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The Gray Leaf Tech Talk - Myles Keough of Spade Technology

Posted by Richard Stephens on Jun 25, 2020 4:24:49 PM
Richard Stephens
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John Laub, CEO of Gray Leaf Technology Consultants chats with Myles Keough, CEO of Spade Technology Inc., a managed service provider in the Providence, RI and Boston, MA area. They chat a bit about Myles and how his career path has lead him to where he is today. How Spade is much more than a "managed service provider". They like to refer to themselves as business consultants that know a great deal about technology. Spade pushes to emphasize efficiency. Not only for their clients but also internally. They are the "911 force" for each and every client they serve.

 

Podcast Transcript:

John: (00:11)
Welcome everyone. My name is John Laub, CEO of Gray Leaf Technology Consultants. And with me today is Myles Keough. He's the CEO of spade technology and spade is a managed services provider in Providence, Rhode Island, Boston area. I think you guys are pretty much right in between in a space we've worked together for quite a while now, several years and had a great relationship. And what I thought we would do today is interview Myles and talk about some of the amazing things that spade technology is doing up there and then in the Northeast. So Myles tell me a little, a little bit about yourself, first of all, your personal life.

Myles: (00:53)
I live near the office. So I live a or 25 minutes, half hour out of Boston. Married three kids, two girls, a boy, and a couple of boxers. So working from home today. So if you hear a dog fight in the background, so it's my box or something to worry about. So, and, and I you know, I went to school for information systems back when that wasn't really a, a thing in the school of business. People didn't understand why I was in that in the school of business and you know, worked, I we moved away further away from Boston out of the Cape. It was the last of five. So when I was in high school, we went down that way. And my first job was with a software company down there. And I got to, you know, I was basically in charge of system 30 eights and ASBO hundreds, Oh, there's two warp windows, three, one 95, six new thing, 11, a lot, a lot of cool stuff. But I got exposed to a lot of that early and and was kind of stolen away at, from there to a Microsoft consulting company. And that's when I first kind of got into the consulting. So we grew that from like 25 people to about 750 and, and then did a little bouncing around both internal and external for a while. And then about 19 years ago started spade. So

John: (02:18)
Tell me a little bit about what, what, like led you to that decision. That's a big leap to go from, you know, a company that you've had a tremendous influence on to starting your own, what kind of led up to that decision?

Myles: (02:33)
So I always knew I wanted to kind of do it on my own. It was actually funny. I went back and forth from internal it to external one. I noticed when I was internal it, and, you know, there was projects at night and things to worry about the consultants would all leave at five o'clock and I'd be there until one in the morning. And then and then when I was the consultant, I noticed that the it director leaves at five o'clock to one in the, and after a while, as I realized that, and this may not be the position that actually may be, you know, the way I'm wired. So I got to experience, I got to experience some large, you know, huge fortune 50 companies and work as a consultant in their it. And then on the flip side, I get to work for some small, fast growth VCs.

Myles: (03:22)
And I saw these VCs that were nimble and quick and could basically print money. They weren't able to deploy technology as fast as these big bohemith and it didn't make any sense to me. And what I started to see is these large corporations had dedicated people, dedicated process, dedicated time, and these smaller firms had a guy, right. And I started to see that that's really what the driving difference was because theoretically the smaller company should get technology up and running a lot faster. So I put a lot more focus in the process and basically what we came up with our service model is we took what we saw effective at the enterprise level and sliced it up. So it's consumable by the small and medium business. But that's really kind of the core of what started is I saw like there's there there's, there's not enough. Maturity is on an operational maturity by these it companies and small business space. And that's what I wanted to, that's what I wanted to bring.

John: (04:27)
So I want to get back to that Myles. Let's, let's talk a little bit first though, about what a managed services provider really does and, and where spade really shines in that regard.

Myles: (04:41)
So, yeah, it's funny, you know, the main service provider term, I have grown to hate a little bit because it's, I feel like it's been modified and thrown around so much. . You know, I think a lot of it is the managed service space became we're going to charge a fixed amount for unlimited help desk. And that all of a sudden was the definition of managed services. And we didn't really kind of see it that way. We've been doing that since day one, the managed services piece. And so I always kinda, I refer to it as an orchestrated service provider. Right. You really kind of orchestrating all these different components to give a predictable result. Right. so really what we looked at is breaking out the stuff that you have to do to be in the space, you know, the reactive work you know, help desk, that kind of stuff, the all of the management of the different tools, patching security, all that good stuff.

