Certus partners with GraVoc to streamline Business & Technology needs 

Below we take a look at how GraVoc provides a one-stop-shop for business software, information technology & security, and digital media needs for Certus, a leader in the pest management industry.

Industry: Consumer Services

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington 

Partnering with GraVoc


When Mike Givlin and Ben Kaplan realized they needed IT services for their new company, Certus Pest, they were quick to call on GraVoc; their past experience with the quality of GraVoc’s services made it an easy decision.

“At a prior company, we used a third party to do a software selection process and once we did that, we needed an implementation partner. We issued an RFP and selected GraVoc. As that process was going along, we also began using GraVoc as our outsourced IT department,” says Kaplan, CFO of Certus. “When we started this company [Certus], because we were very happy with GraVoc’s services, we went right to them for implementation of Dynamics [Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations] and to be our outsourced IT department.”

Certus Pest formed in 2019 when Givlin, who is CEO and Co-Founder of Certus, partnered with a private equity firm to create a platform to partner with leading pest control companies across the United States and Canada. Kaplan, who had worked with Givlin previously, joined Certus shortly thereafter.

The Issue & Solution

Certus’s rapid expansion and the acquisition of numerous pest control companies presented the need for replacing multiple ERP systems, manual processes, and databases with a cohesive system that could accommodate Certus’s future growth as well.

GraVoc recommended Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, a tightly integrated, scalable, and efficient ERP system. GraVoc also began migrating acquired organizations to Certus’s Microsoft Office 365 tenant and provides ongoing Managed IT Services.

An increase of support requests from users who clicked suspicious links or opened embedded attachments led to GraVoc’s Information Security team getting involved with Certus to conduct an Information Security Gap Analysis and Assurance testing. Most recently, Certus has collaborated with GraVoc’s Creative Technology department to create a set of promotional videos for marketing purposes.

“Certus has clearly taken advantage of the ‘one stop shopping’ offerings of GraVoc services,” says Stephen Rizzo, Director of IT Services at GraVoc. “What had started out as IT support and Microsoft Office 365 migration services has now grown to include project work from Information Security, Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP implementation, and video production services from the Creative Technology team. By leveraging GraVoc’s expertise, Certus has all of their acquisitions operating on the same solid, secure environment and using first rate collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint to manage their continuous growth.” 

Overcoming Challenges

Large, multipronged projects like this aren’t without challenges, though. During the early stages of the Microsoft Office 365 migrations, for example, the IT team must identify any third-party applications that an acquired company may be using in their business processes that integrate with their email flow. GraVoc must have a solution in place prior to the final cutover to avoid interrupting operations, which requires responsiveness on the part of end uses to ensure that emails are migrated properly. Rizzo notes that communication is a major part of overcoming this challenge. “We continue to work with the client project lead to stress communications to the end users that a change is coming and that GraVoc is facilitating that change,” Rizzo says.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing disruption to normal business processes has also presented unique challenges. Brian Gravel, Vice President of Creative Technology at GraVoc, points to the ways in which his team needed to adapt their usual procedures and conduct remote rather than in-person interviews to create short promotional videos for Certus. He adds that the trust built up from GraVoc’s prior work helped facilitate the Creative Technology team’s relationship with Certus. Daniel Johnson, Vice President of Business Development at GraVoc, also observes that trust and communication help overcome any challenges that arise as various projects progress.

“I think that what Certus had in challenges they more than made up for with effective, efficient, decisive leadership. Their people know what they want, when they want it, and how they want it done. They also trust us, which is huge,” Johnson says. “It’s really a great partnership in that I feel both parties really want to make the other successful.”

Kaplan expresses a similar sentiment, pointing to frequent meetings between Certus and GraVoc as an example of how the partnership works for both companies: “Because of how critical GraVoc is to our success in both projects, we have a monthly call with our senior management and our GraVoc team that is very beneficial in keeping our relationship strong and making sure the many projects we have going on stay on track.”

We are excited to see what the future holds for our friends at Certus and are proud to be assisting them along the way to help make their business a success! What started as an ERP implementation has resulted in a multi-service partnership between our two companies.  Through our partnership, we are able to provide Certus and their acquisitions a one-stop-shop for all their technology, security, business software and digital media needs. 

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