City Barbeque Looks to Decision Logic for POS, Compliance Help
Within minutes of installing Decision Logic’s Intelligent Compliance Monitoring module, City Barbeque discovered three POS systems in its network of stores were about to crash—a nightmare every restaurant operator dreads. Using the compliance module and two other Decision Logic restaurant-specific managed services, City Barbeque instantly gained the ability to identify PCI risks before stores know they have problems, eliminated software discrepancies, improved communication, and drastically reduced costly on-site visits.
City Barbeque supports two franchise stores and manages 19 corporate-owned barbecue-from-scratch restaurants across Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. With no company-wide network and a one-person IT department, company stores were responsible for keeping on top of impending POS and PCI compliance problems, plus keeping software up to date. Andrew Halsell, technical analyst, says even though the company has a fairly simple IT setup, inconsistency of software and equipment in the stores and unmonitored systems were a constant worry from a compliance perspective.
“Every store was its own island,” Halsell says. “We constantly risked POS breakdowns, and were looking at significant travel costs to fix problems. If a store couldn’t open an e-mailed Excel file because they didn’t have the right version, we were dead in the water. Our choice was to hire more people, buy expensive up-to-date software copies, and manage a large infrastructure or find a workable cloud-based option.”
Before Halsell joined City Barbeque, CFO Dave Conley had learned of Decision Logic at a restaurant expo. He was impressed by the integrity of the company’s secure co-located facility and long-standing reputation for customer support and high availability. Even better, he learned Decision Logic personnel possess deep knowledge of the restaurant industry and its serious day-to-day challenges, including avoiding PCI penalties and the loss of reputation and business that can result from a security breach.
The Intelligent Compliance Monitoring managed services module from Decision Logic offers the best of both worlds to meet these challenges. The system is set up and supported by expert Decision Logic personnel to provide processes that help restaurant enterprises avoid the costs and headaches of building and staffing IT departments. The easy-to-launch system is rich with carefully integrated tools that allow users to proactively and confidently monitor and manage POS systems and compliance processes. The system requires minimal personnel while providing maximum visibility and control through the enterprise IT portal. It tests and monitors from inside the POS network for compliance activities and conditions dictated by PCI DSS 2.0, such as security controls and auditing, POS patch management, password controls and auditing, and third-party software.
With Intelligent Compliance Monitoring, Halsell monitors City Barbeque’s back-of-house servers via desktop reports and custom alerts in a simple at-a-glance dashboard. “Sometimes stores will work around a problem and not tell me,” he explains. “The alerts include details of what’s not working and ideas of what I might want to do to fix it.”
The compliance system is supported by two other Decision Logic modules: Cloud Service and Remote Access Plus. Through Remote Access Plus, Halsell obtains real-time diagnostic information for multiple systems. The Plus module includes patch management and an IT ticketing system, with a specialized Client Communicator and NOC Support.
The company installed Cloud Service as a cost-effective and easily scalable alternative to an in-house network. The goal was to create a central online work environment with automatic backup and updates, where everyone uses the same software and documents. Cloud Service was so successful for City Barbeque, Decision Logic added RAM, drive space, and a second processor to accommodate twice as many users as planned.
Cloud Service also provides a continually monitored, secure environment for remote access and POS data management. With Cloud Service, faulty in-house POS systems and networks are no longer a threat to the integrity of City Barbeque’s PCI compliance standing.
The trio of Decision Logic managed services modules has given Halsell and the entire company secure, reliable, smoothly integrated tools for better communication, efficiency, and problem resolution—without the high cost of an in-house network.
“Decision Logic handles updates, monitoring, and the physical server, so we can focus on other things,” Halsell says. He believes one of the best features is customization. “It’s not an out-of-the-box solution. Decision Logic really works with you to understand your operation as a whole and shows you how to use modules to do exactly what you need to do.”
He points to the proactive nature of Decision Logic’s support team as a benefit. “They don’t just sit back and wait for you to come to them with problems. They are constantly reviewing your company, thinking about what you can do to operate better, and keeping you informed of issues. You feel like you have an extension of your own company, because they have that much at stake in helping you succeed.”