Keeping Guardian Communities Online: IT Spotlight

From Left to Right: Scott Teem, IT Support Specialist, Mathew Ketterer, IT Support Specialist,
and Director of IT Cameron Barry

Being so often behind the scenes, it can be difficult to wrap the brain around everything that Guardian’s Information Technologies department manages. But that’s just it: they’ve got a hand in just about everything. IT Director Cameron Barry explains it best: “We’re at the heart of operations here, mostly because everything in this day and age has to be technology based,” he explained. “Especially when you’re a company that operates remote locations across five different states.”

Many things that IT handles are programs one might imagine; they provide technology support to all Guardian sites, troubleshooting everything from a difficult printer to internet access (or lack thereof). Aside from simply being a handy service, this actually saves our communities a good deal of money each year because they don’t have to source and pay local businesses for their IT needs. These businesses are often more costly and are spreading their work over many customers. However, the fact that they are servicing sites that are hours away presents a major challenge for Cameron and his team of two Support Specialists, Mathew Ketterer and Scott Teem.
“Because often these communities were under our management before IT became what it is, we are currently working very hard to catalogue and learn more about the equipment at each community,” explained Barry. “Once we build this knowledge we will be able to provide an even higher level of support.” One element of meeting this challenge is implementing the KASE Security Solutions software, which allows our IT technicians to remotely view programs and information about the equipment our staff is using. “This also has huge implications for data security, and we will be able to make our communities’ technology devices even safer to store our customers’ personal and financial data, something we take very seriously” Barry noted.
Along with implementing the KASE system, Guardian’s IT department will also be crucial to other software rollouts planned for 2014. The transition to PayScan and Procure to Pay, both Yardi products, has already begun. 
“We already use Yardi as our property management software, so by using products in the same platform we’re streamlining the operations processes for our managers and their staff,” explained Barry. These two products, along with Tenant Technologies forms management and Yes Billing system for utility billing, represent a shift toward procedures that will save our managers time, limit liability, and provide better oversight at the corporate level.
“We’ve got a big year coming up with lots of things going on, but all exciting!” said Barry.