2013 Review of Xcentric

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Best Firm Fit: Professional tax & accounting firms who wish to outsource their IT infrastructure and desktop hosting functions to a specialized national provider which serves tax and accounting professionals exclusively.

Strengths:

  • Xcentric has experience hosting and supporting all of the major CPA firm application suites used by mid-sized CPA firms, including Thomson Reuters, Intuit, and CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business.
  • The Xcentric Cloud service uses the Citrix hosting technology, which works well with a wide range of hardware devices, including scanners, printers, and mobile devices. This approach allows them to replace the centralized IT server infrastructure in a firm and host the applications from their highly redundant public hosting facility.
  • Xcentric’s website has a resources page with a number of white papers and templates for accounting firms considering a move to a hosting provider.
  • Company personnel answer the support line 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and emergency support for mission-critical applications is provided outside of the company’s standard business hours (weekdays, 8A-6P ET).

Potential Limitations:

  • The company’s primary data center in the Southeastern US, and while this may be attractive to firms in the Southeast, it may represent a drawback to firms in the Northwest. Xcentric does not offer a hosting product which they will certify as HIPAA compliant at this time.
  • Xcentric is focused on using its U.S.-based personnel to provide the server provisioning, maintenance, and hosting for professional accounting firms. The company does not offer retail hosting of single applications such as QuickBooks.

Overview

Xcentric is a national hosting provider based in Georgia. The company is focused on providing dedicated virtual servers exclusively to tax and accounting firms. Although Xcentric is an authorized host for QuickBooks applications, the company does not host this product outside of its onshore outsourcing of IT for accounting firms. The organization also provides traditional IT infrastructure maintenance and support of on-premises servers.

Applications and data are hosted in a dedicated cage within a U.S. Tier IV commercial hosting facility. Tier IV facilities provide the most redundancy available for power, cooling, and connectivity available in public data centers. The company reports that this facility is subjected to a SOC 2, Type II examination by an independent third party. Xcentric guarantees that their system will be available at least 99.5% of the time on a 24x7 basis, with the exception of scheduled downtime for maintenance, which takes place between 2AM and 5AM ET. The company asserted that they have never had a system-wide outage which took down all clients, but reports that isolated issues in the past have taken individual clients and clusters of clients in the past.

Technical support is available via telephone between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM ET weekdays or via a web-based support ticket system at www.support.xcentric.com. After hours emergency support tickets and calls are handled by one of the support engineers on a rotating basis, and are acted upon when required. Xcentric personnel answer all calls to the support line 24 hours a day every day of the year.

Summary & Pricing

Since Xcentric is focused on custom hosting exclusively, the company prices its Xcentric Cloud services on an individualized basis.

 

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