MSP Voice Episode 69 – “Self Made” with Andrew Lassise

Guest: Andrew Lassise

Company: Rush Tech Support

Andrew started off with a degree in finance in 2009. Unfortunately, because of the recession, he had to switch gears and focus on IT instead of finance. He found a position at a company doing break-fix remotely and then was approached by some friends about starting their own IT company. While the company didn’t last long, they had managed to get a large number of customers. Andrew worked out a deal with previous owners and was able to transition many of those customers to his own, new business…Rush Tech Support.

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MSP Voice Episode 68 – “Clients, not Customers” with Thomas O’Brien

Guest: Thomas O’Brien

CompanyIDEOLITY

This week I welcome Thomas O’Brien with IDEOLITY to the show. Thomas is in the Kansas City area and has been in business since 1988. While it took Thomas and his partners about 3 years to settle on IT services, they have been going strong ever since. In 2008 they changed the name of the company to IDEOLITY to better reflect what they do and it’s also much shorter than the previous name.

Even though Thomas has been doing IT services for over 30 years, this is actually his 4th career. With the introduction of the Microcomputer, Thomas taught himself the platform and started up a training company to train companies on how to use these new computers. This experience eventually led him to IT services.

With an educational background in psychology and government, Thomas went back to school in 1991 and got his master’s in computer and information management. He says this additional education experience really helped him to better understand the business. Interestingly, IDEOLITY has always been “the IT resource” for their clients and has basically had them on monthly contracts. They were doing break/fix in the early days, mostly because things always broke. While they have a core group of clients who have been with them since the ’90s, many of their customers have been with them for about 10 years.

Thomas also recommends continuing education and found some great resources at the Kauffman Foundation which helped him tie the technical to the business aspects at IDEOLITY. Listen to the end to understand the meaning of the title of this episode.

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MSP Voice Episode 67 – “Predictable Success” with Phillip Poarch

Guest: Phillip Poarch

Company: Tolar Systems

This week’s guest is Phillip Poarch with Tolar Systems out of Abilene, TX. Tolar has been in business since 1999 where they started with high-end consulting. In 2012 they switched over to the MSP model. Phillip has been with Tolar since 2012, the same year the changed their model. After educating their customer base on the MSP model they’ve had great success in Abilene and surrounding areas. By targeting verticals that have to deal with compliance they are able to use their expertise in security and compliance.

To help their customers understand the importance of technology they share a book by Les McKeown called “Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track-And Keeping It There”. The book talks about the life cycle of businesses and the importance of technology if they’re on a growth trajectory. By looking at the business’s level of maturity, it helps them to recommend the technology they should be implementing.
When I asked Phillip what technology he’s most excited about, he replied it’s is the upcoming release of the Rivian EV. It’s billed as the first adventure based electric truck. Tolar has already pre-ordered one and they’re very excited for its release. You can find more on Rivian here: https://rivian.com/ Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 67 – “Predictable Success” with Phillip Poarch”

MSP Voice Episode 66 – “Open Book” with Eric Rieger

Guest: Eric Rieger

Company: Webit Services

This week’s guest is Eric Rieger from Webit Services out of the Chicago area. In business since 1996, Webit actually started under a different, less fortunate name which Eric explains. Eric had a few different careers before starting Webit which helped him to prepare for running his own business. Besides MSP Webit also helps companies with business intelligence and analytics and has developers on staff.

Inspired by the book “The Great Game of Business” by Jack Stack (Amazon), Eric has adopted Open Book Management at Webit Services. We discuss at length the concepts of Open Book Management and how Webit has implemented it in their business. If you want to learn more, check out the website for The Great Game of Business here: https://www.greatgame.com/

One of the other concepts that Eric talks about is the power of purpose. He mentions a presentation by Clark Gey at the annual Gathering of Games conference. You can find it on YouTube here. After returning from the conference Eric and his team adopted their purpose, “keeping American business secure and productive”. Eric puts this into more perspective about how what they (and MSPs in general) do to keep the economy running. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 66 – “Open Book” with Eric Rieger”

MSP Voice Episode 65 “Gulf Shores MSP” with Dan Sadlis

This week’s guest is Dan Sadlis out of Gulf Shores, AL. Dan runs Tech Solution, focused on both break-fix and MSP. Because of his location in the Gulf Coast, a lot of his customers are seasonal but he also has managed customers. He only considers himself doing true MSP for the past 3-4 months since he just recently acquired his software stack but he’s been doing services for over 2 years.

