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This MSP simplifies IT, powers compliance-based businesses in rural Michigan

DS Tech has been serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin areas since 1976, providing IT, cybersecurity, and voice services to compliance-based companies, such as financial institutions, manufacturing, and healthcare.

DS Tech has developed the infrastructure and processes needed to provide the fastest local response times in the Upper Peninsula.

To meet the needs of its clients in an evolving technology landscape, DS Tech requires a Partner with the technology, collaboration, and know how to equip them to scale, to grow; and to maintain the competitive edge with modern solutions.
When DS Tech was a smaller company, they utilized the ConnectWise NOC services to extend their team’s bandwidth. As they’ve grown to 30 colleagues, they’ve relied less on the NOC and been able to leverage ConnectWise RMM, ScreenConnect, and PSA to proactively support their clients. They are excited for the future with ConnectWise and the Asio platform, “There’s a huge opportunity for us to collaborate with our partners more” says Operations Manager, Josh Marenger, CISSP.
DS Tech effectively and efficiently manages 3,800 endpoints with 18 technicians and 12 support staff. Powered by ConnectWise RMM’s proprietary intelligent alerting and monitoring engine, Intellimon, alerts dropped by 90%, allowing their team to focus on critical tickets and repetitive task automation to drive more streamlined operations.

"Probably the biggest technician benefit we noticed was when we started using Intellimon alerting. Our alerts dropped by about 90%. Technicians want to do useful work, and we were wasting so much time on alerts that didn’t affect anything. I used to come in in the morning and we would have a couple hundred alerts, with most of them being just noise. So, we would have to review and close them all out, and it was just incredibly inefficient. After we moved over to Intellimon, we weren’t having those issues anymore. So that was the biggest time and cost savings for us.”

- Operations Manager, Josh Marenger, CISSP.

Michigan-based DS Tech approaches the very notion of IT differently.

Just read the ‘About Us’ section on their website. Eric Wakkuri, DS Tech President, pens an open letter about the frustrations, challenges and expenses that can come with business technology. Knowing that we all face it, he commits to two hours of free DS Tech service to dispel these myths, demonstrate what they can do; and he doubles-down on his promise to deliver better outcomes. Or as he says: there’s “no catch, no gimmicks.”

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!

The folks at DS Tech are down to earth, down to business – that are exceptionally skilled at solving technology challenges for their customers. Founded in 1976, DS Tech values relationship-building above all else, seemingly measures its success on their relationships, noting the decades they’ve taken care of their loyal customers and employees.

“We’re in upper Michigan, a rural area on the northern coast of Lake Michigan, so we try very hard to be community-minded. We have extremely long relationships, decades long, with a lot of our customers. Being in a rural area, we often run into them in the grocery store or elsewhere in the community, which helps to solidify those relationships.” says Josh Marenger, Operations Manager, CISSP.

With 30 people in US and abroad, DS Tech leverages ConnectWise products, solutions and services, not only to span the globe, but also to maintain a deep bench to meet its clients’ needs.

Marenger joined DS Tech in 2004. Now entering his 20th year, he admits that it’s been a transformational journey to 30 full-time staff with an average tenure of 10 years. He attributes it to the community-minded focus at DS Tech, where they really take care of their customers and colleagues. “Being in a rural area it can be hard to find good technical people, so when we get them, we take good care of them.  In return, they stick with us, hence our employee longevity.” says Josh Marenger, Operations Manager, CISSP.

With respect to business maturity, in early 2023, New Charter Technologies acquired DS Tech to further its mission to serve small-to-medium sized businesses in 10+ industries across North America. They needed a partner with a strong knowledge of their industry and a cyber first mindset. “Our main verticals are compliance-based companies, with financial institutions, banks, and credit unions being the largest vertical. Basically, companies that are required to have cyber security are the best fits for us because they understand that cybersecurity is a cost of doing business, not just a cost center.” Knowing that this would be instrumental to DS Tech’s business transformation, Marenger, who had prior experience with ConnectWise solutions, led the charge to implement ConnectWise RMM.

Specializing in PII compliance, DS Tech manages the most sensitive data – supporting those in banking, and branching out into manufacturing, finance, and healthcare. There is a myriad of considerations, and it can be a big undertaking to ‘make the switch’ from one solution to another.

DS Tech made the move to ConnectWise RMM just a few months ago. When asked about the process of finding the right RMM tool for his team, Josh says “It’s been a journey.”

“We started with Kaseya for our RMM and then a few years later we moved over to what was Labtech at the time (now ConnectWise Automate). We got to the point where that was just too big of a lift for us. We were a smaller company then and we didn’t have the bandwidth to maintain Automate properly. So, at that point we moved over to Continuum (Command). Just a couple of months ago we made the switch over to ConnectWise RMM, which was a fairly easy jump.”

In reference to ConnectWise Automate, Josh describes it as a powerful tool that’s incredibly customizable. The on-premise option makes it excellent for those who want to host their own server and have greater control.  But for his team, he prefers dedicating less time to administration and the peace of mind of having a trusted partner host the server.

Given the multitude of services DS Tech provides, it requires a Partner that can deliver a full suite of trustworthy and reliable products and solutions. DS Tech is certainly well-stacked.

“We use a lot of ConnectWise products: RMM, PSA, ScreenConnect to name a few. We are looking at adding additional business management products maybe a year out. We utilize SentinelOne, and 100% of our endpoints are on that now, which I’m super pumped about.”

When asked about some of his favorite features, Marenger offered the following:


Josh credits intelligent monitoring and alerting built into RMM as responsible for the single “biggest labor savings, biggest time and cost savings" for his team.

He’s also been digging deeper into customization in RMM, specifically custom monitors and filters to cater to his clients better and work more efficiently.

"Lately we've really been liking the custom filters in RMM. For example, one of the other New Charter operating companies informed us of a vulnerability in Notepad++, where any installations prior to a certain version were vulnerable. So, we were able to create a custom filter for anything before that version and get those systems updated. Quickly knowing which systems we had to address was huge, rather than trying to manually take that inventory."

“One thing we’ve been getting into more and more is the customer monitors- they're really nice as well. We’re very cybersecurity-focused here, so we really want to make sure that all the tools are running all the time, and if they’re not, we need to know about it.”


"ScreenConnect, in general, everybody loves that product - Backstage in particular, it's so nice to be able to jump into a server and make an Active Directory change or just look at something quick without bothering the end user."


The partnership with ConnectWise has been a gamechanger for DS Tech.

"Several months ago, we had an operational leadership team meeting. This meeting included some members from New Charter leadership and April Taylor [VP of Product Management for Business Management, ConnectWise]. I threw my hand up and said that I’d like to see an improvement with [ConnectWise PSA] time approvals. I threw out some ideas and the whole room just erupted (like ‘yes!’), we want this! Last month, the same group got back together. April was there again, and she said, ‘good news, here's what we've developed to fix that issue!’ It's so nice to see that our feedback actually means something, that we are heard! It's been great to see that when our opinion gets asked and we give it, those things actually get action taken on them.”

It’s not only product leaders at ConnectWise who have been looking out for them.

"Just this week I had an issue and some questions about permissions in ConnectWise Home. I reached out to Marc, our ConnectWise PSM (partner success manager). He got back to me quickly, we set up a time to talk, and he made the time to walk me through all of our questions."


As a New Charter company, Josh is excited for the future with ConnectWise, specifically with the Asio platform. “It’s exciting to see what’s coming down the pipe in the next year and how that’s going to affect us. There’s a huge opportunity for us to collaborate more”

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