Trust Services Inc., Customer Perspective

Randy Cantrell is CEO of Trust Services, Inc., (TSI), a claims processing facility that manages the distribution of bankruptcy trusts’ funds to claimants who suffered bodily injury from asbestos and silica exposure.

TSI’s professional team, along with reliable and accessible systems, forms a comprehensive solution to review and expeditiously pay allowed claims. In December 2010, TSI looked to Concerto Cloud Services to move its solutions to the cloud.

1. What started you down the road of moving Microsoft Dynamics GP and your custom claims management solution to the cloud?

First and foremost, we wanted to eliminate the risk involved in maintaining an internal IT staff. We’re a small company and could only afford to have one person who served as a network and server administrator, as well as an infrastructure support technician. Our other IT team members knew a little bit about this area, but their primary disciplines were in other IT areas, and this was very evident when the network administrator went on vacation. Under the old internal support model, we would hire this person, make a significant investment to get them oriented to our IT environment, maintain their training, and then they would move on to another opportunity. We were left scrambling and wondering what to do when this critical body of knowledge was hired away.

Another main factor was cost. I learned that Concerto Cloud Services could host our solutions for basically the same price of having everything in house, while reducing the risk of system failures, downtime, etc. With the same IT budget, I wouldn’t have to worry about recruiting IT talent, maintaining an expensive training budget, backfilling support during IT staff vacations, and worse case, worrying about turnover, which I think would be a huge relief for any small company.

Thirdly, I would never have to worry about buying another server…ever. I wouldn’t have the headache of figuring out which server to buy, what the specs are, how to transfer information, how to keep them running, upgrades, maintenance, etc. I realized it would take a huge burden off me.

2. Were those applications previously on-premise?

Yes, we were managing our systems on-premise with an abbreviated IT staff.

3. Did you review other applications/competitors during the process?

We did not look at competitors because our Dynamics GP partner, Tribridge, was a proven partner, a leader in the industry, and had our trust. They trust Concerto Cloud Services for cloud services, and so do we.

4. Was there a critical event with your previous systems that made you say “We really need to move to the cloud?”

Oh yes—one that I will never forget. In May of 2010, our corporate file server crashed. We knew we could restore it because we had backups, but it took 10 days because of the massive amount of disk space that we were utilizing, and because we had a solo IT guy. We could not work our claims for two weeks. Our team had to work on special projects, because even though our custom developed claims server was not down, it looks for letters, documents and claims on the corporate file server. We were dead in the water, which was very scary. I was out of town and had to rush home on the next flight. Now we have a duplicate corporate file server in the cloud, managed by Concerto. The most data I can ever lose now is five minutes. I used to lose sleep worrying about my IT solutions, and I never lose sleep now.

5. Was there anything about the cloud that made you or your team hesitate?

We first learned about the cloud back when the industry was moving in that direction, and we were nervous about being at the forefront of the new technology. Also, we have integrated an enterprise document management solution, Laserfiche®, into our Microsoft Dynamics and claims management solution. This solution retrieves associated claim documents to be viewed side-by-side against claims system information using a more secure document repository with a robust set of mark-up and commenting tools. It is a processing-intensive product, and we knew there might be performance issues. And at the very beginning, there were. We had some locked screens, but Concerto worked the kinks out within the first six months, and our system is now lightening fast.

6. How complex was your cloud implementation?

Thanks to all the pre-planning efforts performed by the Concerto Cloud migration team, the Dynamics implementation was pretty much lights-out for TSI. It occurred after hours and the next day we were up and running. This included Microsoft FRx. The only issue we identified was maintaining default printer settings. The cloud technology that logs out an inactive client can sometimes lose the settings for the PC’s default printer. We have accidentally printed AP checks on the wrong printer.

7. What was the project’s biggest challenge?

In the beginning, it was our fear of performance issues. Our system needed to be fast for our internal team, but also for our customers. Our custom claims processing system includes an interactive web application that allows registered customers who represent our claimants to file claims and upload supporting documents. Our claimant representatives can track where their claim is during the facility review process using standard data field filters or via specialized queries, can edit key information, and determine whether or not they need to upload additional documentation. Concerto tweaked some performance issues for us, and it is super fast and super stable now.

8. What’s the advantage of the cloud for your organization?

I consider Concerto Cloud to be a pipeline through the office window to our systems. It gives me freedom. I could move my organization across the country, and I wouldn’t be tied down to servers in a building. We could all work from home someday and not lose a step. Our business is now extensible.

We also have the bench strength of Concerto expertise. It’s the equivalent of having two full time employees trained in 13-14 complex IT disciplines, but I don’t have to worry about the overhead. I could never afford to train people to have the expertise that Concerto brings to the table. And if I could, I would not be able to benefit from the training investment because they would become even more marketable and would walk out the door when a more lucrative opportunity presented itself.

Picture this, in the past I was the CEO at midnight with bloodshot eyes looking at a server with two IT guys scratching their heads. I asked them when it would be fixed and they said “we don’t know.” That’s the worst place to be in. I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Concerto has provided me with a comprehensive solution that they manage around the clock. Now, my awareness of a problem is normally after the fact—an email notification informs me after something has happened and it has already been addressed.

9. What advice would you give another CEO or decision maker about the benefits of migrating to the cloud?

My advice would be: you can’t do it soon enough. There are a lot of companies getting into cloud services now, but what separates Concerto from the others is their proven expertise and the seamless way they work with my application partner. We already had a partner in Tribridge, and we were delighted with them before we used Concerto Cloud Services. They know our business inside and out, and they wrote our custom applications.

I don’t lose sleep over what might break tomorrow. I think we have a pretty sweet solution that most companies would love to have. Small companies need all of the same IT skill sets to run their business as large companies, and the cloud finally makes it attainable and affordable for us.