Dan has enjoyed working on computers from a young age and attended Capitol Technology University in the DC area where he focused on cybersecurity. After school, he returned to Alabama but couldn’t find work in the technology field. After working a few non-tech jobs and doing IT work for people on the side, he realized he could make more money by opening his own business. While he prefers the MSP work, he plans on continuing the break/fix side and getting to know his customers even better. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 65 “Gulf Shores MSP” with Dan Sadlis”

MSP Voice Episode 64 – “Marketing with your Peers” with Esther Deutsch

Guest: Esther Deutsch

Company: RCS Professional Services

This week I am joined by Esther Deutsch from RCS Professional Services in New York City. Esther is the Operations Manager at RCS and she gives some great insights into her role and also about a peer group she’s forming aimed at MSP marketing professionals (more information on that down below). Started in 1999 by Jeffrey Tebele, RCS Professional Services traces their roots back to Rockwell Computer and Software, a chain of electronics stores in NYC in the ’80s. By focusing on services Jeffrey has built RCS Professional Services into a multi-state provider of IT services and support. When I asked what vertical markets RCS servers, Esther said that it’s the wish to serve all companies who a Phish Phans (Jeffrey is a huge Phish Phan).

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MSP Voice Episode 63 – “A Family Affair” with Nancy Sabino

Guest: Nancy Sabino

Company: SabinoCompTech

This week’s guest is Nancy Sabino with SabinoCompTech out of Houston, TX. Nancy is the CEO and co-founder of SabinoCompTech, her husband, Angle, is the other co-founder and also the COO. Their getting started story is very interesting and they even feature it on their website. In business now for 10 years, Nancy says they’re basically on version 3.0 of their company after some trial and error (and changing business models). They’re now a full-service MSP serving several verticals. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 63 – “A Family Affair” with Nancy Sabino”

MSP Voice Episode 62 – “Joining the Franchise” with Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis is a technician for CMIT Solutions of Cincinnati, Northeast. Matt has been working in the MSP business for several years, starting at an MSP while still in college. Matt enjoys MSP work and the variety it provides and is onsite with customers most of his time. Matt is active on Reddit and Discord MSP channels and likes the help they provide through the community.

CMIT Solutions is a national MSP franchise and provides for group buying power and also standardized tools and software. Some franchise locations still use different software if it fits their business and customers better. The franchise model also helps with marketing at the local level which can be a big help for a small MSP. As part of the franchise, you can also get support from other locations as needed. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 62 – “Joining the Franchise” with Matt Lewis”

MSP Voice Episode 61 – “M&A” with Josh Strzalko

Guest: Josh Strzalko

Companies: Spiderhost and Eleet Technologies

Josh started his business, Eleet Technologies, in 2004 after working for a dial-up internet service provider. Eleet started as an IT company but over the years evolved more into a development company focusing on websites and other services. Recently Josh acquired a local MSP hosting company, Spiderhost, and plans to bring the 2 companies together to offer MSP services as well as some of the development services offered by Eleet. Spiderhost focuses on hosting private clouds for their customers and since it’s hosting, their customers can save money since they don’t need a lot of equipment in their office. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 61 – “M&A” with Josh Strzalko”

MSP Voice Episode 60 – “The Right Tools for the Job” with Marvin Bee

Guest: Marvin Bee

Company: MB Systems

My guest this week is Marvin Bee of MB Systems in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Marvin has been in business for himself for over 20 years. Marvin initially got started because he saw an opportunity at his previous employer that his employer didn’t want to pursue. While Marvin has been successful, his previous employer is no longer in business.

Marvin wasn’t convinced that IT was for him but after some experience in college and not liking his marketing job, he decided to move into the computing industry. Marvin is a big believer in using the right tools for the job, especially good quality network testers. Marvin is also the host of a popular MSP podcast called Podnutz Pro which is part of the Podnutz tech podcasting network. Continue reading “MSP Voice Episode 60 – “The Right Tools for the Job” with Marvin Bee”