Since 1996 AFS Acceptance has provided full-service auto financing for franchise and independent car dealers. As a recent member of the “Inc. 5000” list, AFS knows that it needs the IT capabilities that customers expect from an up-and-coming financial enterprise … and it chose United Data Technologies to help put those capabilities in place for AFS.
The Plantation, Florida-based company found that its IT system and service requirements outstripped its ability to retain head count; it required support personnel with knowledge of “the AFS way”; and, it needed a strong professional bench to provide supplemental support to accommodate growth.
“UDT was a good choice for its breadth of expertise,” said Lisa Sipe, Chief Information Officer for AFS. “We were at the mercy of, let’s say, ‘fragile artifacts’: the reliability of some servers was in doubt. They were susceptible to breakdown, threatening sensitive information. It was not a stable infrastructure.” As AFS planned to add new systems for better reliability and scalability, it went looking for a reliable partner to help build an infrastructure for tomorrow.
During the search process, “References about UDT and its service quality were outstanding,” said Rich Brand, Chief Technology Officer with QAT Global, a consultant retained by AFS. “Their technical and sales presentation fulfilled all requirements. Their sales staff responded to AFS’s shifting needs during the RFP period. And, they came highly recommended by trusted advisor to senior AFS management.”
UDT worked with AFS on multiple levels: they offered a managed services approach with a team to manage the infrastructure for stability, scalability and reliability. In addition, AFS was migrating to Microsoft Office 365 software as a service. And, UDT was able to provide help desk support, to get AFS through the transition. “It was nice to leverage for day-to-day support as well as special requirements,” said Sipe.
Even the best transitions bump up against challenges, she conceded. “It’s easy to find a fair-weather partner, but that’s never the case. The best part about UDT is how they worked through difficulties, put a great conflict resolution process in place, and showed a real desire to see the customer succeed.”
The relationship continues and currently AFS Acceptance and UDT are considering recommendations for new architecture, addressing disaster recovery improvements, and refining their more stable operating environment. The basics are taken care of, now we can move on to address other projects, she said.
AFS maintains a relatively small but vital in-house IT staff, relying on UDT’s deep bench of specialized expertise to address issues as needed. “I think of UDT as my partner,” said Sipe. “The role they play is something I don’t have, and we’re working together as colleagues, not competition.”
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AFS Acceptance is but one of many organizations that have discovered the advantages of Managed IT as a Service from UDT. Contact us today and let us demonstrate how we can help you reduce the risk, cost and complexity of managing IT solutions.