(Editor’s Note: This month’s sponsored content from Cisco Canada features an interview by Garth Scully, Cisco Canada’s vice president for midmarket and small business, with David Saele, president and founder of Think Communications, a Victoria, BC-based Cisco partner.)
SPONSORED CONTENT – I recently spoke with David Saele, president and founder of Think Communications, to better understand the way his company meets clients’ demands for server, storage, and virtualization solutions in the midsize business sector. We also discussed some challenges that many midsize businesses in Canada may deal with when deploying certain technologies and how the right technology can play a pivotal role in growing successful businesses.
Garth Scully: Can you tell us a little bit about Think Communications?
David Saele: Think Communications is based in Victoria, BC and was founded in 2005, servicing the mid-market and public sector spaces. Our ideal client has an existing IT department, but is looking to us to provide expertise outside of desk-side support for projects and initiatives. Our experienced teams of 12 sales, admin and solutions architects work to design solutions that meet the requirements of the client not only for today, but the future as well.
By treating our clients with respect and looking at their business long-term, we have almost 100% client retention, and the majority of our new business is based on referrals. Not to mention, we are extremely passionate about customer service and we are always looking to raise the bar.
Garth: What type of technologies does your team focus on?
David: We focus specifically on Network Infrastructure, Unified Communications (Telephony, VOIP, Video Conferencing, Collaboration), Data Center Infrastructure, Virtualization of Networks, Servers, Storage, and Desktops.
Garth: What are the top business challenges that small and mid-sized business (SMB) may encounter when deploying technologies?
David: With IT infrastructure evolving and becoming more complex, SMBs are looking to technology partners like us to provide expertise and guidance on how and where to invest their limited budgets. SMBs want technology that is simple to use and manage, yet sophisticated enough to address the needs of staff, customers, and business colleagues.
Garth: Can you provide our audience with helpful tips to use when implementing technologies into their small or mid-sized business?
David: With the implementation of new technologies comes many benefits, but most customers forget that change results in transition costs. It’s important to always look at the long-term implications of your technology upgrades. Ask yourself questions such as:
1. Why are you doing it?
2. What are the benefits that you want to achieve?
3. How will you measure success?
4. What are the costs associated with change?
5. What training is needed?
6. What are the costs of managing and maintaining these new technologies?
Also, keep in mind the time and costs associated with training and initial loss of productivity while your staff learns the new systems.
Garth: Can you outline how the emergence of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is affecting the way you present solutions to customers?
David: Our customers are now able to connect to their work environment with their device of choice, efficiently and effectively. The challenge that SMBs face is ensuring that those devices work seamlessly on the network, and that their staff are able to accomplish the same level of productivity with their own device as they would a company-issued device.
Garth: What are the biggest challenges that you as a partner face when implementing solutions?
David: Ensuring that we look at how a new solution will affect the entire network and ecosystem of a client’s environment. The networks are so tightly interwoven, you really need to look at how an upgrade will impact your business, ensuring that you are not upgrading one area and degrading the quality of service in another area.
Garth: What keeps you up at night?
David: Clients who don’t consider data backup solutions as a necessity. To neglect this aspect of their business is completely mind-boggling, especially considering the marginal investment to the business and the risks mitigated. Advancements in backup and recovery methods have simplified and improved services dramatically; the offerings for SMBs are better than ever before.
Garth: Thank you so much for your time, David. We’re looking forward to seeing what you do next at Think Communications!
David: Thank you, Garth!
Are there additional thoughts or experiences with technology solutions that your small to midsize business has? We want to hear about it! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
You can also learn more about Cisco’s Midsize Business Products and Solutions here.