A conversation with Eric Weast, ECW
In this Reader Spotlight, ECW President Eric Weast shares a little about himself, his company, and the state of the channel.
Summarize your background/professional experience. I’ve been the owner/operator of ECW Network & IT Solutions for the past 16 years. We have helped hundreds of businesses and thousands of employees nationwide. My professional experience includes CIO-level planning, cloud infrastructure planning, general IT strategy, and cybersecurity consulting.
What is one interesting (or entertaining) fact about you? I like to cook a lot, which is also kind of how I view running an MSP. You’re essentially selecting the right ingredients from various vendors and combining them in the right amounts for a successful recipe.
What verticals do you service and what services and technologies do you sell? We service several healthcare companies and sell various IT solutions including infrastructure support, cloud infrastructure, helpdesk services, and cybersecurity services.
What vendor partners do you work with? Beachhead Solutions’ SimplySecure for MSPs, Microsoft, Huntress, Dark Cubed, Network Detective, and Duo, to name a few.
What is the best sales opportunity on your 12-to-18-month horizon? The best opportunities I see are lifting existing infrastructure into the cloud and hardening the cybersecurity for our customers.
What threatens that opportunity? Budget constraints. This past year has illustrated just how important it is for every business to have an agile cloud infrastructure – but the financial implications of an economic downturn could limit some companies from making the jump.
What could accelerate it? I think as the message progresses out there, most business owners are starting to get it. Having a secure and scalable infrastructure is instrumental to their businesses thriving during this time. We’re starting to see people turn a page in their thinking on cloud and related technologies.
What is the most difficult aspect of leading an MSP business? Liability far exceeds our revenue, and that’s the case for all MSPs. We’re put in charge of protecting all of this data, and some customers still do not take security as seriously as they should or are too busy to listen.
How are you attacking that challenge? 1) Aligning ourselves with the right type of customer in the beginning by making baseline cybersecurity services mandatory in our offering. 2) Circling back to legacy customers to regularly communicate security efforts and continue them on the path of securing their company.
In the context of running your business, what tools/software/utilities/apps/etc. could you not live without? Microsoft Teams and a few systems that are particularly valuable to us include our ticketing system, our RMM system, our documentation system, and our electronic quoting/signature system.
On the flip side of that, what would you be happy to do without? Printers. I wish the world would just do away with paper and go completely digital.