Myles: (05:36)
You know, that's, we kinda, we, we looked at that as the low value work. You know, I have great respect for my team that does that work. I'm not saying that that's not important to saying it's, it's hard to really justify a value on that because those are the things that you need. And B when you're using those and using the help desk as a business owner, your business is losing money, right. They're either not operating a hundred percent or your opera, you know, operating, you're not operating at all. So we kind of looked at, okay, it's tough to build a value prop on that. And that's why we focused a lot on implementation, auditing and best practices and strategy and planning, and really trying to you know, I always say work to our clients. We're a business consulting company.

Myles: (06:22)
We just happen to know a lot of our technology and that's our approach and the get, go, we take a similarly, do you go through with like attraction coach or cause ELs coach, we take that same philosophy of what's the long term goal. What's the three year plan one year quarterly. And you know, really kind of, a lot of times we're dragging our clients down that path cause they don't, they don't always see it that way. They see it as a utility like an electrical and we're trying to get them to, you know, move it out of the liability column and put it into the asset column. You know, you're investing all this money most of the time. And I meet with people when we really do the math, they're investing, they're spending twice as much as they really think they are. And it's like, what are you getting back? What's the outcome. It shouldn't just be to fix things when they break, you should be driving efficiency, making yourself more secure, eliminating risk, you know? So and most importantly it should be the orders of the it boat should be hitting the water with the rest of the company. Right. And you should all be going the same way. So that's really our process. That's really sort of what we try to do is, is make sure that's all functioning correctly.

John: (07:32)
So instead of just like you know, the, the, the nine one one call, right. The help desk request, it sounds like you really focus more on the, really the partnership side of it. And from a consulting perspective, it's more than just, okay, let's fix this, the, the, the thing that's on fire today, and you're looking more at, okay, well, let's look at how this house is built. Is that a safe statement?

Myles: (07:56)
Yeah. I mean, it's look, if you don't as a, as an it partner, if you don't understand how, what the revenue streams of your clients are, you know, if you don't understand what affects their profitability and what their growth plans are and what their major objectives and commitments to their clients are, I don't understand how you can give them any recommendations at all. You're kind of flying blind. You really, it needs to be supporting all of those items. Right.

John: (08:27)
So tell me a little bit now let's say I'm a, I'm a small business owner and I've got some pain. In fact, I don't even really know why I have this pain. I just know things hurt, and I want to partner with somebody that will help me figure it out. Tell me a little bit about spades process for, for, for working with me and trying to figure out, okay, well, you know, how do we get down to the, the actual ways that you can help?

Myles: (08:53)
So I, it's funny when I meet people for the first time, I always tell them I'm a, I'm a decision consultant. That's what I'm here to do. I'm here to help you make the decision part of our process when we bring clients on board is to kind of get them to think about their it differently. And if we can't get them there, our model will make sense and they won't buy from us. Which is kind of a good thing. Cause that's how you help avoid, you know, bad client relations. Right? so as we walk them through that and try to get them to look at these a little differently, I always tell them they should be thinking when they're talking to any, any service provider, especially it, what the service, how the service is delivered, what's the process behind it. And then based on that process, make a judgment of, do you believe that process will get the results that you want?

Myles: (09:41)
Right. And oftentimes when we first talking to people, everything they're talking to us about as symptoms, it's just all these symptoms over and over and over again of, you know, we're not, you know, I, I just want them to answer the phone faster when they're talking with their current provider. We have the same problems over and over again. And I don't understand why I just want that one problem facts. Or, you know, we had a breach, right. And, you know, we're, we're concerned cause we had a breach. Usually all those things, the tip of the iceberg, you know, and, and we often tell them like, look, if you have a breach, I mean, it used to be, they said, you know, you've been breached. If it, you know, on average, you don't know you've been breached until 89 days later. And then the next study was like 90 to 120, you know?

