Today we are talking with Louis Schwall, the Executive Director of Tech at ComSolutions Inc. in New Orleans.
Q: Can you give us some background on your MSP?
A: We originally started in 1997, are based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and became an early adopter of Windows & PC Anywhere. Cloud drastically changed the landscape, forcing us and our customers to transition from a hardware-based model to a faster, cloud infrastructure-based one. We’ve migrated through many transitions in the last eight years continuing to move our customers’ operations to the cloud.
Q: Was ComSolutions disrupted by hurricanes and does that make cloud an easier sell? When your data is completely on-prem you can’t exactly evacuate it.
A: Living through Katrina and Ida, natural disasters are at the top of our minds when we talk disaster recovery with customers, and because of those unfortunate events, I can give them a real-world disaster recovery scenario that resonates. AdaptiveCloud™ gives our clients the ability to evacuate and remotely connect without missing a beat.
Q: Did COVID change your business model?
A: It’s a very competitive landscape and COVID changed everything. You no longer had the personal touch. We had to become retention experts which was harder because there was less personal contact.
Q: Why did you choose AdaptiveCloud™ ?
A: IP Pathways, the creator of AdaptiveCloud™ is a growing company and innovative. We’ve been with larger providers and there isn’t as much flexibility with them. You either fit in their box or you don’t. With AdaptiveCloud™ by IP Pathways, I feel like we have the opportunity for growth and the ability to branch out into different areas. The solutions are good, solid products and technical support has been great to work with and helps us solve any problems. The engineering team went above and beyond and was able to execute on their promises. Having access to support 24x7x365 is a big plus and you get a response in a limited amount of time, all wrapped in SLA.
Q: What’s one way AdaptiveCloud™ can support your next initiatives?
A: I’d like to be able to create an environment that has a series of Gold, Silver, and Bronze level servers. This way I can provide a server and environment that is complementary to our client’s needs. Satisfying all of our client’s technology needs is paramount and maintaining consistency is key. I am looking forward to our partnership with AdaptiveCloud™ evolving to support this next evolution of our company.
Q: How do you educate your customers on Adaptive Cloud?
A: The verticals we go after are legal, healthcare, non-profit, and commercial. The first thing to consider: is the client you are talking to receptive? It is about their level of understanding. I try to create an analogy based on their business. The biggest hurdle is figuring out their level of understanding of cloud and breaking it down into simple terms.
Q: What obstacles have you met and how do you overcome them?
A: People are scared to move to the cloud. Some think we are going to take their data and hold it hostage. Building trust is important because in the past they had a physical appliance they could see and touch for their investment. With cloud, the perceived values are harder to understand when you only have a paper invoice to hold. That’s why building relationships with our customers is important.
Q: What’s next for ComSolutions?
A: Staying on top of cybersecurity. I like to use the onion analogy. There is no one layer to cybersecurity, it requires a multi-layered approach. You can’t just have a backup or a firewall. You must have unified threat management, looking at traffic and packets, routers, firewalls & couple that with a breach prevention program. Education is key-we and we offer a breach prevention program that sends phishing emails and provides videos on scams and a blind test that catches and analyzes emails. It helps train end-users and keeps our clients’ networks more secure.
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