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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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Return to ChannelPro SMB Forum 2022: Peer to Peer: Winning with Microsoft Azure
November 22, 2021 | Malik Khan

Disruption-Proofing Your Business

PointClick aims to build resilience for itself and its clients by staying ahead of technology trends and focusing on a value differential.

POINTCLICK TECHNOLOGIES follows a simple formula for building a resilient business that will continue to evolve and grow despite market disruption: We strive to stay two years ahead of technology trends to keep ourselves and our customers on the cutting edge. We couple that forward-thinking with a commitment to always putting the customer first by developing a deep understanding of their business so we can implement the technology that helps them achieve their goals.

As MSPs and CSPs, we can’t continue doing business the way we’ve always done it. We must always be looking toward innovation.

My eureka moment came when I was working as a network admin for a national staffing company that decided to host its infrastructure with an ISP to prevent downtime and outages. It was brilliant, so I launched PointClick with a mission of removing the business risk of managing everything on premises. I signed up with an ISP, got my own rack and power, and started selling space. I bootstrapped the company by buying servers with my salary and then charging customers for the setup fee and three months of service up front.

From there, PointClick focused on developing the expertise to host high-end web applications. We partnered with digital marketing agencies and worked with a team in India to build an open source-based template that was more affordable than other hosts. We soon had NFL Enterprises and other big businesses as clients. Word spread and we grew. 

As the market evolved to the cloud, we differentiated by offering managed cloud services, going deep into the code level with application monitoring products because nobody was doing that at the time. And to continue to stay relevant, we have been intentional about complementing what Microsoft offers and providing what the big cloud vendor can’t—an intimate knowledge of our customers’ businesses and deep, long-term relationships.

Today, about 90% of our cloud business is Azure based, but we never want to put all our eggs in one basket, so we also support AWS and are considering how to leverage Google Cloud Platform.

Other ways we are future proofing include adding IoT device management to our portfolio, building our own intellectual property with a platform that measures compliance risk at the user level, and opening an office in Gambia, West Africa, an emerging market and the country I emigrated from at 15.

Staying Ahead and Building Momentum

My advice for how to stay ahead of trends includes going to conferences, reading, attending webinars, and paying close attention to vendors’ product roadmaps, particularly the large players like Microsoft and Apple.

Finding good partners who share your vision is also critical. When PointClick was just five people, I came to Ingram Micro with a big opportunity. Instead of treating us like a small company, they provided the resources and backing that helped PointClick grow.

Be proactive about giving back and doing the little things too. For instance, when healthcare.gov, the website for the Affordable Care Act, experienced serious issues at rollout we created and distributed a free ebook explaining how to avoid six critical mistakes we identified. Microsoft saw it and invited us to present at their worldwide partner conference that year.

It’s also important to create your own IP, whether that’s developing your own toolset, a SaaS product, or something else to add value.

Continually look at ways to build your service catalog so you can evolve with the disruptions that inevitably come. For example, because we had positioned ourselves early on to move as much as possible to the cloud, our customers were already working remotely when COVID hit. In fact, they accelerated their cloud transition, resulting in $1 million in Azure sales alone last year.

If you keep customers on the cutting edge, put their needs first, and provide stellar service, they will stay with you for the long term because you’re helping them evolve. Your business growth will naturally follow.

Return to ChannelPro SMB Forum 2022: Peer to Peer: Winning with Microsoft Azure

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