Myles: (10:26)
So I always tell them, you've had one breach. You probably have more than one. Right. so it's really kind of getting when we're talking to those business owners, not just getting into look at what the pain is that they see, but think, what else does that mean? If this little simple thing isn't being done correctly, do you, are you confident that this complex, critical thing is being done correctly? Do you have any proof that is being done correctly? Not just someone nodding their head saying, yeah, it's done, but you have asked, you could, you've seen it. Do you have screenshots? Do you know that this stuff that's critical, like business continuity and backup and cyber security, you know, that stuff's being done? You know, I, I think just like with sort of taxes and probably with be dealing with a lawyer when it comes to it, business owners feel they have to trust a lot cause they're not experts. But they can still look for proof. Right. And that's what we try to do with our clients. We try and make them show them we're on a regular basis because the proof of all that stuff we're doing, we're going to bring it to you. So, you know, so you can have some peace of mind that this does actually execute them.

John: (11:35)
So good. Getting back to your, you know, kind of your, your, your first comments when we first began, you know, you started your, your, the business space technology with this idea and the idea being that, you know, we're not firemen, it sounds like what you're talking about is you're much more interested and developing relationships and that's based on communication. And maybe even in a consulting part of that is telling maybe people, things they maybe don't want to hear. So you're, it sounds like spades, not the type of company that is just one that says, okay, well, you know, I'm going to go put this fire out and then tell them, call me again when you have the next fire. Is, is that a, is that a safe statement?

Myles: (12:19)
Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Fire fires costs both us and our clients too much money.

John: (12:24)
So tell me a little bit more about kind of your, your, you know, a good client, you know, what do you look for in a client that you know, you, you, you partner with

Myles: (12:35)
It's a great question. So it's funny. We, we meet probably the most exciting part of my job of my role is getting to meet all these bright business owners and honestly all the different ways they're out to make a box. It's just so funny to see we get, we were in a unique time with between technology and manufacturing. We have a 140 year old manufacturing company, and we have some like two year old biotechs, right. So it's really cool to see these different business owners and how they operate. And you know, some we meet with and say, great, what's your, what's your plan for the next two, three years? And then we're going to double in size and revenue migrate. How are you going to do that? And they're like, we're going to sell more, I guess not, it's not really a plan.

Myles: (13:22)
So some people we have like that and other people are super sophisticated in their business, their modeling, some of them have, you know, PE firms that bought them and have planted some executives there that have scaled businesses. The most important part about either of those is that they're willing to put the effort in, you know and they understand the importance of it in their business. We've, we've met with, you know, usually in the first meeting with someone, I asked them on a scale of one to 10, how important is it? 99% of the time they tell me it's a 10 or 11, right? By the end of the meeting, I have a number of my head of what I believe they value it. And oftentimes it's not a 10, you know you know, I've said to some people as we go through it, you know, if I T's a 10, why are you treating it like a six? Right. And so, you know, getting people to get that that want to meet once a quarter and go over sort of open up what their business strategy is, tell us where their concerns are, where they, where they see areas that are critical to their business. Like these are our 10 goals where we have to achieve these two, you know, the ones that are really willing to partner with us. Those are the ones that we can have the most success with. Right.

John: (14:43)
W why does, why do you think that happens? Why, why do you think, you know, everybody would probably agree that it is, is a huge, critical component of any business, but why do you think that some businesses don't really value it? Like they should, they come in at a six when they really say that it's time?

Myles: (15:02)
A few things, I mean, one is costs, you know, they don't have a good way to measure their return on what they're spending. So we particularly see that when we meet with people and go through a plan and, you know, the ongoing cost is one thing, but it's when it comes time to invest in certain, you know, tools, software projects data integration reporting, where they kind of hesitate and pull back because of the cost. And that's the part where we, that's where we really have to focus on again, we have to tie this back to the value to the business. And if they, a lot of them, lot of them get into a relationship where it's like, yeah, it is important. I want strategy. I want my, it aligned to my business. And they work with an it partner for five years.

