IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Tekie Geek Taking a Proactive Approach to COVID-19 for Customers

As part of an occasional series about how channel pros are coping with the Coronavirus outbreak, this Staten Island, N.Y.-based MSP talks about helping customers work from home. By Colleen Frye

Last week, the U.S. seemed to hit the tipping point for the COVID-19 crisis, with business as usual coming to a halt as legions of workers were told to start working from home. That was the case for about 80% of Tekie Geek’s clients, many of whom the Staten Island, N.Y.-based channel pro has been setting up to do so starting last Friday, according to President Geek Mike Bloomfield.

The MSP took a proactive approach, offering to help clients with remote solutions last week. “Some took advantage of that and others waited until kind of the last minute,” Bloomfield says.

For clients whose workers are not already equipped with a laptop and a VPN, Bloomfield is using TruGrid SecureRDP, which enables secure access to Windows computers. “It’s two-factor authentication; it’s a wraparound RDP,” he explains. From their home computers, “we’re able to safely and securely connect them to their work computer without really caring how bad their home laptop or computer might be infected. [It’s] fully everything separate; we’re going through RDP, but without the need of VPN and everything else.”

For business communications clients, he adds, “we’ve been routing phones, helping them get set up with the mobile app or the desktop app. We actually have clients who brought the [VoIP] phones home. The beauty of voice over IP is you can plug it in from anywhere. You can intercom people just like you normally do. You can monitor their status, tell if they’re online.”

Since Bloomfield’s staff is all remote, “everyone’s just working like normal, communicating through Zoom and Slack.” For the safety of his employees, however, he has halted all on-site work except for emergencies, and there are limits to that as well. “We’re going to revisit that every Friday based on governmental recommendations on where we’re at with the virus.”

In the meantime, Bloomfield has been taking to social media to educate and answer questions about IT needs, including plans to do a daily Facebook Live.

Clients don’t have to worry about any kind of surge or disaster pricing either, Bloomfield says. “We’re lucky. We’re reoccurring revenue, so this isn’t going to affect us greatly other than my on-site [work]. But at the same point, I’m not looking to make money off this. I’m looking to further cement myself as an expert. And hopefully when the dust settles, they’re going to remember who took care of [them] and refer us, and the new businesses we helped will work with us.”

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

ChannelPro SMB Magazine

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.