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Data Center Design & Installation Services for M3 Accounting + Analytics: A Business Case Study

The Need for a Data Center Solution to Maintain Server Uptime

M3 Accounting + Analytics (M3) is a nationally operating accounting and analysis company that offers a wide selection of state-of-the-art solutions for businesses in the hospitality industry. When they first opened in 1998, M3 provided a proprietary back-office accounting software tool designed to help hotels better manage their finances. Over the years, M3 has expanded its offerings to include not only accounting software, but also advanced HR, business intelligence, enterprise solutions, and more.

One of the factors that sets M3 apart from its competitors is that the company develops and hosts all of their own software products. They then sell subscription access to each of the products to their clients. While this is certainly a benefit for the hotels, it also presents a unique challenge for M3—they must maintain a high level of uptime for their servers at all times to ensure that clients have access to the critical software they need 24/7/365.

A Substantial Data Center Design & Installation Project

As Allen Read, the President of M3, notes, writing software is what the company excels at—the products they offer are unmatched in the industry. However, when it came to developing a strong IT infrastructure to keep their software online at all times, he knew they needed to find experts. “Creating IT solutions is not in our wheelhouse,” Read says, “our wheelhouse is writing software. But because we host and maintain all of our own servers, we needed to reach out to the best-in-class people who could help us better support our infrastructure.” That’s when M3 enlisted the help of Customer 1st Communications (C1C).

Over the past eight years, M3 has partnered with C1C on a variety of projects from cabling to access control system installation. However, by far the most extensive and important endeavor they’ve undertaken is a massive data center relocation, design, and installation project. Due to a high level of success and business growth, M3 needed to move and expand its servers from a single location in Gainesville, Ga. to two separate data centers in Suwanee and downtown Atlanta.

“We basically took the whole business, stuck it in the back of two trucks and entrusted the entire company to C1C,” Read says. “And C1C was there every step of the way. They helped us choose new server boxes for database storage and decide which vendor to purchase our SANs from. They were there for the set-up and installation of the data centers, and afterwards, they’ve followed through on every maintenance project and service request we’ve had. They’ve really transformed the whole way we do data retention.”

In the weeks before the big move, C1C worked with M3 to develop a comprehensive set of procedures and data center design plans to ensure that the transition would be fast and seamless. However, as with any IT project, there were a few roadblocks along the way. At one point in the process, M3 discovered that a vendor wasn’t able to provide the specific cabling they needed. But, Read notes, C1C immediately stepped up the challenge. They “went out and scoured the whole countryside to find the cables we needed to meet our deadline. When it came time to react, they were the ones we called on.”

In addition to the high level of customer service they offer, one of the things Read was most impressed by was the expediency and efficiency with which C1C handled the process.

“It was a huge endeavor for us—we had planned that it would take the whole weekend. But C1C started boxing up the servers Friday night and by Saturday afternoon they were finished installing everything in our two new data centers.”

This enabled M3 to dedicate an entire day to testing and troubleshooting their new data centers so that they could be online and ready to serve their customers on the new servers first thing Monday morning.

Advanced Data Center Services to Guarantee High Availability

Throughout the course of their ongoing business partnership, C1C has helped M3 to better serve its customers by designing and installing the IT infrastructure and data center solutions they need to keep their software online and accessible to clients all the time.

“It’s crucial that our customers always have access to our applications and the data they need,” Read says. “C1C helps us plan out our projects and identify what it takes to maintain this high level of availability.”

At the end of the day, M3 chooses C1C time and time again because of their unmatched customer service and their dedication to getting the job done right and on deadline, every single time.

“You’ve got some people who could come in and offer a cheaper price point,” Read says, “but, at the end of the day, [your IT infrastructure] has to work and work reliably, especially if you have a business that requires high availability and uptime…Of course, you could always hire somebody else and then get C1C to come in and fix whatever they messed up. But, with C1C, you know that the work is going to be professional and done on deadline. They’re a trusted organization and you can always count on them to take care of you and do the right thing.”

About M3 Accounting + Analytics

Founded in 1998, M3 Accounting + Analytics is a national business accounting and analysis company that offers its customers “an integrated suite of hosted software solutions, which allow hotel owners, operators, and managers unsurpassed access to the information they need most.” Their clients include a range of different types of hospitality companies, from small, independent, single-location hotels to massive, multi-property hotel chains with 1000+ locations. M3 prides itself on offering industry-leading accounting and business intelligence software for the lowest cost available on the global market. Their products include advanced solutions for everything from accounting to human resources to business intelligence and more. For more information about M3, please visit their site.

About Allen Read

Allen Read is the President/Partner of M3 Accounting + Analytics. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, starting as a front desk associate at a hotel in Mississippi in 1986. He has worked in a variety of positions, including general manager, director of information services, business manager, vice president of operations, and chief operating officer. This broad spectrum of experience in the industry has given him a high level of expertise, which he has used to help grow M3 into the successful company that it is today.

About Customer 1st Communications

Customer 1st Communications (C1C) is a data center design and installation company that provides outsourced IT infrastructure services and project management to clients nationally and internationally. From access control systems and cloud integration to cabling, cloud systems, and network installation, C1C creates customized solutions to fit each client’s budget and timeline. Get more information about C1C here, or contact us today to request your free business IT analysis.