Bob Psenka founded Northwest Technology Services in 2006 with a focus on providing IT and security services to small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the McHenry and Lake counties northwest of Chicago.
Today, Bob runs the company with a laser focus on managed services. “As a small team, our success has largely been due to the fact that we can respond quickly to IT or cybersecurity needs for any type of SMB,” he explains. “Moving to a managed services model is helping us manage and bill for these services more effectively and also stay ahead of security issues and new threats.”
Bob’s top priorities are scaling the business while balancing the time investment needed for his existing clients. “Providing security for the small business isn’t easy. Sales cycles for SMBs can be as complex as working with large enterprises. It requires a lot of time educating business owners about security so you can justify the value and the cost of your services. With the time needed, it’s critical to have the right tools to deliver managed security really efficiently,” says Bob.
An AVG-Avast partner since 2008, Bob initially sold the company’s antivirus solution to stop viruses and threats. “In the early days, businesses would bring their computers in and we saw all kinds of viruses that their existing antivirus wasn’t catching. We started installing AVG antivirus, and later, the Avast Business solution, to keep viruses in check. After that, we never had an issue,” adds Bob.
Soon after, Bob added Avast Business CloudCare to his services portfolio, including the Remote IT Control tool, and the Antivirus Pro Plus, Cloud Backup, Content Filtering, and Email Security Services. “We found we could easily sell antivirus licenses through the CloudCare portal and gain much better control over renewals. Each time we deploy CloudCare services, we are building a relationship with that customer and when it comes time to buy new service or equipment, they call us,” he explains.
For Bob, endpoint protection is critical and Antivirus Pro Plus has proven its value. “A lot of MSPs sell more than one antivirus solution but I don’t see the need for this as Antivirus Pro Plus covers everything we need,” he says. “Through our history working with Avast, we know that the company has the most powerful threat database and antivirus protection. This makes it easy for us to validate why customers will have a great user experience over the lifetime of any machine protected by the Antivirus Pro Plus deployed from CloudCare.”
Ensuring business continuity is also much easier. “The Cloud Backup Service helps us minimize any impact from the unexpected. We can quickly go to the cloud, access and recover customers’ data without interruptions to their business. It has become a popular add-on service, driving great incremental revenue.”
Bob credits CloudCare for helping his company execute their managed security services strategy, achieve high customer retention rates, and increase results.
The company has also created new services, adding to their revenues. “We can monitor the health of machines and devices through CloudCare’s reporting and monitoring capabilities and see when it’s time to replace equipment. This enabled us to create a cleanup and hard drive replacement service that has increased hard drives sales by close to 50%,” he says.
Bob adds, “The question has always been, how can we reach a broader market with our offering and still deliver the type of 1:1 service that has accounted for our success? Using CloudCare, we can offer a great set of services to secure SMB operations with the automation tools to efficiently build our business.”