MSP Voice Episode 53 – “SECURITY” with John Kulas

Guest: John Kulas

Company: undisclosed

This week is a special episode where I have a security expert, John Kulas, join me to talk about security. John has spent a lot of time on the security side working for different companies. While he doesn’t work for an MSP he does have some great tips for MSPs (and others) when it comes to security. John talks first about his experiences in visiting cloud data centers and then shares some great tips on firewall rules. We also discuss some best practices around audits and when they should be performed. We finish things up with a special rapid-fire round. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 53 – “SECURITY” with John Kulas”

MSP Voice Episode 52 – “Diversity in Hiring” with Dawn Sizer

Guest: Dawn Sizer

Company: 3rd Element Consulting

Dawn owns and runs 3rd Element Consulting in central Pennsylvania and she’s expecting some big growth this year. Some of the verticals they focus on are law enforcement and legal. Having spent time in the male-dominated tech industry, Dawn decided that it was time for her to start her own company almost 14 years ago. 3rd Element started out as MSP (without really knowing it) and skipped the break/fix stage. Focusing on law enforcement does create some hurdles in hiring as her employees much pass extensive background checks.

As I was researching for this interview I came across a few blog posts by Dawn about hiring neurodiverse employees. While originally meant to cover autism, she has expanded this to embrace all neurodiverse individuals. Dawn has written 2 articles on her site to explain the processes they use to support these individuals. Read part 1 Onboarding Neurodiverse Employees and part 2 Supporting Neurodiverse Employees. Dawn further expands on these ideas in this episode. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 52 – “Diversity in Hiring” with Dawn Sizer”

MSP Voice Episode 51 – “If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get“ with Corey Kirkendoll

Guest: Corey Kirkendoll

Company: 5K Technical Services

Corey runs 5K Technical Services out of Plano, TX. 5K specializes in engineering/architecture firms but also does work with local non-profits. Having spent time working for some big tech companies, Corey decided it was time to branch out on his own and start up 5K. While Corey started his career on the technical side, he eventually chose to focus more on the management (non-technical) as his career progressed.

This mix of technical and business management has helped him grow 5K and he also knew early on that he wanted to focus on managed services and businesses instead of break/fix and consumers. Corey works closely with his technology partners and frequently takes advantage of their joint marketing opportunities. His motto is “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” which is his way of telling you to ask your partners about possible funds and/or activities that you can join them on. Corey also has some great advice for those of you who may be just getting started in managed services. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 51 – “If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get“ with Corey Kirkendoll”

MSP Voice Episode 50 – “Carve out your Space” with Hank Holbrook

Guest: Hank Holbrook

Company: Bluesky Technology Solutions

Most MSPs on the show offer a range of IT services to small businesses in a particular geographic area, Bluesky Technology is a bit different, they offer one service nationwide. Hank tells me about how focusing on just the one service has helped Bluesky be successful. By partnering with software companies that serve small business, Hank has found some great opportunities to grow his business. By white labeling the backup software (from CloudBerry Lab) they offer their own branded solution. Bluesky has truly carved out its own space in the market. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 50 – “Carve out your Space” with Hank Holbrook”

MSP Voice Episode 49 – “Service is your Edge“ with Bob Wardlow

Guest: Bob Wardlow

Company: Cortland Computer Systems

Starting out in 1982 selling dedicated $ 12,000-word processors to law offices, Bob quickly saw the change in the landscape as personal computers became prevalent. Leaving sales and starting Corland in 1993, Bob did maintenance and break/fix for many years before transitioning to managed contracts. Bob has also carved out a specialty in programming Microsoft Access databases. Many small companies still rely on Access and Bob helps keep them running around the country. Bob states that from his early days selling word processors he would try and find out what the business needed and then write small programs to help them…he used this to help get more sales because it was something his competition was not doing. Bob truly believes that “service is your edge” when it comes to retaining customers and also having them give you referrals. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 49 – “Service is your Edge“ with Bob Wardlow”

MSP Voice Episode 48 – 1 Year Anniversary – Talking YouTube with Tom Lawrence

Guest: Thomas Lawrence

Company: Lawrence Technology Services

This week I was thrilled to have Tom Lawrence back on the podcast. Tom was our first guest and also our most popular. As we announced earlier in the week, we calculated our top 10 episodes/guests for the first year and Tom came out on top! Besides the Bluetooth speaker that our top 10 received, we also sent Tom a special “trophy” for being #1. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 48 – 1 Year Anniversary – Talking YouTube with Tom Lawrence”

MSP Voice Episode 47 – “Is Anybody a True MSP?” with Craig Pollack

Guest: Craig Pollack

Company: FPA Technology Services, Inc

Craig runs an MSP in the Los Angeles area and has been in business for 28 years. When they started out, FPA did Accounting systems, custom programming, and infrastructure support, now they basically just do infrastructure support (MSP). While FPA now has 25 staff members, Craig still does a majority of the sales and marketing. FPA considers themselves as a high-end full-service boutique MSP with part of their credo being “Do more work for fewer clients (not a little bit of work for a lot of clients).” While successful now, Craig says he wishes he would have focused more on sales and marketing in early days. Listen to the full episode for more great advice from Craig. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 47 – “Is Anybody a True MSP?” with Craig Pollack”

MSP Voice Episode 46 -“Preparing for Disaster” with Arismonty Beato

Guest: Arismonty “Monty” Beato

Company: Eridani Data Services

Arismonty “Monty” is in the Dominican Republic and has built a business by just focusing on a few core services instead of trying to offer everything. With natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes, data protection and continuity services are their main offering. Eridani focuses on building trust with their clients and that is paying off in referrals. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 46 -“Preparing for Disaster” with Arismonty Beato”

MSP Voice Episode 45 – “It’s not 9 to 5” with Jorge Prieto

Guest: Jorge Prieto

Company: Blackland Technologies

This week we have Jorge Prieto out of Texas. Jorge has been in services for 14 years and joined forces with his friend about 3 years ago and business has been great. Like most, Jorge started out with break-fix but now almost all of his clients are on a monthly contract. Jorge decided to start his own MSP after getting frustrated and what he had to deal with as a contractor at other companies. Now if he has a difficult customer he can just fire them instead of having to just deal with it for the sake of the contract. Blackland’s main verticals are health care, title companies, and professions services companies. Towards the end, Jorge explains that running your own business isn’t 9 to 5, it’s a bigger commitment. He also explains that MSP does not mean “break-fix on retainer”. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 45 – “It’s not 9 to 5” with Jorge Prieto”

MSP Voice Episode 44 – “Securing Albuquerque” with Joshua Liberman

Guest: Joshua Liberman

Company: Net Sciences Inc.

Heading out to California to work in the oil and gas industry, Joshua found himself jobless after an explosion in the refinery he was supposed to be working at. While doing odd jobs and temp work, he stumbled onto an opportunity setting up a PC for the temp agency. Working inside appealed to Joshua so he spent the rest of the summer doing PC setups. After finding out he liked technology, Joshua spent time technical writing and setting up some of the earliest networks. Starting Net Sciences in 1995, Joshua has been in business ever since. Net Sciences has a focus on security and their customers have unbelievable uptimes. Two products that Joshua mentions are Nodeware and Vijilan, feel free to check them out! Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 44 – “Securing Albuquerque” with Joshua Liberman”