Weigand Finds an Information Technology Partner, Not Just a Solution
J.P. Weigand & Sons, Inc. was founded in 1902 and is now a third generation family-owned and operated Real Estate Company. The proof that Weigand is dedicated to getting the job done is in the numbers. For 26 consecutive years Weigand has been ranked the #1 Real Estate Company by Real Trends, which publishes the rankings of the top 500 real estate companies in the United States. Weigand has seven Wichita locations, 45 people on staff and 268 agents, also known as independent contractors. With numerous independent contractors there tends to be a broad spectrum of devices and solutions needed.
Dawn Truman, Senior Vice President & General Manager of the
Commercial Division of J.P. Weigand & Sons, Inc.
“We were looking for more than a solution, we were looking for a Technology Partner who could provide the wide range of services we required as well as off-site backup,” said Dawn Truman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Commercial Division for J.P. Weigand & Sons, Inc. “We were looking for a one-stop-shop. High Touch Technologies hit the mark.” High Touch Technologies (HTT) is a complete solutions provider for information technology (IT) services, including hardware and support.
Weigand’s server crashed the weekend of the transition to HTT managing their IT services. “The on-boarding process was ugly for us, but it wasn’t because of HTT—it was the situation we handed off to HTT,” said Truman. “If you go to hand someone a baton and you drop it in the process, it is very difficult for that person to start that race off strong; it was not HTT, it was us. We were dropping the baton in the hand-off.”
High Touch had to take everything and build it from scratch. “I was on the phone with Brandon Finkeldei, Senior Systems and Network Engineer, 24-7 to get the servers up and running. I would say to him, ‘Have you slept?’ Because I would be talking to him at 2 am and 2 pm,” Truman said. “Brandon was essential to getting the server up and running for us.”
Weigand’s phone systems could not be updated without updating the server. “We were in a world of hurt when our data system went down because our phones went down with it,” Truman said. Another HTT Senior Systems and Network Engineer was installing several hundred phones in different offices while the data reconstruction was occurring simultaneously.
Some services HTT provides to Weigand include infrastructure, data backup, VPN, email hosting, phone systems and more. “I think the thing that we brought on with HTT that really made a difference was the VPN,” Truman said. “The VPN has proven to be critical for an increase in productivity.” She stated the VPN has been down once over the last three years. Previously Weigand was using Citrix Solutions and experiencing a multitude of problems— sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. “The VPN solution with HTT has been very stable. In fact, our whole system has been very stable,” said Truman. “Mobility is very important in the type of business in which Weigand is involved. If agents aren’t able to connect we are not making money.”
In the decision making process Truman reviewed HTT and three other top companies. She looked for items she felt were critical for their new IT partner – including data backup outside of Wichita, cloud services, the monthly cost, the number of support technicians, wide variety of services, a company that would keep Weigand moving forward as technology needs evolve – as well as staying ahead and leading Weigand by being experts in the IT field.
“When we made the decision to partner with HTT we felt they were further down the road and a little more advanced with Cloud Services than the other vendors we looked at. We rely on HTT to be the experts in IT,” Truman said. “We are able to have a hands-off approach and do what we do best, which is sell property. We leave it up to the experts to handle our IT services.”
Weigand is quickly approaching the three-year mark as a partner with HTT. “Our experience with HTT gives me strong confidence that I can recommend them to anyone else,” Truman said. “I only recommend someone that I absolutely believe in or I wouldn’t recommend them. They have an excellent response time and there is great communication throughout the organization.”