Speaker 1 (00:10):

Hello, and welcome to the Wolf guard zone. We want to help educate business owners on what to expect of their it support and effort to help any business get quality. It that they deserve. I'm Chris Kimball with a Wolf guard it, and we have Tom, uh, joining us today. You want to give a quick intro of your company?

Speaker 2 (00:31):

Sure. Uh, competitive arts were another MSP out of the green bay, Wisconsin area. And, uh, I believe the second time I've been on the show with Chris and I'm glad to be back. It's always fun to having these discussions. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (00:43):

For sure. Thanks for joining me again. Um, on the topic today, we're going to be talking about the importance of a tech, um, having a stop and think mindset. And so this can pertain to if you're hiring another it company, um, or if you have your own, uh, internal, um, it, but a quick example of having a stop and think mindset. I was talking with another it company that was training a, um, a new tech and they, uh, had a request from a client, well, the client called and said, Hey, your antivirus is blocking this program that I need. And the tech, uh, was just going to just go in and just white list. Um, you know, that, that threat because the client requested of them, you know, they got a request and they just take action. And luckily, uh, that was, uh, locked down to where only certain engineers could, could white list. Um, but you know, that's just an example of trying to first and think before you just take action, you know, should that be white listed? Is there a reason why your into virus is blocking it? And I just find a lot of texts in the industry, um, are basically just told, go help the customer, do whatever they ask the one site and, you know, just take action. And they're not really trained on thinking, um, before they take action. Uh, what, what do you think about that, Tom?

Speaker 2 (02:14):

Yeah, I think that's a really true statement, actually, you know, as a society we're trained to really value our time above all else. So we're trying to be fast. We're trying to be efficient. We feel like we're always under pressure, especially when that client is saying, Hey, I'm losing productivity here. Just white list the thing. So you've got someone breathing down your back and you're just trying to make them happy, but you have to borrow from some of the people that I've talked to over the years. And I think this might even be a military saying if I remember right, slow is smooth, smooth as fast so many times. And in my illustrious career, let's say I can think of times where I was trying to be fast. And unfortunately, you know, it was never anything dramatic, but you're just typing and you're like, I'm just rather than thinking about it, I'm going to quit, put this command set in. It's going to work. I know what I'm doing and you run it in. And next thing you know, you're like, oops, I just took a service dog. So you quit bring the service back up and now you think, yeah, but how much time did you lose 10 minutes, 15 minutes. Hopefully nothing more than that. But so I, you know, in regards to just going out and doing stuff, I think it's a mental mindset that we have to get past. And so when it comes to that value, some comes to trust. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (03:39):

Another example could be waiting after hours to reboot a server, instead of just saying, well, there's a problem right now. I want to fix it, but it's not all that critical, you know, to do right now. Um,

Speaker 2 (03:52):

I, I absolutely agree with that one and as much as I I'm embarrassed to say it, fortunately, not recently, but I have been guilty of that one that not taking the time to say, yeah, we can wait on this. It's okay.

Speaker 1 (04:04):

Yeah. Some sometimes, and sometimes it's fine either way, you know, you could go to a customer and say, Hey, the fix what you're wanting and you reboot the server. Um, I can do it right now if you want me to, but just, you know, FYI, that everything is going to come down and they might just okay. It, um, but it's, it's yeah. You know, at least having that conversation and, and just thinking about the consequences, I think is kind of what it comes down to. Um, and that could apply to a lot of other things. Um, I talk to clients a lot about, uh, continuity, you know, during every, uh, technology QBR, quarterly business review. And one of the pages is continuity. You know, if there's a critical piece of equipment or service that if it were to go down would be a major impact to your business. Let's talk about it. You know, how can we, um, on a continuity level it could be a server. You know, if that server were to go down, uh, can you live with it being down for an hour, two hours, maybe a few days, if there's hardware problems and then setting a plan, um, to, um, put in place, you know, backup disaster recovery, or some fail over or something.