Myles: (15:50)
And that it partner doesn't know anything about the business. You know, I don't want the business. What do you know? I know they run this software and these servers, and that's not knowing the business. Right. So I think they're, so they, they say they want the strategy, but when that, when the end of the day comes, they have they have a relationship based on it and technology, not on business drivers. And they don't look at it like an investment. All right. So that takes a while to change and, and sometimes they want to do it, but then they like, Oh, now I'm just focused on sales. I got to get sales anyway, I'll get to it eventually. Right. And it kind of gets pushed in the back. So it's really, you know, it's our, I think it's our job as it professionals is to constantly keep that front and center and make sure they know, look, you're not handwriting letters. You're sending email. Right. You know, look at what else you can do throughout the organization to make your team more efficient. And by the way, most of our customers, their biggest expense is payroll. So to me, we can have a 5% impact on that number. It's pretty good value. Right.

John: (16:57)
Yeah. Great point. You know, you mentioned about earlier about data breaches and, and, you know, people there, it's always in the news, we're always hearing about organizations that are suffering data breaches and ransomware attacks. And, you know, it's, it's something that, you know, organizations everywhere are vulnerable to. So tell us a little bit about kind of what, what you're doing to, to help customers prepare, be ready and just to, to insulate them from those types of types of threats.

Myles: (17:29)
Certainly. Yeah. There's there are sort of, we have our regular managed service that we also have a managed security service. And typically that's more like DOD contractors, sec HIPAA type companies that have a, another level of regulations they have to comply with. But a lot of that stuff just bleeds down into our regular service for all of our clients. And, and some of it is, you know, I'm a big believer of technology led I'm security, sorry. I mean, not policy led security and I'm testing it with technology. So, no, we actually just had a conversation with company today and they said, Hey, we want to see what kind of vulnerability tests. And I said you know, based on our conversation, can I send an email with what that test is going to be? The results are gonna look like, you know, I know it's coming look at your environment and you can just tell me how you're managing it.

Myles: (18:26)
And I already know what the answer's going to be. So, you know, we kind of tell them, like, get some basic policies and procedures in place, you know, and that's part of what we do. We onboard, you know, it seems simple, but there's some simple procedures and policies to get in place, you know, during COVID is a perfect example of when we've been hitting with people's home, non-PC sorry, non-company owned devices. Right. All of a sudden we had a few different clients where that was popping up and we're like, Hey, this is against your security policy. Yay. I know, but they got to work from home. It's like, can we explain to you what the risk is? Right. and in some cases, they're, you know, they could be breaching a contract with one of their clients by allowing people into their network like that.

Myles: (19:14)
So a lot of it is just simple policy type things, getting them rolled out obviously rock solid, backup, disaster recovery, business continuity, and most importantly, rigorous testing of it on a regular basis. Right. The number one way to get out of ransomware is having an awesome backup. . We're seeing a lot of ransomware now where they're disrupting backup. So they go in, they don't break the backup. They used to do that. Now what they'll do is they'll go in and they'll, de-select everything, except for one file from your backup and you let your backups run. So your backups run for 90 days, you keep getting a green check saying the backup's good. The backup's good. And they throw the encryption on, on day 91. And you're like, great, I'll go back to my backup. Then you look and you have one file backed up.

John: (20:01)
So as a, as a business owner, these are things that, you know, you don't think about this type of thing. And having a partner like spade, I can see that, you know, you, that that's the value you guys deliver. Right. Because you're thinking about the things that the business owner really isn't.

Myles: (20:19)
Absolutely. Yep.

John: (20:21)
So tell us a little bit about you know, we, we, we, we touched on security, but, you know what about like CMMC so the cyber security maturity model certification. And do you guys do anything in that regard?

Myles: (20:38)
Yeah, absolutely. And we have a few clients that have been dealing with that. No, it's kind of interesting. Cause you know, like I really was kind of released in January of this year and they're already looking to see by the end of this month, you know, some, some action from some of these companies as far as we're bidding on things in September. So it's, it's rolling out fast. The good news is a lot of companies, especially with DOD, they were already kind of down this path with [inaudible] regulation they were dealing with. So it's a lot of it is similar in how things are done from a cybersecurity perspective. It's just reporting on it. That's a little different. . So but I think you're going to see if you look at a lot of these, they, a lot of them all funnel back to tie closely to the top 20 critical security controls .

