ISC can examine, fix your network from off site

TRAVERSE CITY – Technologies like email and the Internet have changed the way companies do business. As a result, the networks that deliver these services are essential to the daily operations of just about any business. An interruption in data services, even for a few hours, can mean lost revenues.

So, imagine having a preventive care doctor for your computer network – one that can examine and even fix your computer from off site. A Traverse City-based company says it can provide just that.

This month, Integrated Systems Consultants (ISC) will launch a new virtual IT program that can protect companies against network failure.

"Our goal is to prepare for computer problems before they become a big issue," says ISC owner Gilbert Mosher.

ISC deploys the new service by connecting remotely to a business' data network. Engineers then monitor the customer's network, including the PCs and servers connected to it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from its Traverse City office.

"It's like having a doctor watching over your computer and looking for any signs of illness," says Mosher, a physician executive with experience in the medical care, personnel services and technology industries.

Up to 95 percent of the time, ISC will be able to detect a problem before it occurs, said ISC General Manager Mary Morrison-Collins.

In the rare case a network does crash, there's a good chance ISC's remote IT support can have the system back up and running in minutes instead of days.

"We don't need to travel hundreds of miles to fix the problem; we can do it from our office," says Morrison-Collins.

ISC says one of the main reasons it launched this service was to enable companies of all sizes to access IT support.

"In the past only large companies could afford an IT staff," says Mosher. "We want a small business in Alpena to have the same IT strength as a large hospital."

Morrison-Collins says ISC tries to keep the cost at $10 per PC per month.

"We definitely think it makes up for the cost of productivity loss if a network goes down for days," she said.

Headquartered in Traverse City, with offices in Gaylord and Petoskey, ISC provides networking, telecommunication and computer software solutions to more than 500 regional customers. ISC is a Cisco IP Communications Express partner in northern Michigan, and the only authorized agent to sell Verizon cellular business plans, broadband access and national access in northern Michigan.

ISC falls under the PMP Corp. umbrella of companies-all owned by Mosher-that include PMP Personnel Services, Financial Research Group, The Learning Center of Northern Michigan, PMP Education Partners and Professional Medical Placement.

Where there's a Willsub…

One of PMP's products, "Willsub," has seen a major increase in sales to schools statewide. The software program fully automates and streamlines the substitute teaching process by allowing teachers to log onto their computer and select their days off. Once approved, administrators use an automated process to find a replacement.

Willsub was used in six schools in 2005, its first year. Now, more than 220 schools from Charlevoix to Midland use the program, and Traverse City Area Public Schools is considering signing on, ISC says.

The software was recently expanded to include bus drivers, janitors, kitchen help, administrators, and paraprofessionals. Only Michigan schools currently use the program, but Mosher has plans to take it nationwide.

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