Speaker 2 (05:17):

Absolutely. And for me, the education point when I come to my client education yeah, well in right. But I use the term more strategic planning that I do stop and think it, but same concept, right. We want to take the time to plan out what we're doing, not just shoot from the hip. So we talk about it in three different contexts. We'll, we'll talk about it in terms of the user. And, you know, I mean, in today's day and age of phishing attacks and some of the various social engineering pieces, I'll just come in through email alone, right there. You're getting people to stop and slow down for split second, before they go ahead and click that. And, uh, an example of that, I had, uh, I had a client that reached out, they, they saw an email come and they knew that they knew they made the mistake. The second they did it, but they got an invoice that appeared like it was for another one of their competitors. They said, oh, I want to see what they're

Speaker 3 (06:18):

Getting for pricing. He opened

Speaker 2 (06:20):

It. And unfortunately, again, we had all the right systems in place. It was stopped immediately. There was no damage done, no productivity loss, good stuff. But, you know, we had to sit down and have that conversation. What are you really going to gain on a knowing what your competitors doing in this particular scenario? And yeah, there might be a small, competitive edge, but really small. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (06:44):

Well, and, and if it's not even a real email, like in that case too, uh, yeah. What would happen if I did really want to see that, you know, the, the impact it could bring cause like on that entire virus example, um, yeah, if say he was able to go and white list it and it really was a threat what's that impact that would, it would have brought your company, you know, it could have been, um, viruses or ransomware or caused systems just, I don't know, halt. Um, but yeah, it would not have been worth it, you know, but

Speaker 2 (07:18):

The second level I'll educate my clients on is, you know, their level as a business owner, what are you doing here in? They get excited. They see products, you know, and sales does a great job, right? You have a pain point. Let me fix that for you. We're not going to talk about any pain points we might create, but let's talk about fixing this one pain point. And so getting to be able to sit at the table with my clients, I love sitting in on those sales calls with them so I can ask questions. And, and I typically find the sales team is not opposed to it anyway, they like having an expert there. Cause then they can talk to me a little bit about, you know, Hey, there are these requirements on the system. And for me, one of the things I run into a lot is owners pulling the trigger before they know what the actual requirements are, because I didn't get to sit in on that conversation.

Speaker 2 (08:09):

So then there might be some hidden costs because maybe we need an extra piece of equipment we didn't realize, or, uh, you know, working in the mid model, the labor part isn't as big of a deal for my clients. But you know, there might be some time involvement for configuration stuff that wasn't discussed initially. So just thinking through those pieces and then moreover that with my retail clients, especially they get really hung up on point of sale equipment and the various software programs. And I find that typically they use maybe 10% of the product are already buying. So when I, when I find out, well, what are the pain points being solved? It's like, well, wait a minute. We can do that right now. We've talked about this in our QBR. We need to set this. Don't get distracted by the pretty,

Speaker 4 (08:58):

Pretty low, right.

Speaker 3 (09:00):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's a great example.

Speaker 2 (09:04):

Go ahead. It's not like you're going to have something more to say on that. Oh

Speaker 1 (09:07):

No, it's just, uh, yeah, just to kind of reiterate what you were saying on the applications. If I find a client is looking at some new piece, I'm like, please, you know, where are your it department? You know, we're all inclusive, you know, just like you guys and, and it doesn't cost you any more, let us be that knowledge base or, you know, team player with you and collaborate and go through and, and yeah, we're, we're on your team. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (09:33):

And then the third level I talk about is actually my level, how I have to stop and think. And I actually discussed that with my clients because it gives me a chance to take the pressure off of them. Like I have to do this. It's not just you guys. We have to think about this. And one of my favorite examples is we, we do use a third party security operation center and there's a distinct reason for that. We used to be in the weeds and we were down there, sussing out the viruses, putting all the protections in place, trying to watch all the logs. And then one day I just kind of said, I don't know enough if it's getting to be dangerous, but yeah, a couple of years back, I said, this, this is going to be dangerous. What would I really do? What could I really say to my client if I miss something?

