We can’t get enough of these MSP in the Spotlight interviews, where we get to learn from MSPs and Corporate IT heroes who are creating awesome growth stories in the wild. Today, we’re speaking to Joseph Allix who manages the technical department at EuroTech.
Joseph lives in Dubai and has been with EuroTech for four years, since leaving a role as a Hosted Services Provider in Australia. Before that, Joseph worked in Corporate IT, so he has experience using IT solutions on both sides of the equation – in-house and externally. Read on for some of his insights!
Tell us a little about the difference between being in corporate IT and working as an MSP?
I love working for an MSP! When I was working in corporate IT I didn’t even realize how stagnant my career was, managing the same infrastructure every day, constantly trying to push new technology when I knew that there were better options available. When the job came up to work for a Hosted Services Provider, I grabbed it, and I loved having the opportunity to work on different infrastructure and get a lot more variety in what I was doing. Now at EuroTech, we manage many large and diverse customers, and thousands of endpoints altogether. The amount of exposure to different technologies that we’re lucky enough to have at EuroTech is huge, and that makes every day exciting.
How did you find Atera?
We’ve been with Atera for more than 2 years now, but in the 12-18 months before we started the trial, we went through a LOT of RMMs and PSA solutions. GFI, Ninja, FreshDesk, Harmony, Connectwise… it felt like we tried them all! There were issues with all of them. For some we couldn’t get the integrations we needed, others were very buggy – there were immediately a lot of problems. I remember one, in particular, I had customer service issues with. The company took two or three weeks to respond to an email, and I wasn’t even a customer yet!
Our MD came across Atera, and as soon as I started testing the software I took a liking to it. First off it was all-in-one, which I hadn’t had experience with. We had always tried separate PSA and RMM tools so this was something unique. It was responsive, fast, and did everything we needed it to do with very minimal customization. I also immediately was drawn to the per-technician pricing structure. We didn’t have to worry about passing off the charges per agent to the customer, which ultimately would mean they would be evaluating whether endpoints needed agents at all. It simplified everything greatly in that respect.
We’re happy to have you on board!
Happy to be with you guys! Since starting to use Atera I’ve seen the company grow quickly and I’ve found that Atera really is very proactive, the team is constantly considering new features and integrations to improve the service. From the earliest days with you guys this was very promising. I felt that there was no stagnation and I could see a good future from the partnership. I definitely still feel that way today.
Do you use Atera’s automation tools?
Yes, we love them – and definitely find them very handy. If a customer has a scheduled power outage at midnight, I don’t need to be sitting there drinking coffee at 11 pm or setting an alarm for five minutes to midnight, I can just know everything is happening as it should while I’m sleeping. If I’m organizing deployments for clients who don’t have an Active Directory infrastructure and I need to deploy things through group policy I can set up a script really easy to deploy the application however the client needs. I use automation for pushing Antivirus installation, and there’s no need to schedule a remote session, login, download the software, wait for it to install and put in the key, etc. Mostly I create my own scripts, and I’ve contributed to the shared script library too. I shared one recently for TLS v1.2 as 1.1 is being deprecated in November, and I thought that might help fellow Aterans to prepare for that change.
And do you leverage the help desk functionality?
We definitely find the helpdesk easy to configure and use, the mail flow and the automated responses are great and we also use the PSA for time management for our technicians. Before Atera we used Harmony and we found that we needed to be rocket scientists just to figure out how to add contacts and get the right reporting out of the other side. We had a former team member who knew how to work the system, and when he left – that knowledge left with him. It was too complicated to ask anyone to learn and we ended up churning. With Atera, it’s all very straightforward and we don’t have that single point of failure.
What advice would you give to other MSPs?
Make sure that customer satisfaction is always at the top of your list. Your job is to make sure the customer is happy, and you generally get that by providing them with a solution. During COVID we had one client who had to change their contract type. They were in the photography business and obviously, Events were hit pretty hard during the pandemic and so their business had really suffered. We offered them new terms that would suit them more economically, and as a result – we retained the customer. We work with a lot of different companies, and we find that keeps things interesting and increases the opportunities for us as a business.
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