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Swizznet Enables Businesses To Leverage The Applications That Their Operations Run On From The Cloud

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Below is our recent interview with Bob Hollander, CEO and President at Swizznet:

Before we begin, can you tell us a little about Swizznet?

Swizznet is a hosted accounting solutions company that was founded by Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in 2007. Our mission then, as it remains today, is to enable businesses to leverage the applications that their operations run on from the cloud such as QuickBooks and Sage. This then helps free accountants and businesses from the shackles of in-house infrastructure via cloud solutions that allow them to collaborate securely from any device without the IT headache or costs.

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Can you help us understand why so many companies are undertaking a digital transformation and relying so heavily on cloud-based technology?

Businesses are actively looking to host their accounting and business applications in the cloud to untether themselves from the limitation of being office-bound for maximum scalability and unlimited mobility. This is a trend that has been happening for decades beginning with large enterprise companies that had the powerhouse IT Departments and massive budgets to build out and maintain a robust platform in-house. It was a no-brainer for them and they led the way to today’s massive gains in productivity that are now being demanded by businesses of all sizes. In McAfee’s ‘Cloud Adoption and Risk Report’ it was found that 87% of companies experience business acceleration from their use of cloud services. That alone, is reason enough!

Having the ability to provide scalability in your business offerings, expanded markets, easier collaboration, better productivity and flexibility, and happier employees are benefits all companies seek to survive and thrive! Cloud technology encourages all of this and – believe it or not – even more! What we are seeing this past decade or two is that the technology costs have come down and the benefits of being cloud-based is becoming a requirement. Now, more than ever, small and medium sized companies are looking to follow in the footsteps of the larger companies. Consider these facts:

  • Companies who have adopted cloud services experienced a 15.07% reduction in IT spending according to Vanson Bourne “The Business Impact of the Cloud”,
  • There are more cloud-based online collaboration tools than are available for on-premise by a ratio of 64% to 36% according to Synergy Research Group, and
  • The average company achieved a 3.2 times greater return on investment from the cloud when compared to an on premise solution per Nucleus Research’s “Why You Can’t Afford Not to Move your Applications to the Cloud”

But what used to be a marathon has turned into sprint in 2020! Cloud-hosted systems have become essential to business continuity. We are seeing multiple years of this change culminating throughout 2020 – and it’s not done yet! While more companies this year than any year in the past have made a digital transformation, the need to do so has been driven by the innate need for survival in a pandemic.

“COVID has altered how most companies will conduct business indefinitely” says Bob Hollander, Swizznet CEO and President. Bob goes on to say, “What you are seeing now is the new norm. The pandemic has simply accelerated the inevitable — and there’s no going back.”

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To do this right, what should I look for in a cloud hosting provider?

In 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and partners from the Security Summit released cybersecurity guidelines for tax professionals (or any business) centered on critical areas known as the Security Six. The document points to six essential elements of an effective digital strategy: antivirus software, firewalls, two-factor authentication, backup software and services, drive encryption, and a data security plan.

However, business needs and industry regulations vary so the IRS guidance is considered the minimum ante. Here at SuperbCrew we would further recommend you measure cloud based hosting providers with this yard stick of six bullet points:

  • Stability and Experience | Review for company growth; years in business; awards and recognition; ratings and reviews
  • Partnerships | Ensure a provider is authorized and credentialed by the technology vendor
  • Security and Reliability | Understand the platform architecture, data and system protections, 3rd party application use, outage and breech history, and guaranteed up-time
  • User Friendly | Obtain a live demo to visualize the experience and then try it for a week or two before committing to a change
  • User Support | Assess speed, ease-of-use and security of how your software is accessed, assistance in migrating, and are they available to help your team across time zones for IT support
  • Costs | Investigate history of price increases and frequency for their subscription hosting fees, hidden internal or 3rd party fees, one-time charges, contract terms and on-going monthly fees

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What if I need help making the switch?

