For about nine years, an Information Technology company in Summerside has been in operation first as Millennium Care, then TUC Managed IT Solutions. As a result of a merger about 18 months ago, the company is now called CareWorx.
In 2009, the company started on the Island as Millennium Care. At that time, they did level one support for businesses with 500 to 15,000 employees. In 2013, Millennium Care’s assets were purchased by a company called TUC Managed IT Solutions, a managed service provider headquartered in Ottawa.
TUC started to provide level one support for a company called CareWorx. The two companies merged in 2016. “We took on the name CareWorx because it suited the work we do, as well as being brand recognition within long term care facilities,” says David Hall, CareWorx Service Desk Manager.
They provide level one support for kiosks used by nurses in long-term care facilities across North America. “We also offer fully managed services. We do all their IT support in a setting where typically that support is not available.”
David says they resolve first-level issues such as password reset or how-to coaching with common business software. “Some customers have specific applications designed for them and want a certain amount resolved at the first level.
“We also offer second level support, where we assign tickets to internal teams at the customer’s location. It differs a lot, depending on the size of the company. One of our customers has about 200 different teams. Others have three or four teams that each handles a wider scope at level two.”
They also provide full services, where they can remotely provide IT services for small and mid-sized businesses with 25 to 500 employees.
- Service Desk Manager
- Team Leads manage up to a dozen accounts and 10 to 15 people
- Assistant Team Lead – Right now there are two teams. They started a third team this September, and hope to have six by this time next year.
- Service Desk Analyst
- After Hours Analyst – same skills as daytime workers, and earn a $1.00/hour more
“We are open 24/7 all year long, even Christmas Day. We don’t ask team members to do the shift rotations other IT call centres require. We will find a shift that works for team members and for us, based on our coverage requirements.
“Most calls tend to come during business hours. Therefore, most of the shifts are 8 am to 4 pm or 9 am to 5 pm, although we have people here 24/7.”
David says staff turnover is really low, because most hiring is as a result of expansion, not replacement. “It’s been nine years since our largest contract went live, and over half the team we hired then is still with us. We even have people who left and then came back.
“The long-term care customer service support side of things is steadily growing. Right now, we are taking on a number of larger customers for the enterprise level one support.
“By the end of September, we hired eight more people. We anticipate adding five to 10 more by the end of the year, possibly even more. We have grown from 30 at the end of 2016 to 38 in August and in the 40s in September.”
David expects to be hiring often for the next year or longer. “Hiring is slow but steady. I don’t usually hire more than two people at a time. I have hired someone almost every month. That will continue.”
Working from home options
“On storm days, we don’t have the luxury of shutting down. Our infrastructure allows people to work from home. All they need is their laptop and a headset.”
Finding applicants can be a challenge
“I think there are qualified people on PEI, but it’s a question of getting the right people to apply to our company. When we first opened, we received tons of resumés but the number of resumés we receive has diminished quite a bit.
“We did a huge amount of hiring at the beginning, back in 2009. Then, hiring became slow and steady.
“I interview almost everybody who applies. Some of the best employees I have ever hired are people who on paper don’t look like they would work out.
“Another great employee I hired, was a high school dropout with only serving tables on his resumé. Because knowledge of computers is so prevalent in today’s youth, anybody younger than me has probably been on a computer their entire life. The fact that they don’t have an education for it does not mean they don’t have the aptitude.”
David says if someone strikes him as being very intelligent and quick to learn, he would give them a chance. “There is a significant population here on PEI that does not have the education but has the desire and the motivation. Amazing things can happen when you give people a chance.”
Educational backgrounds that are a fit
“Ideally, we look for people with an IT background. People who have done IT customer service work at other centres would be good. We tend to attract the best people from those centres, because we pay a bit higher. Our work requires a similar skill set, but it is more technical.”
“A lot of our training is account specific. It’s more about training on the processes and procedures of the individual customer accounts rather than technical training. We provide training on certain customized hardware and software applications, because there is no way to know that information outside of the training we provide.
“We have done a few job placements with students in IT programs. It is great if students have the traditional C.net course for the level one support we provide our customers.”
Wages and benefits
Wages start at $13 to $14/hour. Benefits include 80 percent dental coverage, a medical package, ten vacation days per year, and five sick days a year. “Team members will often need to work statutory holidays, because our customers need the service. Team members are paid double time and a half on statutory holidays, or sometimes they get days off for working the holiday.”
“Here on PEI, we have done three internal advancements. We like to promote from within whenever possible when filling advanced roles. As we grow, there will likely be more types of advancements.
“I wear a lot of different hats, and at some point in time I would not be surprised if we get a dedicated Human Resource person,” says David.
“We are also starting to sell Service Now, which is an ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) tool.
“Whenever you call service management, they will create a ticket for you. Service Now is the tool the ticket would be created in. It is by far the number one tool in the world. They have close to 50 percent of the market.
“That service could require some additional programming hires in the New Year. We are calling the expansion CareWorx Grand Central.
“Our head office is in Ottawa, but they want delivery to be on PEI. Costs are more competitive here, and that is important when competing in the international marketplace. We are a big fish here on PEI, but in Ontario we are a very tiny tadpole in a large market. Here we have a lot of cooperation with SkillsPEI and Innovation PEI, which makes it much easier to grow a business.”