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Collecting a Partner

How an industry association looking for an IT vendor found a trusted partner that provided IT services and helped its members.

The Challenge and Opportunity

ACA wanted to upgrade its IT services — including its software and security products — and needed a partner who understood the changing technology, vendor and labor landscape and was adaptable to the organization’s needs.

Quick Facts

ACA is the largest membership organization in the credit and collection industry.

The Eagan, Minnesota-based association was founded in 1939 and has more than 1,700 members.

The Solution

Through their partnership with BIS Corporation and TPx, ACA is leveraging TPx’s Managed Microsoft 365, Backups, Endpoints, User Security, and Firewall services. TPx also provides Security Advisory Services services to help the association with its PCI SAQ D completion, annual Dark Web Scan, and other industry requirements.

The Benefits

With TPx and BIS Corporation, ACA has knowledgeable partners that are flexible and accommodating to address nuances of a trade association and the ever-changing business climate.

The Results

ACA has leveraged its relationship with TPx to enhance it’s security posture and outsource and upgrade important elements of it’s IT stack.

About ACA International

ACA International (ACA), the association of credit and collection professionals, is the largest membership organization in the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset-buying companies, creditors and vendor affiliates, representing tens of thousands of industry professionals. ACA produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, including educational and compliance-related information, and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers.

“I can’t speak enough of the quality, effectiveness, and ease of use they’ve built into this toolset. If a solution is cumbersome to use, you and your employees won’t use it consistently — and therefore, your threat isn’t reduced as far as it could be.”

Scott Purcell, CEO, ACA International

The Challenge

As the head of a non-profit organization, Scott Purcell knows that if he wants his members to follow best practices in IT and cybersecurity, he needs to lead by example. Purcell is the CEO of ACA International, a leading trade association for the Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) industry. The association has roughly 1,700 members and a staff of fewer than 50.

As its CEO, Purcell is involved in IT decisions. He previously had that responsibility at a collection agency before joining ACA. In his experience, he’s learned the critical role IT plays in keeping organizations safe and productive. Considering the growing regulations and cyber threats facing organizations of all sizes, Purcell knew he needed a partner knowledgeable about the changing landscape and adaptable — and one that could help his association’s members.

The Solution

When the association needed to renew its contract, the ACA team began evaluating its options. They worked with their technology partner, BIS Corporation, who has a long-standing relationship with TPx. As ACA evaluated options, one company clearly emerged as the security partner ACA needed: TPx.

“In looking at various choices, we were impressed with several things about TPx as an organization and its services,” Purcell said. “From an organizational standpoint, they serve organizations nationwide and have thousands of small and mid-sized organizations as clients. That was important to us as we wanted a high level of service, but know we’re a relatively small organization.”

TPx now manages ACA’s Microsoft 365 platform as well as the association’s cybersecurity needs with a comprehensive package of Managed Backups, Endpoints, User Security, and Firewall. In addition, TPx provides Security Advisory Services to help the association with its PCI SAQ D assessments, its annual Dark Web Scan, and other relevant industry requirements.  

ACA wanted a comprehensive solution to bolster their security posture, which is why TPx created a multi-layered security approach for the organization managing security needs for everything from the network down to the endpoint devices. By working with TPx, ACA gets access to best-in-class technology from industry leaders paired with managed services by experienced and certified professionals.

“From a services standpoint, they’ve created an effective approach to thwarting our systems’ number one threat vector: email,” Purcell said.

Boosting Security and Mitigating Risk

For ACA, the TPx team worked to deploy a suite of solutions that includes the easy-to-use Inbox Detection and Response (IDR). It gives users a faster way to take the guesswork out of suspicious emails by reporting them with a single click from the inbox without contacting the IT department. With the help of advanced technology and human security experts, reported emails are quickly validated or removed from the domain, eliminating the likelihood of users falling prey to a phishing attempt.

“We’re consuming fewer IT resources, and more suspicious emails are being examined, increasing our security level,” Purcell said. “The IDR solution is easy to use and effective.”

In addition to the products TPx provides ACA, it also offers a Security Awareness Training program, which Purcell said is “relatable and on-point.” After all, he knows every company, no matter how small, is a potential target of bad actors.

“The bad guys don’t care that you’re smaller; if they can still get a check out of you, they’re going to do everything they can to get a check out of you,” Purcell said. “They’re agnostic to your size; they want a payday.”

The Outcome

For Purcell, one universal pain point was securing critical services at a competitive cost. On top of that, Purcell needed a partner that excelled in the basics, innovated in areas that matter and led in the technological and chief information security officer (CISO) space.

“Not only was TPx competitive on cost but also flexible in customizing solutions that took into account the business climate,” Purcell said. “The willingness to partner and be flexible spoke volumes that we had made the right decision. We knew of their depth of experience working with any size of organization — but especially their skill at working with organizations our size.”

“Being accountable to my board for making wise financial decisions that impact the budget and especially picking a vendor with the technical and managerial prowess to protect our organization from the growing threats in the InfoSec area is important,” Purcell added. “We accomplished both with TPx.”

ACA’s experience with TPx has been a positive one. The organization was able to strengthen its security posture while adhering to industry requirements thanks to the help and expertise of the TPx team.

But the TPx-ACA relationship was just the start. ACA has since leveraged its relationship with TPx to make them an Affinity Partner, a program where businesses partner with ACA to offer special rates and services to ACA members.

“I would recommend TPx to all of our ACA members and am grateful for the purposeful way they operate to meet the needs of organizations of any size. Their level of commitment to innovation combined with cost-effectiveness, and their technological and managerial prowess makes them the ideal partner,” said Purcell.

Additional Resources

What are Outsourced IT Services?

Outsourcing IT services help businesses leverage specialized expertise, reduce operational costs, enhance scalability, access the latest technologies, ensure data security, and focus on their core competencies while leaving the technical aspects to experienced professionals.

How Managed Services Can Fuel Your IT Strategy

The digitization movement can feel like a blessing and a curse for IT professionals. While new technologies are constantly being introduced into the market, there may not be enough resources, knowledge, or time to implement them into your business. This can easily have IT professionals feel like they are in a black hole, where gravity makes it tough to escape. This is where managed services can help IT teams find a comfortable equilibrium.