Knowing the customer’s needs goals, objectives and bottom line are key to designing optimal services.
Company Name: E-Tech
Company MSP 101 Rank: 14 (No. 1 in Canada)
President & CEO: Ian Evans
Headquartered: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The crew at E-Tech knows that strong customer relationships are as important as technical expertise. Since 2005, they have been providing system support and IT consulting services, designing their services specifically for the customer’s needs. Their goal is to help customers succeed in today’s complex business environment. So to do that, they need to earn their customers’ trust. Moreover, doing that requires a strong customer relationship.
Ian Evans, president and CEO of E-Tech, started the company so that he could use his creativity and be in control of his own fate. As a person of color, he is, unfortunately, all too familiar with systemic racism. But he is hopeful that recent events will bring about much-needed change.
Channel Futures: Why are you a business owner instead of working for someone else? What is the allure of entrepreneurship to you?
Ian Evans: There are many reasons I chose to become a business owner. I made the decision to start my own business due to my position becoming redundant 15 years ago. I had been the IT manager for a company specializing in member engagement software. At that point, I decided that I had an opportunity to control my own destiny.
My ultimate goal is to help as many people as possible because being able to help people is one of the main benefits of being a business owner. I have hired more than 40 people in the past 15 years.
Business owners can be as creative as their hearts desire. It is uniquely satisfying. As an entrepreneur, the actual process of building a business is creative in and of itself. When you own your own business, you get to shape your dreams and those of others.
Being your own boss might seem all about you, but that isn’t the case. First, there are your customers, whom you are helping with your products or services. Then there are other businesses that you work with – MSP vendors and business partners. And best of all, I get to hire smart, talented and innovative individuals and see them grow over the years, professionally and personally.
CF: How does your experience as a racial minority change your approach to doing business?
IE: As a person of color, I have experienced institutionalized racism in companies I worked for my entire professional career. That was especially true in the IT sector. There is very little representation of people of color at the most senior levels, including ownership. I am one of a very small minority of Black MSP business owners in Canada.
People of color — and women in IT for that matter — must be twice as good and work twice as hard in many cases to get the same recognition as white males. If you’re not the right gender or the right color, the bar is much higher. This message has been passed down from previous generations.
With all the protests this year around racial inequality, I am confident that things will change for people of color. I personally have lost opportunities because I am a person of color. That’s what makes me especially proud of the fact that E-Tech was voted the top MSP in Canada for 2020.
CF: What new opportunities and challenges came with the global COVID-19 pandemic?
IE: COVID-19 continues to cause tremendous challenges for everyone. It is a global team effort to flatten the curve. This involves working from home, social and physical distancing and wearing a mask in public. The working from home element has created a tremendous opportunity for hackers. Phishing attacks on small business have quadrupled since the onset of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis is forcing organizations to accelerate their digital transformations. It’s also causing a worker transformation. Apart from securing users working from home, one challenge for many organizations has been obtaining enough laptops or desktops for everyone. Supplies were extremely limited for everything from laptops to webcams. A large majority of organizations were forced to rely on employees’ devices. But the company doesn’t own them, can’t manage them and doesn’t trust them. And they have no idea what’s going on with the home network.
That created the opportunity to work with organizations to quickly implement work-from-home business continuity plans. There was also an opportunity to weaponize the end user, through cybersecurity awareness training webinars and e-learning modules. This armed them with the tools they needed to prevent cyberattacks on their businesses.
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