Chris Rountree of Kalalou is a fan of Fuse.Cloud’s managed IT services, which make it possible for him to support the company’s systems as a “one-man” IT shop.
You may not have heard of Kalalou, the wholesale distributor of home goods based in Jackson, Miss. But there’s a decent chance that something in your home passed through their warehouse.
While more people are familiar with Kalalou’s retail presence, At West End, the global importer and distributor is a quiet force in the home goods industry, generating tens of millions in revenue by moving furniture, home accessories, flowers, artwork and so much more to other retailers around the country.
And they do it all (with one monthly bill) from Fuse.Cloud for their phones, fiber Internet and managed IT services.
“It’s a huge benefit to have one team to handle a multitude of issues,” says Chris Rountree, IT director for Kalalou. “Any technology issues we have one call—phones, email, computers, Wi-Fi—it all filters through Fuse.Cloud.”
Fuse.Cloud handled Kalalou’s phone service for years. Rountree says that when he came on board, Kalalou started looking for ways to streamline their Internet and IT services as well. The Fuse.Cloud team took over by reworking Kalalou’s whole network—new switches, hardware, upgraded wiring and a fiber Internet connection. Fuse.Cloud upgraded the entire phone system, along with Kalalou’s Wi-Fi capabilities and email servers.
Along with fiber and voice, Fuse.Cloud provides IT-managed services to Kalalou. Fuse.Cloud cataloged and cleaned up all of Kalalou’s desktop and laptop PCs, installed malware protection and remote management software so the Fuse.Cloud team can monitor the health of both the Kalalou network and the individual computers that Kalalou’s staff uses.
Rountree is a “one-man shop” he says, handling all of the internal IT issues for more than 40 workstations that cover everything from back office and accounting to inventory management, ERP, warehouse management systems and so on. He says having Fuse.Cloud as a partner is “almost like we’ve hired additional employees.” They can do things he doesn’t have time to do, or they can offer expertise in specialized areas such as network health and security.
“Today is a great example,” he said. “I got an email on Friday from our sales director saying he’s hiring somebody starting (Monday). I emailed Fuse.Cloud and told them. They take care of the login to the network, the email setup, the backup, and then they’re also going to bring us a desktop and monitor.”
Rountree says that Fuse.Cloud knows the specs of the PC hardware that Kalalou likes to use, so they even keep a few workstations on hand to swap out for bad hardware or to install for new hires.
Rountree started with Kalalou about two years ago, around the same time that Fuse.Cloud took over their network, phones and managed IT services.
“Before I got here, every PC was its own island. Some had virus protection, some didn’t,” he said. “Now they all have the same virus protection, firewall, applications—every machine.”
Fuse.Cloud installed Cisco’s Meraki Insight software, which makes it possible to get to the heart of networking or application problems in short order. Rountree says that Fuse.Cloud will sometimes notice and fix potential problems or slowdowns before he or the end-user even know there’s an issue.
Aside from the managed IT services, Rountree says that Fuse.Cloud’s VoIP services make it easy to support Kalalou’s employee phone needs. It’s easy to move phones when employees move, many of them take advantage of the voicemail-to-email feature, and the virtual attendant offers a professional interface for customers and vendors who are calling into Kalalou to reach the correct department within the company.
Anything else? “They’ve also been helping us save money in other ways. They helped us move our web domain names to another company that saved us a couple thousand dollars a year. Now they manage all that for us,” Rountree said. “The extra little things like that have been very helpful.”
Want a partner for your data, voice and IT needs? Fuse.Cloud’s services are affordable, secure, and ideal for any sized company, from a small professional office to a multi-million dollar distribution company. Get in touch today for a free consultation.