Below is our recent interview with Jeff Penner, Sales Marketing Manager at ActiveCo:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to ActiveCo Technology Management?
A: From “some guy’s garage” in 1999, ActiveCo Technology Management has grown to be one of Vancouver BC’s best professionally managed IT services firms, serving small-to-medium-sized businesses. ActiveCo helps business leaders make informed decisions in their technology investments in increasingly complex business environments. As a disciplined, service-focused business, ActiveCo helps you reach your unique business goal by working directly with your executive team.
Q: Can you give us insights into your services?
A: ActiveCo takes a long-term approach to our customer relationships; most leaders we work with expect transparency from a business partner who understands that informed decisions need to be made for company growth. ActiveCo has also made deliberate investment into their consulting and leadership strategies, as making technology investments becomes more and more complicated for business owners. This investment includes creation of our unique customer portal, which allows true transparency and real-time communication on every aspect of our services to any customer.
Each member of the ActiveCo team is committed to our five core values: “First Class Customer Service”, “Teamwork”, “Honesty & Integrity”, “Continuous Improvement” & “There’s Always a Way”. Decisions are always filtered through these values before making decisions internally, as well as with our clients.
Further, as you should expect your IT partner to do, we perform the following services, we just feel we do it better!
Managed IT – We proactively monitor and review our client’s IT systems to prevent issues before they happen, implementing existing, incoming and important industry best practices to ensure we keep our clients working, while continuing to grow their businesses. We provide help desk support as well as augmentation to the roles of already-in-place IT departments, creating a thorough strategy for those companies who like the feel of “boots on the ground” but need additional support for day to day, especially in thought leadership for their technology investment decisions.
Managed IT Security – We saw the writing on the wall years ago and implemented a standardized enhanced security outlook for our client environments. Before ransomware and two-factor-authentication became household names, our comprehensive layered protection has been keeping IP, communications, data and personal information safe from attacks. We help organizations take a proactive approach to vulnerability management and threat mitigation. Our solutions focus on eliminating risk both inside and outside the tech environment using firewalls, VPNs, spam filtering and, yes, multi-factor authentication (which has indeed become increasingly important).
Technology Investment Consulting – We constantly develop strategies from feedback, and those strategies are not only technically sound, but also become universally applicable to multiple clients across multiple industries. The experience gained by working so closely with our clients on their business goals is getting a wide range of business-minded points of view, giving us particular foresight when a client points out a need or goal that we have heard (or achieved) before. Our client’s technology planning and strategies begin with a business relationship on day one, with an understanding of their short-term and long-term goals. Our unique client portal allows full transparency on the status and next steps of these mission-critical goals, as we are work closely with our clients achieve them.
Disaster Recovery & Backup Management – We offer a comprehensive & robust strategy that is specially designed to work with today’s cloud, on-prem or hybrid solutions. Some industries have specific needs in terms of data retention and our solution is flexible and scalable for simplicity. We have heard the stories of businesses being down for many hours, days, or even weeks, and that does not fall in line with the business continuity planning that most businesses wish to adhere to!
Cloud Services – Flexibility, reliability and scalability are just some of advantages of our cloud services. Whether our clients are on-the-go, in the office or elsewhere, our cloud services will provide secure and reliable access from anywhere with an internet connection.
Professional Services – At ActiveCo, in addition to all our other managed IT services, we also provide services like CRM deployments, tech upgrades, hardware installations, cloud migration and more. Stories of mis-managed migrations litter the internet and fill up far too many discovery meeting conversations.
Office 365 – Proper management of Office 365 requires implementing strategies that have been proven to work. ActiveCo’s Office 365 support includes properly planned & effective migration (when needed), complete account set-up, license & warranty management and help-desk support when needed.
Compliance – With the legislations and insurance requirements impacting businesses around the world, we invested significant time to understand how this impacts each industries we serve. We meticulously developed a custom compliance assessment strategy that go over & above the government-posted requirements. This produces a status “score” and provides a step by step guide on how to properly pursue your compliance targets, unique to your business. To further support you, we offer consulting to ensure you reach the milestones to meet compliance requirements in a reasonable, executable, time frame.
Security Awareness Training – Human error is a leading cause of security threats. Ensuring your team receives regular security awareness training is a key tool in the fight against attacks. When we talk about “disaster recovery”, the word “disaster” isn’t always referring to a tornado, it can be as simple as “someone clicked on something they shouldn’t have”. With your team trained consistently and properly, you can avoid many of the pitfalls seen daily in headlines.
Q: Which industries do you serve? Which types of businesses can use your solutions?
A: We serve small-to-medium sized business seeking to grow and streamline their work flows, security and business continuity needs. We work specifically well in the legal, accounting and related service industries. We have helped scale and grow engineering firms, offices with multiple locations and remote users, by helping them expand their technology applications, manufacturing capabilities and overall global reach.
It has been a key strategy to recognize that a remote workforce is now very common across most industries and we know how to serve those users to make sure they get the same service as any onsite worker and feel like included members of their team.
Q: What’s next?
A: ActiveCo’s growth strategy in 2020 will come from working with new technology partners who understand the MSP industry is evolving, and not just in Canada. Changes will provide us opportunities to access better services and technologies with more senior staff, allowing increased service to existing customers while allowing for growth into new markets. The ability to scale our business model has been part of our strategy plan for years and we are finally ready to kick off the strategy in 2020. We can’t wait to show the industry what we’ve been brewing.