Barb Paluszkiewicz is the CEO of a Canadian-based MSP called CDN Technologies. Barb has her own podcast called Know Tech Talk, where she interviews MSP vendors about what their products can do for end clients. She also makes frequent TV appearances on news and talks shows, explaining in plain language the ins and outs of topics like ransomware.
Barb has an interesting background for the CEO of an MSP. We talk on this show about how MSP owners and operators are typically technical folks who’ve gone out on their own. Barb did not take that path. Instead she came up through technology sales and that puts a different spin on how she runs and manages her business. We talk about that and the culture of service that’s she’s built at CDN.
Also, a quick shout out to Scott Pettie of PCWizrd who wins an Amazon gift card and an Auvik t-shirt for completing the Frankly MSP listener survey. Thanks for listening, Scott!
What’s Going On
[02:04] Karl is in Washington D.C. for ChannelCon, which is CompTIA’s big conference
[02:24] Karl guesses there are 800 to 1,000 people there.
[02:51] CompTIA is heavily focused on certifications and research.
[03:36] They kicked off the event with awards like the Cecilia Galvin Scholarship Award. Cecilia was an editor within the channel community and she passed away last year.
[04:15] The award is a $2,500 scholarship for a female high school student who has demonstrated she’s going to be contributing to the technology community.
[04:33] The first winner is Sarah Johnson from Philadelphia, who has created three different apps including a GPS tracker for kids too small for a cell phone, and another tracker for nursing homes with dementia patients.
[06:32] NIST has released a new guidebook about keeping your company safe from cyber attacks.
[07:02] The guide is released under a Creative Commons license. You can used it as the basis for creating your own documents.
[07:18] You can also just give it away.
[07:41] Key takeaways from the report were that employees should always exercise caution and fully understand their role
[08:06] The guide explains how people with certain roles should do things.
[08:14] Other key takeaways include how to handle, control, store, transfer, and dispose of important information. Plus how to limit access to documents and programs and use encrypted complex passwords and multi-factor authentication.
[08:36] Human beings are the weakest link in any organization’s cybersecurity.
[08:51] The report really spells out what to do and what not to do.
[09:18] People are getting fatigued with security. Getting them interested in common sense stuff is a good approach.
[09:35] The report is also fully up to date with everything that’s required for GDPR.
Interview with Barb Paluszkiewicz – Building a Culture of Sales and Service in Your MSP
[12:09] CDN Technologies roots goes back to 1989. Barb’s business partner Jason discovered her when she was an IT sales representative.
[12:21] He asked Barb to work with him, but she said no until her current company got bought out.
[15:49] She started selling I.T. services to businesses for CDN.
[16:18] The business started to grow, and she grew into the role of CEO.
[16:41] Coming from a sales background is atypical. Her sales background has influenced her businesses by helping her focus on sales and growth in a systematic manner.
[18:06] Barb has structured her team to focus on positive customer connections. It’s their job to keep businesses moving forward.
[19:35] The techs do have sales quotas and values to hit. The goal is to be smart and make the job easy for both themselves and the customer.
[21:54] Sales are usually made because of the bond between the tech and the customer.
[22:08] Everyone on the CDN does must complete Disney customer service training
[22:23] Disney is awesome when it comes to customer service, which aligns with the CDN customer service focus.
[22:52] Disney does everything they can to make customer service a positive experience and that is what Barb wants to do for CDN’s customers and staff.
[23:35] Disney has several corporate training programs. They share their secrets.
[25:41] The training happens after the probationary period of three months.
[26:31] The training has helped CDN pay extraordinary attention to the details and making customers feel special.
[29:18] They get spontaneous thank-you notes and gifts from customers. This is how they know they’re hitting the mark.
Links from this episode
What’s Going On
- NIST Release New Guidebook About Keeping Your Company Safe From Cyber Attacks
- Cybersecurity Is Everyone’s Job by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
- CompTIA Communities Open ChannelCon 2018
- CompTIA Names Winners of New Women in IT Awards
- Karl Palachuk: Small Biz Thoughts
- Karl Palachuk (Twitter)
- Richard Tubb: Tubblog
- Richard Tubb (Twitter)
- Professional development courses from Disney Institute
- CDN Technologies
- Know Tech Talk podcast
- I.T. Scams: How to Avoid Being Ripped Off by Your Computer Guy and IT Services
- Barb Paluszkiewicz (LinkedIn)
- Barb Paluszkiewicz (Twitter)
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