You’ve probably heard this before…
A king buried a bunch of gold under a giant rock in the middle of the road. All the village people would curse this rock because they had to figure out how to get around it to get to wherever they were going. One day, a guy from the village finally decided to move the rock. He worked at it for days until he was able to pull the rock away. That’s when he found the pile of gold underneath.
For Chris Hale, founder and president of Technology Response Team, this story sums up the basic idea of stoicism: that individuals thrive more with every obstacle they face. “Essentially, the hard things we do tend to be the right things to do,” says Chris. “They end up leading you to the path you want to be on in the end.”
That path for Chris began in the mid-2000s.
Before then, after graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in sports science and spending the first five years of his career as a personal trainer, he wanted a career that offered more financial stability. Luckily, he had a minor degree in computer information systems that was about to prove its worth.
“I was always good at computers. I worked in corporate IT for several years until I got my first opportunity at a managed services provider. That’s where I found my niche. But it didn’t take long to realize that ‘customer service’ wasn’t the main focus for some MSPs,” Chris says. “There was a churn-and-burn mentality of hourly staff, and the owners didn’t treat customers with much respect. I knew I could probably change the MSP model for the better and make it a value-added concept.”
In 2010, Chris made the decision to launch Technology Response Team, his own MSP firm – amid several uncertainties.
The country was on the back end of the recession that had begun in 2008, which hit small businesses extremely hard. Chris and his wife had just welcomed their second daughter into the world. Most seasoned entrepreneurs would have recognized that now was not the time, but Chris launched Technology Response Team even in the face of adversity.
“It was a scary time. I’m not going to lie, we were having to borrow money from family members to survive,” says Chris. That notion to “move that rock” paid off. Today, Technology Response Team is one of the fastest-growing MSP firms, not only in Colorado but nationally and globally, serving small and medium businesses throughout Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Kentucky, Florida, and Tennessee.
3 Ways Technology Response Team Proves Value Is More Than Lip Service
Chris’s success as an IT entrepreneur comes from his commitment to walk the talk when it comes to providing value to his clients and his employees. He makes this happen by having the right business model, the right vision for his clients, and the right team to make it all happen.
Chris learned these lessons early on in his career working for other MSPs.
“I saw firsthand the lack of responsiveness and customer service, and there was no client relationship beyond a ticket,” Chris recalls. “Not to mention, their approach to every ticket was reactionary. Any MSP can sell anything to anybody; they can also tell you they’re going to do something and then they don’t. For us, adding value is the reason we’re here. It starts with having the right model in place. We’re very procedure-, process- and proactive-oriented when it comes to solving our clients’ IT needs and frustrations.
“We also know that having a well-planned vision for a business’s IT strategy is important,” Chris continues. “We have in-depth, up-front meetings as well as quarterly meetings so we know what’s going on in their business now and what that will it look like in the future. It all goes back to our proactive approach. But more than that, it’s about building collaborative relationships and becoming part of their team.”
Having the right team members in place is at the core of the Technology Response Team’s value-added philosophy.
“We may not be the cheapest IT company out there,” says Chris, “but that’s because I want to be able to staff to a level that I know can cover everything our clients need. I think building the right team is our biggest value. One of the ways you ensure your clients are happy is by making sure your employees are happy. That’s when everyone works really well together. And in the long run, our clients’ businesses are more productive, and they see an ROI on their IT.”
Why Co-Managed IT Services Is King
With his team’s well-rounded IT knowledge and skills base, Chris has found Technology Response Team quickly becoming the co-managed IT services provider to SMEs looking for assistance without completely outsourcing.
If you are a small to medium business with an internal IT staff, managing the complexity of IT is, in a word, complicated. There are networks, system requirements, industry regulations, cloud computing, cyber security, VoIP, application updates, software licenses, hardware replacements, data security, and more to think about. And as a business grows, so do the IT challenges. Sometimes your internal team doesn’t have the experience to check all the boxes. That’s where Technology Response Team’s co-managed IT services can help fill the gaps.
“The co-managed IT space is probably our niche,” says Chris. “So, in comparison to standard managed IT services, where we take over a business’s IT as a whole – meaning we’re their IT department – co-managed is where we work with their internal team to take over the upper-level management or help with new projects. Or we can take over the lower-level stuff, like their help desk.”
For Chris, co-managed relationships create an opportunity “to work with individuals who already have some level of knowledge, so it’s easy to communicate with them and think things through when it comes to policies and procedures.”
Giving Clients Peace Of Mind
Chris’s clients know they aren’t just getting IT support. They’re getting a value-added service that’s integral to their business’s growth and success. One way the Technology Response Team does that is with a free 9-Point IT Assessment.
This is a free service the Technology Response Team provides to prospective clients to make sure their current IT provider is doing what they’re supposed to do. Offering this “checkup” goes back to why Chris does what he does. “It’s all about treating customers with respect,” he says. “My original goal when jumping into IT was to bring back customer service to the industry. This assessment is a big part of our value-added concept. It’s amazing how many IT firms have a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ approach, leaving clients potentially at risk or inefficient.”
Technology Response Team will perform a thorough audit of your hardware, software and cyber security practices to make your technology faster and more secure.