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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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MSP Spotlights, News

December 15, 2023 | Charles Lannan

Peer to Peer: What Charles Lannan Learned About Running An MSP. SPOILER ALERT: It Really Is About People

LannanTech focuses on the human element: local community engagement, building strategic partnerships, and diversity.

When I founded Lannan Technologies LLC in 2011, I became the CEO of an MSP without really knowing what that meant. As a disabled U.S. Army combat veteran, I was transitioning out of the military and back into civilian life.

Early success as a business gave me the privilege of being able to hire my father, Timothy J. Lannan, as our CTO, along with my father-in-law, Warren J. Isabelle, as our CFO.

My father served in the United States Coast Guard for 23 years, retiring as a chief warrant officer. Having led U.S. Navy shipboard communications teams on a global level for Avaya after his service, my dad is the cornerstone of this company. He guided me through those first few years, and I still turn to him for daily insights. It’s a privilege to work alongside him.

I turn to Mr. Isabelle for his guidance on the financial trajectory of the company. He is an esteemed CFA [chartered financial analyst] who made a career managing institutional investments for a large mutual fund and later, his own investment firm.

The military history my father and I share — as well as that of the veterans we have on staff — obviously makes us a great candidate for providing services to the Department of Defense and other government agencies, which we do.

Early on, however, we realized we could offer the same elite IT and cybersecurity solutions to the small  and midsized businesses in our local communities.

As I learned what being a CEO means, I made every mistake twice — sometimes three times. We’re stronger for it, and we keep learning. To illustrate, I will share three critical lessons that I have learned so far.

Provide Real Support for SMBs

Lannan Technologies is headquartered in Ponte Verde Beach, FL. When we expanded into Boston, we noticed how dramatically different our Florida pricing was compared to what SMBs are exposed to in a Class A city.

This was disheartening. A business with less than 10 employees should not be paying per-user costs of $170 monthly for full IT and cybersecurity services. How can small businesses — the heart of our economy — grow when they’re being gouged?

They can’t, and this is why Lannan Tech’s per-user price is $60. This is a price point I feel will really allow SMBs to grow securely.

It’s very difficult for customers to ascertain whether they are dealing with a reputable provider and understand what level of value they are receiving. Therefore, as MSPs, it’s our responsibility to demonstrate professionalism, control, and appreciation toward the SMBs we support. If we price gouge, we’re preventing these businesses from growing. And in turn, we’re impeding our own growth.

Focus on Local Communities

It’s easy for us to fall in love with the concept of building a strong business model, and then expanding it farther and farther from where we began geographically. But if we are going to succeed, we need to think locally.

Since it’s impossible to experience everything in both of our locations simultaneously, I rely on our teams to deliver personalized, local service. I hire people from the communities we serve, who know them well.

It isn’t just because they can get to a client’s site quickly, although that is crucial. They know what local internet service is like, which roads will be closed during a storm, and the best places for lunch. As a result, they know how to relate to our customers.

To expand into a new market, consider partnering with an MSP that is already there. We’ve had success doing that.

We collaborate with Eric Sloan of 1Sync Technologies of Montgomery, AL. With Sloan’s help, we have secured several government contracts — enabling us to grow, and his firm along with ours.

Diversity is Important

One of our missions is to help veterans transition back into the civilian world. When they come to work with us, the community they serve becomes their new unit.

The businesses we service rely on us to keep them up and running, and protected. Our veterans may be back home, but their job isn’t done; it’s just different. But the ethos they acquired from the military remains.

That said, we value our civilian team members equally. We rely on them to challenge us. Sometimes the best solution goes against rigorous standard operating procedures — something we veterans hold near and dear — and I strive to create a culture that embraces this.

Further, our civilian employees bring a different energy to the organization that gives us a heightened sense of purpose and drive. If we didn’t recognize and embrace that, we’d surely be missing out.


CHARLES LANNAN

CEO, Lannan Technologies LLC

  • Founded: 2011
  • Locations: Ponte Verde Beach, FL; Boston
  • No. of employees: 83
  • Website: lannantech.com
  • Company focus: We provide managed IT services, remote management monitoring, threat protection, cloud services, office product
    administration, disaster recovery, business continuity, and compliance.
  • Recommended book: “Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence”
  • Favorite part of my job: Sending offer letters. I really enjoy putting food on people’s tables, and seeing the professional and
    financial impact we make on the small business community.
  • Least favorite part: Not having enough hours in the day to properly recognize the amazing efforts our teammates put into their jobs
    day after day. We are successful because of our team. I need to be better at giving praise to the team.
  • What people would be surprised to know about me: I am a really good dancer in the eyes of my wife and children.

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