Some cloud providers will assist in the migration process but all do so to varying degrees so be sure to ask. This help will range from do-it-yourself to partial or full assistance (the ‘white-glove’ approach) during the setup. Help should only begin with migrating and continue onward long-term. So understand their availability and extent of IT support available based on you and your clients time zones, how you and your team prefer to communicate, and expectations for response times.

Should we know anything else?

The good news is that it’s never too late to make the move to the cloud or reassess whether your provider is the right solution for your business!

“We want to facilitate access to your accounting and business software to maximize the efficiency of your back-office solutions,” Bob says. “Our systems were originally designed, and are continuously updated, to support hosted accounting solutions for a highly regulated environment. We don’t just put a few data centers together and stick software on it for a user to access. And we don’t limit your access to support.”

In our research, we found that Swizznet are both an Intuit Authorized Commercial Host and Sage Authorized Partner that shows their mastery of the right technology to optimize those software. Impressively, their support team has taken it a step further by ensuring Support staff are also product certified – QuickBooks ProAdvisors and Sage Certified – as evidence they understand how to use the software as well. More on this point a little later.

The Swizznet platform is architected and consistently enhanced as an enterprise-grade, bank-level secure platform that is flexible in using all your 3rd Party applications and integrations to deliver the same on-premise experience that your team already uses and expects. This means that you do not have to change from your beloved desktop Sage or QuickBooks software with full product features so your mission-critical, revenue-generating business processes are not altered and no further training is required. Team and client adoption is as simple as flipping a switch!

The only thing that changes with Swizznet is how your team will be accessing QuickBooks or Sage. And that’s an easy one! Your team will have access via a web browser and a desktop app (minimum) that are powered by Citrix or CloudJumper – a complete game changer if there ever was one. Citrix or CloudJumper – all included at no additional cost – will allow your employees, among other things, to print locally, use dual monitors, scan, user shadowing and copy/paste between file explorers as if you were in the office. These are features that increase productivity and, if unavailable, will needlessly cause frustration, slow your team down and leave them with potential security concerns barring other workarounds! “It is the Citrix or CloudJumper tools that are absolute game-changers,” Bob told us. “These two tools deliver the look and feel, speed and security of an in-office experience where, unlike Remote Desktop Services (RDS) alone, you can do every bit as much as you can with an on-premise or SaaS solution. Our competitors’ resolve is to provide only one way to access your tools that is an inferior user experience and open to security vulnerabilities.”

We were impressed to find their platform supports each of the items in our yard stick list. They not only met the IRS Security Six as a minimum precaution but go well above and beyond by partnering with leading security companies for threat detection and response. With a Swizznet cloud-based system, your team will gets layers and layers of security that include: 256-bit encryption of data while in-motion or at rest; safe-site SSL Certificate; ransomware, malware, and virus protection; SOC II datacenters; PCI and HIPPAA compliance options; and the list goes on! This enterprise-grade technology – at an affordable price point – equips your team, whether working from the road, the office or the couch, with the power to do more and relax knowing everything is taken care of with as little business risk as is possible. Bob told us, “We are built to beat every conceivable mechanical and natural disaster with industry-leading back-up and disaster recovery processes. Additionally, our system is built and maintained to combat unpredictable disasters, such as earthquakes.”

We also found that they have over-the-top support they have dubbed as ‘Obsessive Support®’. With the Swizznet Obsessive Support® Team you will have access to US-based employees 24/7/365 via ticket, live chat, email or phone! Yes we said phone! “Most competitors don’t allow for phone support as they are lower-cost providers,” Bob said. “Our customer satisfaction rate is consistently over 95%, and all of our support team are certified through the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program as well as Sage-certified.” In other words, Swizznet’s support team assists with both the hosting aspect of the service and the software itself. “When it gets beyond our skillset, it is not uncommon to personally connect them with a contact at Intuit or Sage for a seamless handoff,” Bob said. “We take this very seriously.” Bob closed with, “We are the highest value hosted accounting and business platform on the market today. And we can prove it.”

Swizznet hosted accounting and business solutions are second to none!

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