Myles: (21:35)
NIST 801 71. The CMMC the sec is adopting some of that stuff. I mean, everyone's kind of going to that. So what I usually tell people, like, even if this doesn't fall, even if your business doesn't fall directly into this category, those top 20 critical security controls is a great place to start. And just like they did with the CMMC where they have sort of the different phases, the level one, two, three, four, five, which by the way, level one, every business should be at. I mean, if you're not, you have bigger fish to fry. Right. but it's, you know, it's very similar with you know, the top, the critic, the top 20 critical security controls has the three implementation groups. The the old, for the old way, the D far as we originally used to do them, the security maturity level assessments, it was a one through five rating. So it's just a more formalized way for the DOD contractors to to report in and, and get sort of graded on their cybersecurity. And honestly it's, yeah, it's kind of almost past due, right. I mean, it's kind of scary when we've gone into some contractors and see what their interpretation of security is. Yeah.

John: (22:57)
And if you're doing any kind of work with the federal government, then this certification is absolutely crucial. We, we know that you know, this, the, the idea of, of NIST 801 71 has been out for awhile, but now that you know, there are actually going to there, there's going to be companies that will need to certify organizations to, to be compliant. So just as you mentioned, you know, there's some, you know, some of this compliance needs to be in place by September this year. So there's certainly a, a high level of urgency around it. So if, you know, if anyone is a government contractor you know, that would be, you know, very important to, to look into and to pursue. So so Myles,

Myles: (23:46)
Tell me a little bit about let's kind of switch gears a little bit. So tell me if you had to go anywhere. You know, if you could pick a vacation anywhere to go, money was no object. Tell me a little bit, tell me where would you go? That's a great question. . We actually had a surprise trip planned for the family to go we're bringing the kids with a couple of other families that we knew to a robot. And that was actually we were supposed to be leaving this Saturday that got canceled. But yeah, that, that actually probably only because we were kind of psyched to get to no idea now keep in mind a different time, but we were going to have to take them. We were planning it around the day after school ended. So we didn't know school was going to end three months earlier. So we went our honeymoon. So we thought it'd be fun to bring the kids back down there. So you know, there's a lot of, I'd love to, there's a lot of other places I'd love to go to for me personally. I'd love to go to Ireland to do a golf trip there, but I think for the sake of my family and the fact that we were this close is that a, a trip would be nice to get back.

John: (25:01)
Gotcha. Yeah, absolutely. Rube was beautiful. I've never been there. Have I have some friends that have gone, I have been to Ireland and highly recommend Ireland, Scotland as well, fell in love with Edinburgh. So those are great places to visit if you can, which kind of leads us to kind of this COVID situation we got going on as, as, as we all know, you know, traveling is really something that's been put on pause and, but it's also had a big technology impact and, and, and organizations are really struggling. Of course, we know that there's layoffs going on in a lot of industries and people are really suffering. Tell me a little bit about what does technology do to help people through this COVID-19 period?

Myles: (25:44)
Certainly. So there's there's been, you know, there's been a lot of op it's funny, there's been a lot of opportunity for us to help our clients. And I think our clients have made a lot of changes to, to their technology that they're probably going to keep forever, that probably makes their company better and they probably wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for COBIT. So it'll be interesting to see as time goes on and the impact, but a lot of the things we did around

Myles: (26:12)
You know, just managing a remote workforce, right. A lot of our clients are, you know, heavily using SharePoint and teams and leveraging other parts of office three 65, but there are quite a few that, you know, we've talked about over and over and over again. And it was always, you know, it was always the Annie song right tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Right. They never want to get to it, you know, two days after we went to lock down here in Massachusetts, we got a lot of phone calls. Okay, how quickly can you roll those? We actually came up with a format for like a rapid deployment of district teams. There's a high level. Like, this is how we can help you just to understand it. Right. And and of course that inevitably turns into, you know sort of toe into the waters of SharePoint and next thing, you know, they want to talk more about that and they start to see the value of it.

