We’ve now announced all three of our keynote speakers for Frankly MSP Live 2020.
The first is Mike Michalowicz. Mike is a former MSP, now full-time business speaker and author with a handful of bestselling titles you might recognize: The Pumpkin Plan, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, and the one he’ll be talking about Frankly MSP Live: Profit First. He’ll also be on this podcast couple of episodes from now.
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Next on the list of keynote speakers for Frankly MSP Live is Nigel Moore. Nigel, of course, was my guest on episode 008 of the podcast, talking about SOPs—standard operating procedures. Anything we do with Nigel—we’ve also done some webinars together and collaborated on some other content—has been extremely popular so I know he’s going to kill it at our event. Nigel will be closing the show with a talk on mastering the MSP mindset. And yes, he is coming all the way from his native Australia to deliver the keynote for us so you won’t want to miss this chance to see him live.
Last but not least for keynote speakers, we have Tiffani Bova. Tiffani is the Growth & Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce and the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Growth IQ, which talks about the 10 paths to business growth. Tiffani discusses how to figure out which combination and sequence of those paths will work for growing your business.
Mike and Tiffani will be doing book signings, Nigel’s going to be hanging out for the whole two-day event, and with attendance capped at 150 attendees that means a tremendous opportunity to connect with these three amazing speakers. So grab your tickets before they sell out! Go to franklymsplive.com to get those and make sure you also book your hotel at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara to nab our special room rates.
Well now, all this talk of keynote speakers ties nicely into my guest for today, Chris Reckord. Because as it happens, I learned about Tiffani Bova from Chris when he recommended her book on LinkedIn and said how much he enjoyed hearing her speak.
Chris is the CEO of tTech Limited, the only pure-play MSP on the island of Jamaica. Now, if all you think of when I say the word Jamaica is palm trees and beaches, you’re about to learn some hot new facts. Jamaica’s economy is booming right now, its unemployment rate is at a record low, and that’s in large part thanks to a thriving tech sector.
I talk to Chris about what’s happening in tech on the island, and a few of the successes and challenges his MSP is experiencing, and what opportunities might exist for you in Jamaica.
Small Island, Big Tech: Why Jamaica Is So Hot Right Now: Interview With Chris ReckordBefore we jump into this interview with Chris, let me give you a little background. Chris graduated from the University of Technology in Jamaica in the 1980s. He was a high school teacher for a short while, teaching electronics, but then he heard about an opportunity at a programming company that was adding a service department and he made the jump to technician.
He soon realized that the real money in the industry was in sales, so he shifted his focus there. A friend of his had moved to the United States a few years earlier, and had decided to start his own tech company. He invited Chris to join him in the US, and they worked primarily with big consulting companies on managing ERP systems
In the early 2000s, Chris moved back to Jamaica with a wealth of tech experience and itch to start his own tech company. And that’s where we join the conversation.
[04:49] The tech sector in the Caribbean has been growing ever since he moved back.
[06:23] Becoming an MSP was the next step in IT support. Chris joined tTech.
[07:03] It was, and still is, hard to find clients and explain the MSP value proposition. People understand break-fix, so Chris is still working on tTech’s messaging around multi-year contracts.
[07:56] There are some internet challenges in the Caribbean, but that’s mostly fine. The bigger challenge is that although the economy is improving, economic conditions in the past forced a lot of people to buy consumer-grade equipment for their businesses. This equipment can’t be managed remotely. Convincing businesses on the island to move to the cloud is also a challenge.
[09:22] Despite the challenges, tTech has 43 staff and is doing very well. They focus on customer satisfaction and get excellent referrals.
[10:11] Typical clients are service-based businesses with multiple locations and 20 to 150 users.
[11:00] Many of tTech’s customers have branches outside of Jamaica, so even though Jamaica is small, Chris isn’t worried about market saturation. tTech is already expanding beyond Jamaica and is looking to grow.
[12:01] Jamaica has been rising as an offshore tech hub. Chris is a member of BPIAJ or the Business Process Industrial Association of Jamaica. They focus on BPO or business process outsourcing. This sector is growing at a ridiculously fast pace.
[14:32] Finding good technical help is as challenging in Jamaica as it is in the US. tTech is partnering with various educational institutions to find help within Jamaica. He’s also looking at Jamaican allies, like Venezuela, for talent who might want to emigrate.
[16:09] There’s an exciting vibe in the Jamaican tech sector right now. They’re building innovation centers and have launched events like PitchFest.
[17:03] For peer support, Chris turns to online communities and goes to as many events as possible, both on and off the island. He and his team also belong to various associations.
[18:10] This is Chris’s second year of running his own conference, techCon. They have presentations from vendors, government, and police.
[19:37] Chris is open to exploring partnerships in North America. Listen to the podcast to get his email address (I’m not listing it here in the show notes so he doesn’t get flooded with bot spam) or connect with him on LinkedIn.