Internet Managment Services

Texas ISP Cuts Overhead and Radically Streamlines ISP Management

Challenge: To cut costs and significantly streamline daily ISP operations.

Solution: Abandon homegrown platform and migrate subscribers to Ultimate ISP™.

Benefit: Overhead is cut, management is easy, platform is stable, and subscribers are enthusiastic.

IMS Focuses Solely on Close Customer Contact

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“The most important thing is that no customer just becomes a number.”

When Randy Meche opened the doors at Computer Solutions nearly a quarter century ago, the internet wasn’t much more than a fanciful idea. But the world quickly changed and Meche cautiously moved right along with it.

 

About 15 years ago, he launched Internet Management Services (IMS), a premium Internet service provider in Southeast Texas. Because the majority of his subscribers were already computer store customers – as well as friends — it was a natural match.

 

“We’re small enough that we never want to lose the personal touch,” said Meche, noting that IMS has about 550 subscribers. ”We’re not after the world. The most important thing is that no customer just becomes a number. We really want to know each and every one of them. And with more than 20 years in the computer retail and service industry, I have a clear vision of customer needs and solutions.”

 

Who to serve, customers or servers?

The journey to visp.net was imperative because managing the back office component of IMS was becoming increasingly complex. Up until three years ago, Meche practiced the homegrown method of providing Internet service to seven small cities, developing his own ISP from the ground level up, using retail store-built hardware and analog lines. From there he made the jump to providing dialup digital service. “We limped along, but we didn’t have elaborate service,” he said.

 

The problem was, his staff of only eight employees was putting more time into “serving servers” and managing the ISP back office tasks than serving customers and selling computers. “That was a big factor in our move to visp.net’s management software,” Meche said. ”The staff at visp.net immediately took over the heavy lifting. They’re incredible, knowledgeable, and focused.”

 

After a trouble-free migration to visp.net’s software, Meche and the IMS staff were able to concentrate exclusively on WISP services, dialup, DSL, e-mail, and web hosting services using digital, state-of-the-art equipment. ”The transition was smooth. Visp.net really takes care of business,” Meche said.

 

Of course, none of this would be possible without visp.net’s exclusive Billing and Management software for Internet Providers [now called Ultimate Back Office (UBO) Software™]. The turnkey solution gives IMS the tools they need to run a feature-rich, low-overhead service. IMS gets an easy-to-use, Java-based application that automates most of their ISP management including activating, managing, and billing their subscriber accounts.

 

”Visp.net software is the key thing we use,” said Meche, adding that they purchase wholesale DSL lines from another company. ”It’s a jewel. It allows me to step away from running the ISP and to delegate.”

 

Now, Meche has one non-technical employee charged with overseeing the back-end component of his ISP and his top-paid technical staff are doing much more important functions that generate revenue. With the user-friendly interface, some of Meche’s favorite features are:
  • Easy payment trackingThe easy-to-configure ”Auto Actions” feature suspends past due subscribers automatically. Upon receipt of payment, service is automatically restored. A log of all actions is stored in the subscriber history. This eliminates freeloaders and ensures subscribers get what they pay for instantly.
  • Automatic billingMonthly billing is simplified for subscribers who choose to pay by credit card. Invoices can be sent by email or through a print-house with a single click, significantly reducing the time to bill subscribers each month.
  • Mass e-mail It’s a powerful, automated system for staying in touch with his subscribers. All that’s involved is selecting a pre-defined template, inserting copy, and clicking send.
  • Time-saving reports Visp.net’s powerful software generates reports such as compiling new users by three-digit Zip Code, monthly billing, late payment, and customer mailing list. This makes marketing and managing Meche’s subscribers easier.
  • Simple, customizable invoicing The visp.net solution automatically enters line items for services added to a subscriber. This increases revenue accountability, ensuring subscribers get billed for all the services he provides.
  • Self-service option Subscribers have the ability to manage their own account through an online portal, reducing calls and saving his staff time.
  • Online payment Subscribers can make payments online or set up recurring payments to their credit card on a monthly basis. This makes processing the bulk of his subscribers’ monthly payments a breeze.
  • Spam protection Spam filtering and antivirus tools are powerful yet easy for subscribers to use and configure from the self-service portal. This almost instantly cut virus and spam complaints from Meche’s users.

So what’s Meche do with all his free time? Whatever he wants: sales, marketing, and support. But sometimes having so much freedom isn’t easy. ”We have things in place that make life good,” he says. ”But I felt guilty at first because visp.net gave me the freedom I’d always been looking for, but had evaded me until now.”

 

On top of everything, using the visp.net Billing and Management software is the fiscally responsible thing to do. ”To get these results without that software would be ridiculously expensive,” Meche said. ”To not be concerned with worrying about managing the monthly subscriber details is nice.”

 

Indeed.