Myles: (27:03)
So we've been dealing a lot with that with helping clients kind of get, get out of their infrastructure, getting to fully take advantage of office three 65 it's we always tell her like, you're paying for it and you're just not leveraging it. Like there's so much, you know, it's like you have a Ferrari in the garage, but you just don't want to drive it now, you know, so we've, we've we've really focusing that on that a lot with our clients. And then also does guiding them through, again, the cybersecurity piece and the policies around work from home, what that looks like. . A lot of people didn't see the benefits of laptops. You know, the desktops were cheaper and now they're really seeing the benefits of, you know, having people work from their company issued laptop or digital certificates, you know, all the controls and security that's needed. Right. to be able to work efficiently and not risk the company data.

John: (28:00)
So tell me a little bit, what if I'm a business owner, why is office three 65 such a big deal? And why, why is it so powerful? What is it about it really that that can make such a difference?

Myles: (28:13)
Well, you know, there's a, there's a few different there's a few different ways to kind of think about it. One is, like I said, that the easy one is most companies are paying for it or they've already had it integrated in their environment, some degree. So we see people look, you know, it's funny, we talk to some people who are using GoToMeeting and using zoom and all this, and we're like, well, why don't you use teams? Well, we don't really want it to load out. I don't know if we have a license and I don't know this. It's like, no, you just watch click, click here. You're in, like you got it. Right. You know? And then and then some of them, this is the from a security and a an operational perspective as a company. If you have office three 65, you may or may not have active directory integration, which means it's tied into your standard username and password.

Myles: (29:03)
. You already have it in your company. You know, it's already part of, of who you are as an it organization, your company leveraging that rather than going somewhere else. You know, it's similar to just like the zoom go to meeting a conversation. We have people that have box or Google drive, or, you know, they've all these other tools they're using and they don't know that they have this awesome, you know, totally integrated a piece right. Under their notes. You know, even just in, you know, I've talked about this before, but even just the, the integration between, you know, the fact that teams and SharePoint one drive for business, we're all from that same database, the same copy, the same version. We have some people that like the, you know, maybe they're a local school. They like the directory structure look and feel great. You wonder for business. We have other people that want the browser based. They love SharePoint. That's where they want to live. Awesome. We have other people, it's funny. We have people that use teams that tell us they don't like SharePoint.

Myles: (30:04)
So we use teams that I'm like, okay, you're using SharePoint, but that's fine. Right. So everyone can kind of have their own interface and it just ties everything together. . You know, from an it perspective, I'm looking at it. I hate to go back to the cybersecurity piece, but we're writing policies, the more data centers, the more vendors you get involved, you know, software vendors, the more complex your policies are, the more complex your security is, the more complex your auditing is. Right. Whereas if everything's tied into, you can have one username and password with MFA on it and boom, you can get into everything you need right there. . You know, and it's just I'm just surprised more companies aren't jumping on that right away. . Yeah. It just seems to be the, again, this Ferrari in the garage, they don't want to use.

John: (31:00)
And you know, when you think about, you know, that Microsoft, this product has an army of security people behind it, whose only job is to stay up at night and make this platform safe and, you know, security people that are on a level that, you know, no business can afford. You know, these guys are out there doing it and you know, you're exactly right. They're already paying for it. Right. These companies really don't realize if they're using exchange or if they're using teams or they're using some of these other tools that are already, they're already getting all of this power behind it. But you know, maybe they want to actually open the door of the Lamborghini and sit in and maybe take it for a spin. Right. Is what you're saying.

Myles: (31:46)
It's a, I said this to someone the other day we were talking to like, well, they were asking him about the security and whatnot. And I'm like, look, your servers and your server locked. Right. Yeah. Okay. So someone breaks in the window and grabs your server. It takes off through the woods. Your data is not encrypted on their hard drive. Right. You're probably not going to catch them away. They go go to that at a Microsoft data center. Let's see how far you get. You know what I mean? Like they, they're putting billions into their infrastructure to protect all of it. It, the, the hackers aren't looking for the big difficult targets, and I'm trying to break the company that has, you know, billion and cybersecurity budget. They're looking to break the guy that throws a little, our wall out there and crosses his fingers. Right. That's their target. It's an easier target.

