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Payment processing company Fifth Manhattan switches to secure, easy-to-use Chromebox desktops

Editor's note: Today we hear from, Adam Garrett, president of Dallas-based Fifth Manhattan. Learn how Fifth Manhattan switched to Chromeboxes for a simpler, more affordable desktop computer solution.

When I joined Fifth Manhattan as president in 2014, I wanted to expand our customer base. We provide credit card payment processing services for small to medium-sized businesses and help them cut costs, increase revenue and provide a higher level of customer service. Big nationwide retail chains have substantial marketing budgets, but your local Italian restaurant and auto body shop don’t. That’s where we come in.

One of my first orders of business was to upgrade our aging fleet of desktop computers. The team needed simple, easy to use computers with web access, so we decided to buy one Chromebox and try it out. We were astonished by how simple it was to set up and deploy. After the pilot, we bought Chromeboxes with Chrome device managementlicenses for each of our 30 employees. Since then, we’ve given a Chromebox to each new hire.

Because of Chrome, we no longer need a traditional IT help desk. Fifth Manhattan has six full-time IT staff members, but they focus on building and managing our internal CRM platform. Before Chrome, they spent hours every week troubleshooting computer crashes. Today, they spend less time managing Chrome and deploying new devices and more time on their core responsibilities. Since we switched to Chromeboxes, we’ve only had one issue with a device — and it was a hardware malfunction, no fault of Chrome.

As a payment processing company, we deal with highly sensitive data like bank account information and social security numbers, so security is critical. We’re required to maintain compliance with PCI regulations governing customer data. As part of this, we limit the number of employees who have access to sensitive internal data and monitor all usage carefully to avoid breaches. Chrome makes this easier to do. Administrators can set up different “organizations,” or teams so they can create customized settings for each team to limit which applications they can access. For example, our telesales team only need to use our web-based CRM tool, so we limit their usage to that, while account managers need access to their Chrome web browser and applications like Gmail and an e-signature solution. In addition, we can turn off incognito mode and disable saving to external flash drives. These settings help us control employee access so we can prevent data breaches and leaks.

Fifth Manhattan employees are now able to work remotely, thanks to Chromebooks and Google Apps. We have five extra managed Chromebooks for employees to use if they’re unable to come into the office because of travel, parental leave or bad weather. As president, I travel often for customer meetings. My Chromebook lasts for more than eight hours, which comes in handy during cross-country flights and long meetings. I can even access my desktop applications remotely from my Chromebook using Chrome remote desktop.

When I joined Fifth Manhattan, I wanted to grow our payment processing business into a thriving enterprise. Google Chrome has helped me scale the business from 35 employees to 100 in two years and makes it easier for everyone to focus on their work, not IT.

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