InterSys Consulting keeps its operations lean by outsourcing and working in the cloud.  Through this process, InterSys CEO JR Carter has become very informed on high quality SaaS solutions, especially solutions that work well with small businesses.  Read part 1 of my interview with JR Carter as well.

Curt: What other products are you using for software-as-a-service (SaaS)?  For example, is your accounting online as well?

JR: Actually, our accounting system is the only product where we use the client version over the online version.  We use QuickBooks, and we could choose to use QuickBooks Online, but the online product doesn’t have all the same functionality as the client product.  But other SaaS products we use include Mac Hire.  We use Journyx for time and expense reporting.

Curt: Is Journyx integrated with QuickBooks for you?

JR: Journyx is integrated with QuickBooks for us.  We also use Journyx AccountLink so the data flows directly from our accounting system and directly to PayChex (which is our outsource payroll provider).  The only company data we have is QuickBooks and we actually store our QuickBooks files on DropBox so it’s not here in the office.  If our office burned down, we’d just start up in a temporary space tomorrow.  We wouldn’t lose any data.

Curt: I bet that’s pretty comforting!

JR: It is! 

Curt: What else are you using for marketing automation, sales automation, support issue tracking—do you use anything I haven’t heard of?

JR: We are currently looking for a CRM tool.  We’re not using one today except for email and Excel (which I’m slightly embarrassed about).  We’re about to start using Salesforce and we also considered SugarCRM.  The other solution we use is Apptix for our phone system.  Apptix is a VoIP phone system provider.  What’s cool about Apptix is that I can take a phone home, plug it in and it’s still my work phone number.  I can also use a soft phone on my computer.  This allows us to have all the functionality of a Fortune 500 company here in the office.  Basically, it’s numerous phones plugged into a switch and the service is provided off-site by Apptix.

Curt: How much does it cost?

JR: Only about $20 per person, per month which includes unlimited long-distance.  We bought the equipment upfront.  You can lease it, but we preferred to purchase it.

Curt: What other systems do you have outsourced?

JR: An example of an outsourced service is ProMesa for background checking and the workflow associated with that.

Curt: What about virus protection?  Do you have the same protection for everyone in the company or are employees on their own?

JR: We use ESET and have a company-wide license.  Any employee who’s issued a computer has ESET on their PC.

Curt: So who’s your ideal customer?

JR: The kind of customer that is ideal for us are industry-leading users of data warehousing and business intelligence type tools. 

This concludes my interview with JR.  How does your company work in the cloud?  Have you thrown out your servers as well?  Let me know in the comments below!