Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, Inc. (UMCHS) is a non-profit agency that provides education and child development programs to low income families. Based in Hermiston, Oregon in Umatilla County, the agency’s mission is to prepare children socially and emotionally for bright academic futures.
Mike Snyder, Information Systems Director, leads the IT department. Explains Mike, “We’re a private non-profit that is federally funded and provides a range of services and programs. We have a unique operating model and a special mission with the added challenge of a large service area. Our 250 employees are providing services to several thousand children and families across 16,000 square miles. On any given day, my IT team is responding to support needs from employees in any location.”
According to Mike, finding efficient ways to deliver IT and security services to the agency’s busy staff is the top priority and the biggest challenge. “We are growing faster than ever in terms of the grants and programs we’re managing but we don’t always have additional IT resources to support the internal growth. For example, our employees may need onsite support for everything from printer issues and software updates to virus protection. We need powerful AV and security tools that are within our budget, but are advanced enough to enable us to do things remotely and automate more of our daily work.”
Mike recently made the switch from Symantec Business Edition to Avast Business Antivirus and its cloud-based Business Hub.
An IT veteran for 20 years, Mike looked at security solutions from Symantec, Malwarebytes, and other providers before choosing Avast Business for its strong AV protection, performance, ease of use, features, pricing and technical support.
“As a non-profit, many business-grade AV options are simply outside our budget range. We also needed a security solution that lets us scale without requiring a lot of change or expense,” says Mike. “We were using Symantec at a discounted price from the Techsoup solutions marketplace, but we didn’t receive good technical support and the small business version was capped at 100 users. I’ve always been a fan of Avast AV free and the latest business version provides what we need at an incredible price.”
Mike uses all of the AV features and Business Hub to monitor network security levels. “Avast Business Antivirus does an excellent job catching things before there’s a problem. I especially like the sandbox feature for its fast ability to do a deeper inspection of any suspicious files. I can scan an individual file risk-free without setting up another computer and environment to test this.”
“The Business Hub is also a lot cleaner, easier to use, and more reliable than our previous solution. We can set up devices by groups and office locations so it’s very easy to see our entire environment. We can check notifications and see whether a threat has been blocked. Recently, we saw that two employees had three identical threats blocked in a row. This is an example we can use to educate employees about risks they can manage.”
According to Mike, the advanced AV features, competitive pricing, and quality of technical support were key in signing a three-year contract. “The Avast Business team provided us a pricing model that really worked for our agency and enabled us to get a better product. We are getting more advanced features and deploying the services in one-fourth the time it took us using Symantec AV. The technical support from Avast Business is a night and day difference.”