John: (32:37)
How would you characterize hackers Myles? Would you say that, you know, are hackers are they just like you know, guys that are kind of lazy as sitting in, you know, somewhere and, you know, or would you characterize them as pretty innovative people who are constantly trying to devise new ways to break through firewalls and to penetrate systems? What, what, what are your thoughts?

Myles: (33:01)
So cyber crime in 2020 is about a $3 trillion business. . I think the hard part for us right now is that it's way more lucrative to be a criminal and easier than it is to be a good guy. They're getting a lot of really bright people on that side. They're getting very, very sophisticated in their approach. They're using a lot of automation. They have access to things that we don't have access to. You know, the dark web is becoming like an eCommerce site now. So it's, everyone thinks there's some kid in his basement, his parent's basement packing away at that firewall. And that's why I say they don't care. What the, okay, what network I find data is set up. Some automation, it goes, they buy a list of user names and passwords and usernames and passwords online.

Myles: (34:01)
They match up with someone else who has a script, they say, okay, great, here you go. Use mine. I'll get, you know, I'll give you a 50 cents for every, Oh, sorry. I can be 50% of anything that I get. And they just automate their scripts and go, I mean, they're, there, there are a well oiled machine. And by the way we've had to come in and we just did one a few weeks ago. We've had acumen a few times with, unfortunately it tends to be where we talk to and we didn't do business right away for some reason or another. And then they call me and say, I had an issue. And we just had, when we went into where he had ransomware and he, he didn't, he didn't go with us because we were a little more expensive than his current provider.

Myles: (34:41)
And as another client once said to me, he found out how expensive cheap can be. And not only were they really good at what they did, but at the end of it, when they finally gave us the keys and locked everything, they said, literally verbatim, we take our job very seriously. This is how we got into your environment. We recommend you close this, change this, to this. And almost every time we've dealt, we've had to swoop in like that and deal with the hacker is almost every time at the end. Dave told us how they did it and what we should do to prevent it. So, I mean, it's, it was to the point where this business owner said to me, I don't know if I should reply back to them and say, thank you.

John: (35:29)
Wow, that's a lesson. What about, what will you say to a business owner? Who's like, wow, this is just too much too much to think about too much to worry about. It sounds too expensive for me to get started. What, what would you, what would you reply to them?

Myles: (35:46)
You know, I think the important part is for them to step back and really say, is it a 10 in my business? And the easy exercise I have people do all the time is okay, great. . You have nothing for five days, no email, no access to data, no files, no. Any of that cool five days. . What would your clients think? What would your employees think? What would your partners think? Yeah. If after that, you think that it is not a 10, then I wouldn't sweat too much. But if that makes you a little nauseous I would start treating it as important as your taxes, when you really only worry taxes once a year, you're still probably worried about it all year long. Right. I tease every day. So you know, we, we often meet with people and we just walk them through a basic exercise takes about 20, 25 minutes. Here's your business today? Here's where there's some gaps. This is what it could look like. These are associated costs. Does it, do you see enough value there? Right. And does it make sense to, to maybe invest a little more, treated them more seriously?

John: (37:01)
So is it, is it safe to say that, you know, it's not necessarily, it doesn't need to be a huge investment, but it needs to be the right investment and just directing funds in the right way. And you probably work with people's budgets. And, but you're, you're, you're sounds like you're acutely aware of kind of where the vulnerabilities are and where, where the dollars should be invested.

Myles: (37:25)
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, we actually find, so part of what we do when we do our onboarding is we go through and we do basically it costs assessment and look through where all the, while the it expenses are important, you know, chart them out. And for us, it's kind of easy. Cause we do this for so many companies, stuff jumps out to us right away. But we often see, you know, people are spending three times more than they should for office licensing, you know, office three 65 licensing, cause they're not managing it correctly. Or they thought they had cyber security insurance, but they really don't. And it's a huge risk for them because they're not going to get covered for 99% of things that can happen to them or they're overpaying for software or we're paying for, you know, internet connectivity or whatever. So oftentimes we're finding where the money's not spent correctly and just helping them, you know, adjust right where that's going to go into the right place. You know, I always felt it's important. They understand every dollar they're spending on it, why they're spending it and what they get in return.

