A conversation with Jason Rorie, Elevated Technologies
In this Reader Spotlight, Elevated Technologies Founder/CSO Jason Rorie shares a little about himself, his company, and the state of the channel.
Summarize your background/professional experience.
Rorie: My professional experience started more than 20 years ago. I was an IT/Communications technician in the U.S. Navy and, after my service, worked various IT jobs until starting Elevated Technologies in 2006. I have more than 25 certifications plus a degree in Computer Network Engineering, a BS in Management of Technology, and am currently working on my master’s in cybersecurity.
What is one interesting/humorous/entertaining fact about you?
Rorie: I recently passed an exam to be a licensed insurance agent with the goal of starting a cybersecurity-focused insurance agency. I wanted to bring my technical knowledge to the insurance industry to ensure businesses are being protected with the proper cyber-insurance policies in addition to the technology and training my MSP provides. I'm also writing a book to educate small business owners on cybersecurity. The book should be released in a few months.
What verticals do you serve and what services and technologies do you sell?
Rorie: We focus on manufacturing, oil and gas, dental, and CPAs. We sell flat rate, unlimited support managed services, managed cloud solutions, managed data protection, and, of course, managed cybersecurity solutions.
What vendor partners do you work with?
Rorie: ConnectWise, Webroot, Rapid Fire, ID Agent, Vijilan, and Veeam.
What is the best sales opportunity on your 12-to-18-month horizon?
Rorie: The best sales opportunity we have is around providing cybersecurity solutions on top of our managed services. We look past the traditional security of having antivirus and a firewall. We focus on defense in depth and take a layered approach. We add dark web monitoring, SIEM, and SOC solutions in addition to the firewall and antivirus management.
What threatens that opportunity?
Rorie: The biggest threat is education. Small business owners are still in a “this won’t happen to me” mindset. I'm out every day educating business owners on what today's threats look like. They are all automated bot looking for a weak link. There aren't that many guys in hoodies anymore!
What could accelerate it?
Rorie: The growth can be accelerated by education as well. It also can be accelerated by facts, proof, and case studies. It isn't a matter of if, it’s when. I think the growing compliance regulations in some industries also will help the growth as these types of solutions become mandated.
What is the most difficult aspect of leading an IT service provision company?
Rorie: The hardest part of leading an IT company, especially in a large city, is uniqueness. What makes us different? Being out and about and marketing myself and my company as a company that you want to do business with, would be the biggest challenge.
How are you attacking that challenge?
Rorie: Marketing! I'm out telling my story and what Elevated Technologies stands for. We are a fair and relationship-based company. We have a code to ethics and a mission that stems from my military services. We are focused on the partnership and our client's success more than "how much more revenue can we squeeze out of our clients" or "how much more can we charge per user per month" Don't get me wrong, we want to be profitable, but fair at the same time. I think our growth and retention show this. Check out my story video.
In the context of running your business, what apps/tools/utilities could you not live without?
Rorie: It was taking a number of years for me to be fully satisfied with our tools/vendor set. I can say now that I am. We have a great and toolset that makes us efficient and fast. ConnectWise for us is the foundation and we could not live without the tools they provide. Veeam is next. I wouldn't want to think about changing our backup/DR software. All of our current vendors are extremely important in our success.
On the flip side of that, what would you be happy to do without?
Rorie: I guess on the flip side I could do without a constant increase in licensing fees. You can only absorb those increases for so long before you have to increase your fees and have “that” conversation with your clients. I totally understand it is the nature of the beast when running a business, but I could live without it.