In 2012 Hallmark Partners made the bold move to be an IT leader in the commercial real estate industry not otherwise known for early adoption of cutting edge technology. The transition would begin with a migration from PC to Apple and the universe of dynamic mobile devices and seemingly unlimited apps. Software and cloud-based subscriptions would soon follow from Costar to Loopnet, Salesforce CRM to Adobe Creative Cloud.
“Hallmark staff was incredibly patient and supportive of the migration,” said Hallmark COO Dave Auchter who was tasked with the technology shift. “But IT isn’t a ‘set-it and forget-it’ resource. It takes ongoing management and best practices.”
After ineffective consulting services from at least two local firms, an unofficial referral from the Apple Store led to a call to Orlando-based Blacktip and its founder Matthew Bookspan. Blacktip advertised itself as a business technology consultancy specializing on the Apple platform. Hallmark and Blacktip met in late October, agreeing on a plan to refine the NAI Hallmark Partners technology platform to a state of high availability and resiliency. Within a matter of weeks the Blacktip team transformed an unreliable set of systems into a consistent, high-performing and robust platform.
“When NAI Hallmark Partners made the investment to graduate from PC to Mac, we needed to ensure our team continued to see IT as an advantage, not a barrier to better productivity,” said Auchter. “The Blacktip team provided that assurance with a thoughtful and methodical integration that continues to deliver through a seamless Managed Service agreement.
Blacktip improved the network speed, deployed a next-generation firewall that provides deep insights into network usage and behavior and then “fixed” the Apple implementation to ensure that desktops interacted well with the server. Blacktip also introduced and setup a redundant file-server as well as a managed, offsite backup solution.
“I truly feel like Blacktip has been a competitive advantage to us and as reluctant as I am to share the secret I am more interested in seeing them succeed in this market than keeping them to myself.” said Auchter. “Matthew sees a largely untapped market in Jacksonville and wants to move his business and his family as a result.”
In 2014, Blacktip is expanding its business into Jacksonville. While working with Hallmark Blacktip has identified an underserved market for those wanting to use Apple technology, as well as for those who demand excellent service. For the past 13+ months, Hallmark Partners has experienced a total of one hour of downtime, all of which was planned. As a managed service provider, Blacktip provides an all-inclusive, pro-active maintenance and support model for a business. To contact Blacktip, visit blacktipit.com.