In this ongoing series, we profile MSP (managed service provider) executives by asking them questions big and small. Have a question you think we should ask? Want to be profiled next? Let us know at blog [at] auvik [dot] com.

Steve Riat, sales manager, Nex-Tech

Steve Riat
Sales Manager, Nex-Tech

Year Nex-Tech was foundedNex-Tech logo
1951. Nex-Tech/Rural Telephone was started as a telephone company that migrated into Internet and eventually a technology company out of growth and acquisition.

Number of employees
341 as of April 2016

Percentage of business that’s managed services
40% of the technology side

Your favorite conference and why
HTG meetings. They’re the one place I can get everything from developing a leadership team to financial, accountability, and more.

Where you get your industry news
I have a lot of contacts on LinkedIn and Facebook that post great stuff across the industry.
Earl Grey Tea, Star Trek edition
Your regular coffee order
Earl Grey tea (The geeks will get where that came from.)

What’s on your smartphone home screen
Background is of Disney Castle from a vacation a couple years ago, alarm clock app I use as my clock at bed time, PayPal, Dashlane, SuperPhoto, Accession (our cloud phone app), our intranet app, Alexa, short cut to our project management dashboard, JibJab, and the Nex-Tech directory app.

How you run a meeting
I am a stickler for on time and on task. Gazelles.

A typical work day for you
In early, run by the calendar, filled in with one-on-one calls and meetings with the team. The focus is revenue, customer service, and fun.
Hardin Byars, HTG
Someone in computer networking whom you admire
Hardin Byars

The one trait you look for in new hires
Passion. I can teach knowledge, but can’t instil passion.

Your best personal productivity tip
The 80/20 rule. So many places that applies such as for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Peer or business networking groups you belong to
HTG, Varnex, Trust X

What you’d be doing if you weren’t an MSP
I am sure something in technology and icon

A geeky secret you have
I have 74 devices connected to my home network.

Podcasts — yes or no?
Yes, I spend a lot of time on the road so when I see a podcast that interests me, I download and listen while traveling.

What you wish all software vendors knew
KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Best piece of conference swag you ever received
Orange handle cover for my luggage. Hey, I have a black bag like everyone else at the airport. Love that thing.
A book you recommend for MSPs
How the Mighty Fall

The Terminator movies — science fiction or the future?
Both! I just hope the outcome is more utopia than destruction.