Every time our people sought help; they would be frustrated. It was like their call wasn’t welcome; they’d be put on hold while someone was perhaps Googling for a solution. It just wasn’t very good.”
Having heard that Lancom Technology takes a cloud first approach to its solution set and a comprehensive approach to customer service, Ivanova decided to give the managed services provider and software developer a try. After an onboarding process where Lancom familiarised itself with Generate’s business, technology and support requirements, and established Service Level Agreements, things quickly settled down into Business as Usual.
Except, initially, it was ‘business unusual’. Those processes which had so frustrated Ivanova and Generate were suddenly consigned to history. “Onboarding and offboarding are now completely routine from the technology point of view. While onboarding is still a big deal and a major event as we welcome someone new, the technology part of it just happens, and that contributes to a great experience for the new person joining our team,” Ivanova explains.
By the same token, returning machines to service after damage or failure is fast and, from the user perspective, completely simple. “This is important. It keeps our people productive, reduces their frustration, and creates a better experience for them,” says Ivanova, adding that the company and its customers benefit too.
Knowing exactly what to expect – and getting it every time – couldn’t be more different from what was previously best described as a circus. The same principle extends to support: In Lancom’s hands, support is proactive and when a call or even a callout is required, the right people are on the line or on-site without delay. “Lancom’s people are at work, ready to go. And if we need to escalate, there’s no issue in doing so.”
Ivanova says sometimes the experience of poor service is invaluable in truly appreciating excellence. Generate has gained such a frame of reference in the switch from its previous provider to Lancom. “Over the course of two years, we haven’t had any complaints. Not one in the entire time.”
She adds that an improved customer experience has never been more important as Generate is moving from ‘growth’ to ‘enterprise’ phases and so requires robust processes and reliable technology underpinning its move to scale. “If we have an issue, we need an immediate outlet. Without Lancom, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”
Finally, she says that if the IT is all but invisible, it is doing its job well. “This is a primary success factor. Since Lancom came on board, I haven’t had any ‘tech’ conversations within the executive team because it simply isn’t an issue any longer. The only time tech will come up is if we’re considering onboarding new services in support of the business.”
Asked if she might recommend Lancom Technology to others, Ivanova doesn’t hesitate. “Lancom is champion. I go out of my way to recommend them every time because quality support is crucial for a successful business.”
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