Q&A with David Saele on implementing Cisco Technologies at Think Technologies

I recently spoke with David Saele, president and founder of Think Communications, to better understand the way his company meets clients’ demands for server, storage, and virtualization solutions in the midsize business sector. We also discussed some challenges that many midsize businesses in Canada may deal with when deploying certain technologies and how the right technology can play a pivotal role in growing successful businesses. 

Garth Scully: Can you tell us a little bit about Think Communications?

David Saele: Think Communications is based in Victoria, BC and was founded in 2005, servicing the mid-market and public sector spaces.  Our ideal client has an existing IT department, but is looking to us to provide expertise outside of desk-side support for projects and initiatives. Our experienced teams of 12 sales, admin and solutions architects work to design solutions that meet the requirements of the client not only for today, but the future as well.

By treating our clients with respect and looking at their business long-term, we have almost 100% client retention, and the majority of our new business is based on referrals. Not to mention, we are extremely passionate about customer service and we are always looking to raise the bar.

Garth: What type of technologies does your team focus on?

David: We focus specifically on Network Infrastructure, Unified Communications (Telephony, VOIP, Video Conferencing, Collaboration), Data Center Infrastructure, Virtualization of Networks, Servers, Storage, and Desktops.

Collaborating with employees using Cisco TelePresence.

Collaborating with employees using Cisco TelePresence.

Garth: What are the top business challenges that small and mid-sized business (SMB) may encounter when deploying technologies?

David: With IT infrastructure evolving and becoming more complex, SMBs are looking to technology partners like us to provide expertise and guidance on how and where to invest their limited budgets.  SMBs want technology that is simple to use and manage, yet sophisticated enough to address the needs of staff, customers, and business colleagues.

Garth: Can you provide our audience with helpful tips to use when implementing technologies into their small or mid-sized business?

David: With the implementation of new technologies comes many benefits, but most customers forget that change results in transition costs. It’s important to always look at the long-term implications of your technology upgrades.  Ask yourself questions such as:

  1. Why are you doing it?
  2. What are the benefits that you want to achieve?
  3. How will you measure success?
  4. What are the costs associated with change?
  5. What training is needed?
  6. What are the costs of managing and maintaining these new technologies?

Also, keep in mind the time and costs associated with training and initial loss of productivity while your staff learns the new systems.

Garth: Can you outline how the emergence of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is affecting the way you present solutions to customers?

David: Our customers are now able to connect to their work environment with their device of choice, efficiently and effectively.  The challenge that SMBs face is ensuring that those devices work seamlessly on the network, and that their staff are able to accomplish the same level of productivity with their own device as they would a company-issued device.

Garth: What are the biggest challenges that you as a partner face when implementing solutions? 

David: Ensuring that we look at how a new solution will affect the entire network and ecosystem of a client’s environment.  The networks are so tightly interwoven, you really need to look at how an upgrade will impact your business, ensuring that you are not upgrading one area and degrading the quality of service in another area.

Garth: What keeps you up at night?  

David: Clients who don’t consider data backup solutions as a necessity. To neglect this aspect of their business is completely mind-boggling, especially considering the marginal investment to the business and the risks mitigated. Advancements in backup and recovery methods have simplified and improved services dramatically; the offerings for SMBs are better than ever before.

Garth: Thank you so much for your time, David. We’re looking forward to seeing what you do next at Think Communications!

David: Thank you, Garth!

Are there additional thoughts or experiences with technology solutions that your small to midsize business has? We want to hear about it! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

You can also learn more about Cisco’s Midsize Business Products and Solutions here.

About Garth Scully

Garth Scully is Vice President, Midmarket and Small Business for Cisco Canada and leads the strategy development and sales execution for key customer segment. Garth oversees a team of territory business managers who work closely with inside sales, marketing, and partners. Garth joined Cisco Canada in February 2000 with a wealth of IT and management experience. For 8 years, he led Cisco’s Federal Sales team in Ottawa, building a dynamic and successful team and significantly growing Cisco’s sales presence in federal public sector. In 2008 Garth relocated to Toronto to lead the New Enterprise Transformational Sales team before transitioning into a leadership role for Central Canada’s Multinational Partner team in 2011. Prior to joining Cisco, Garth worked for GE Capital IT Solutions (GECITS) where he served in a variety of executive roles, including Vice President, Ottawa/Atlantic Region. Garth attended the University of Western Ontario and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Garth now lives in Toronto with his wife of 29 years Lori and their daughters Lauren and Megan. Garth Scully est vice-président du segment des petites et moyennes entreprises pour Cisco Canada et dirige le développement stratégique et l'exécution des ventes pour les segments des clients clés. Il supervise une équipe de directeurs commerciaux régionaux qui travaille de près avec les ventes internes, la commercialisation et les partenaires. Scully s'est joint à l'équipe Cisco Canada en 2000 avec une solide expérience dans le monde des technologies de l'information et de la gestion. Il a dirigé pendant huit ans l'équipe des ventes de Cisco pour le segment du gouvernement fédéral à Ottawa. Durant cette période, il a mis sur pied une équipe prospère et dynamique et a participé à l'augmentation de manière significative des ventes de solutions Cisco dans le secteur public fédéral. En 2008, il a été nommé à la tête de l'équipe des ventes de transformation pour de nouvelles entreprises avant de faire la transition au poste de direction pour l'équipe de partenaires à l'échelle multinationale en 2011. Avant de se joindre à Cisco, Scully travaillait pour GE Capital IT Solutions (GECITS), où il a occupé une grande variété de postes, incluant celui de vice-président pour la région d'Ottawa et de l'Atlantique. Scully détient un baccalauréat en économie de l'Université Western en Ontario.
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