John: (38:30)
You know, that, that really, you know, I think that's, that's not worthy to, to reiterate is that, and you mentioned this earlier to Myles about, you know, saving efficiencies and, you know, if you can say 5% of the labor on your workforce and by, by gaining efficiencies process efficiencies or it efficiencies, it's possible. Really what you're saying is that, you know, it's, it's less a question about, Hey, this is going to cost me a lot. The point I think that you're trying to make is this could actually cost you less.

Myles: (39:02)
Absolutely. And that's, especially in any, no, it's funny. We were just talking about this in a meeting yesterday. You know, if someone's been in the workforce, if they first came to the workforce in 2008, 2009, . You know, 30 year old person out of college, 32, they'd never seen an economy that's not growing. Right. So, you know, now it's a little bit easier of a conversation to get people going into of like, Hey, what if you can't have all the people on staff? Okay. Right. Like even with COVID, a lot of people had to furlough people, but their workload didn't no, they may have to furlough half their staff, but their workload and cut path. So now more than ever is a time to look and say, are we getting everything we should be getting out of our technology? Are there ways we can be a more efficient? And if you're in growth mode, it's the same conversation, right? It's just not that financial sense of urgency, but it's look, if we're scaling, do I want to add two new people for every, whatever 10 clients I bring in? What if I can only one, if I only have to add one new person for every 10 clients, what else? And again, same thing. It's not just about more money to the bottom line, but there might also be where else can I invest that money in my company

Myles: (40:16)
To provide a better service, to take care of my clients, to help retain clients, you know, whatever it is like, it just, that's what it's all about. It should be about making your team more efficient and, and mitigating risks so that you can do what you do well, right. Rather than, rather than dealing with redundancies and inefficiencies.

John: (40:37)
Great point. Yeah. We do have to wrap up. I did want to, I didn't want to ask though Myles let's say somebody wanted to just chat and, you know, just discuss, Hey, these are my pain points. You know, I have a few questions. You know, do you charge anything for that? If somebody were to reach out to you and you just chat to kind of, you know, have that initial discussion?

Myles: (40:58)
No, not at all. No. I have those conversations. I do probably four or five of those a week of just kind of guiding people through. And and I always tell people, oftentimes, you know, we may not do business right away. We may not do business ever. . But I kind of feel like it's my my obligation to help people out in that space and help guide them. And I believe in karma and good things come around. So and honestly I love those conversations. Like I said, talking to business owners, I usually get just as much out of talking to them as they do talk about talking to me,

John: (41:33)
I share that completely.

Myles: (41:35)
If somebody wants to reach out to you Myles or someone else that spade to help their business, tell me a little bit how, how, how would they do, how could they do that? Hit the website. You can call us eight, six, six gets paid or send me an email and Kyo. That's the technology.com. Again, typically it's a, you know, 20 minute conversation upfront just to kind of go through sort of where they are. And at that point, you know, we can usually have a good feel after that 20, 25 minutes. Hey, does it make sense to talk more or is it a fit or if not, I sometimes redirect people to the right place that can help them out.

John: (42:14)
What is the URL of your website?

Myles: (42:16)
It's a spade S P a D E technology.com.

John: (42:22)
Thank you. Any other final thoughts or comments Myles you'd like to make?

Myles: (42:27)
No, this was great. There was a lot of fun. Like I said, I always enjoy these conversations. I, I try to, not to, but I always have like a notepad next to me. I get like six things over here that I want to try it

John: (42:39)
Well, Myles it was certainly a great chatting with you. Yes. And if, if you know, anyone listening is looking to reach out to talk to an expert and someone who has a vast amount of experience in this area is interested in improving their business, reducing their costs and protecting themselves against all of those threats that are out there. Feel free to reach out to Myles. He's a great guy and I'm sure I'm sure. You know, you'd have a good chat, Myles, thank you very much. And we'll look forward to chatting with you again at some other time.

Myles: (43:16)
All right. Sounds great.

 

 

Topics: Gray Leaf Technology Consultants, Gray Leaf, Software development, Business solutions, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, OneDrive, O365, Cybersecurity, Security Consulting, Disaster Recovery, management, telecommuting, Email Phishing, Podcast, MSP, Managed Service Provider, gograyleaf




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