Speaker 2 (10:25):

So, you know, uh, internally as managed it department, okay, we look at it as bringing scale, but externally from my client taking the time to stop and think about what the impact to them can be. If I'm not, you know, being able to bring enough expertise. So we brought that security operations center to the table. They do a fantastic job for us. They're 24 7. They know stuff before I do. And I'm not a I'm in there, but I get the notifications before I even know it's happened. So it's been phenomenal. And I love that. That's my favorite example to my clients. It was a moment where I got to stop think, plan something out that gives you a better experience and you need to do the same thing for your staff. You want to have a good work environment and a good culture. So let's look at what we can do here. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (11:17):

That's I love that. Yeah. And especially security is always changing and evolving on almost day-to-day basis. That it's hard for one person to keep up, you know, with all that what's going on. Yeah. Different threats and everything.

Speaker 2 (11:33):

And then I don't know about you, but I don't have a lot of clients that have the level of, um, uh, the level of redundancy needed when they're bringing new systems online, where they'll actually run two systems simultaneously. I don't know if that's something you've had to deal with. I would always love to do it. It's something that I've wanted to do for ages. And it's always a light switch where we're going to do a hard cut. We're going from product a to product B. You don't get a chance. Um, and with a lot of line of business apps, they will allow you to do an extended demo where you can run two systems side by side.

Speaker 3 (12:13):

Yeah. Yeah. The

Speaker 2 (12:15):

Problem, of course being, there's a loss of productivity. You gotta do everything twice then as a staff member. But a lot of times

Speaker 1 (12:22):

They're you get in start getting into it instead of just looking in on paper and then you find, oh, we didn't think about this. And then you can, you know, be involved, you know, right there and help them. And maybe it's just a quick, um, you know, address a certain piece. That's super easy for you, but something they might not have thought of.

Speaker 2 (12:41):

Exactly. So it's something I've always wanted to have the opportunity to do, but I have yet to actually bring that one online. So one of these days we're going to get there though.

Speaker 1 (12:51):

Yeah, for sure. There's yeah. There's many different parts, uh, to, you know, just the way you think it's, I love your three examples. Um, and it's not even just like always security, but yeah. Continuity or even, uh, you know, different way of printing, um, or just many different parts of the, uh, the company. But if you don't think like that, it could be pretty big consequences.

Speaker 2 (13:18):

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, even sometimes playing around with features, you know, the Microsoft ecosystem of products, you know, another thing constantly evolving, right. So we've got all these new products to play with. I feel like every quarter I could spend a month learning about the new products that are out there in the ecosystem. Right. Probably not quite that dramatic, but, uh, and I see all these synergies, I'm like, oh wait, we can do this. We can do that at the same time. You gotta take the time to do the strategic planning and see how it fits in their model. And that's the, that's the part that's fun, you know, sit down with the strategic planning, going through it. What parts do I have to bring online all at the same time? Is there a way to, you know, based up the men do it, what kind of, uh, education pieces do we need? How are we gonna, you know, get the, the staff online with what they need to know both with using the product and how to protect themselves, obviously you and I can go on about that for days.

Speaker 1 (14:26):

Good stuff. Yeah. Yeah. And it's not just on the it side, but yeah. How it can impact our clients. So, yeah, very good. Um, I want to offer everyone that is viewing, uh, an e-book that we created. So if you go to that address there, Wolf guard, 11 security steps with a couple of dashes there. Uh, you can get an ebook and it's a of items that we have noticed over the years. Our company has been in business over 10 years now. And just things that we continually find that are big issues, but are not addressed by, um, it, and so we've come in afterwards and just, you know, found these, these, these problems and they need to be addressed. So it tells you what to look out for and, um, you know, so you can get it fixed with even your existing it, um, but hoping that it can be a value to everybody. Uh, thanks Tom, for joining us again. And, uh, any other closing remarks you might have?

Speaker 2 (15:28):

No, just had a lot to fly to of fun being here again. I'm always happy to come back. Yeah,

Speaker 1 (15:33):

Very good. All right. I appreciate it. Everybody stay safe, like.