Travis Earls, President of Deka Technologies, is an entrepreneur. Like any good entrepreneur, he understands that flexibility and staying ahead of the market are the two keys to success. That’s why Deka—with offices in Atlanta, Savannah and Nashville— made the shift from developing ERP software in its early days, to managed services. And that’s also why Deka didn’t stop there.
Today, as you’ll see on their website, Deka describes itself as “managing cloud services for small businesses.” We spoke to Deka to understand why they made the shift—and how it’s helping them grow.
Deka Technologies is a managed service provider for small businesses in the great Atlanta area.
Industry: Managed Service Provider
Headquarters: Alpharetta, GA
Intermedia’s customer since: 2010
Why was this shift necessary? Because Earls is convinced that for small businesses, the cloud now makes MORE sense than on-premises systems. “With the cost benefits and increased service levels, the cloud is really the only sensible option,” he says. “The cloud just makes businesses run better.”
But even though business transitions are essential to entrepreneurship, they’re never easy—and shifting to cloud services was a challenge for Deka. “We went down a lot of paths testing different technologies and partnerships,” Earls said. “Finally, in 2010, we started working with Intermedia—and we’ve been expanding our relationship ever since.”
For its SMB clients—who primarily fall into the 25-50 employee size—Deka delivers a full suite of business cloud services including Exchange Email, Conference Bridges, Cloud PBX and Cloud Server. Earls’ cloud sales strategy is simple: “We talk to the decision-makers about things like productivity, reduced risk, operating expense versus capital expense, and being able to focus on their business full time. It’s not about features—it’s about how technology supports business goals.”
Earls has a clear vision for success: He is considering a potential expansion into the Tampa Florida market and will be focusing on growing his sales, marketing and consulting resources. He’ll win by helping clients make sense of cloud technologies and the role they can play in the success of their business. In fact, he shared three elements of his strategy with us:
Most successful MSPs found the right mix of high tech and high touch. Don’t get fooled into believing that being successful in cloud services doesn’t require being just as close to—and involved with—your customers. “We have worked hard to bring the best elements of managed services and cloud services together,” Earls says. “We still feel strongly about being face-to-face with our clients.”
It’s all about understanding your customers’ businesses—knowing what problems they are truly trying to solve, and how the services you offer deliver the needed solutions. Business owners aren’t looking for features—they’re looking for productivity, agility and a worry-free experience.
Use the “common sense test” on everything you do. If it doesn’t make good sense for your business and for your customers’ businesses, than it probably isn’t worth investing in—and it shouldn’t be part of your plan.
With the cost benefits and increased service levels, the cloud is really the only sensible option.TRAVIS EARLS, President, Deka Technologies,
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Beyond all that, says Earls, is the importance of finding the right partner. “It took us time to find the right partner to work with us to develop our cloud services business. Intermedia makes it easy for us to conduct business," says Earls. "They allow Deka to focus on our customers’ needs and not worry about managing complex cloud infrastructures. That enables us to deliver both traditional on-site managed services and a complete suite of private labeled cloud service offerings without dramatically increasing our operational costs.”
Outstanding customer service seems to be a dying requirement for suppliers today, but not with Intermedia. Should I ever have an issue, I know a real stateside person will answer my call and take ownership of the problem until its resolved.