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Secure Network Services grows rapidly while improving work/life balance with ConnectWise

Secure Network Services logo

Year Founded: 2003

Website: snspolk.com

Reader Persona: Owner

Partner Business Type: MSP

Secure Network Services needed to maintain a high level of service quality for every customer without depending on a costly, in-house technical staff.
With ConnectWise Command™, ConnectWise Cybersecurity Management, ConnectWise Recover™, and ConnectWise Expert Services, Secure Network Services delivered quality, real-time response to customer incidents.
Secure Network Service has been able to upsell existing customers and win new business, including a Fortune 500 business, with a broad portfolio of automated solutions and certified outsourced technical expertise.

“With every dollar we have spent with ConnectWise, we have been able to build a bigger, better solution to serve clients that just seven years ago we could not have considered. Even though we’re a small company, we can provide services that rival enterprise corporations, and do it for a fraction of the price those companies charge.” 

- Robert S. Gelsinger, Founder, Secure Network Services, Inc.

Robert S. Gelsinger founded Secure Network Services (SNS) in 2003 as a side gig to his day job with IBM to gain greater financial freedom for his growing family. Soon, SNS was growing rapidly as well. By 2009, the company had become a full-time, full-fledged managed services provider (MSP)—and faced new challenges around service delivery and scalability.

“We had a huge reliance on the skills of our internal staff and followed a very manual regimen of maintenance for our clients,” recalls Gelsinger. At the time, SNS hired a highly skilled and highly paid engineer that couldn’t maintain the high standards Gelsinger set for SNS. This hiring misstep led to over $150,000 in lost income over an 18 months. Gelsinger knew there had to be a better way to staff his company.

 “I needed a partner who could make it possible for anyone I employ to deliver consistent service and meet high expectations without needing a high level of skill,” says Gelsinger. ConnectWise offered the end-to-end services SNS needed, backed by a Network Operations Center (NOC) with round-the-clock coverage. By automating and offloading hundreds of hours of time-consuming work each month, ConnectWise boosted service reliability while freeing SNS’s staff to work on higher-value projects.

“We wanted a comprehensive solution that made us appear much larger than we are, and ConnectWise gave us that. Once we made the decision, we were up and running in a day and a half.”

SNS now uses ConnectWise Command remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution to monitor, manage, and support customer servers and endpoints around the clock. The ConnectWise Help Desk cuts wait time to resolution while standardizing and documenting the support services provided. ConnectWise Cybersecurity Management services provide real-time visibility, detection, and response across customer devices and networks, complemented by dark web scanning to help customers understand the threats they face. ConnectWise Recover keeps customers up and running even when a data loss incident occurs. “We can spin up backup images in real-time, often before the client is even aware of the problem,” says Gelsinger. 

ConnectWise Dedicated Tech completes SNS’s ConnectWise solution. “Having a dedicated tech gives you a Level 2 or Level 3 resource that can focus on specific work with laser focus, and also gives us a point person within the NOC when handling issues escalated to them for our clients,” explains Gelsinger. “It’s also far more economical than a full-time, US-based employee, and has great tax implications. Hiring a dedicated tech is one of the single best decisions I have made since starting SNS over 15 years ago.  With the success of the dedicated tech, I am bringing on another one shortly.”  

Automation and escalation ensure consistently high-quality service

“We’re way above even my own high standards at this point,” says Gelsinger. “Even when we were doing the best job we could, we weren’t doing nearly what we are now.” SNS has automated its solutions to the point that every client, no matter their size, receives the same level of service, including real-time incident detection and escalation to the NOC as needed.

“We’ve got one client with more than 30 servers—ordinarily that would occupy a full-time staff position in itself, but with ConnectWise, my small team can handle that along with 50 other clients of 5-100 servers. And that includes security, real-time BDR, and help desk—all features we didn’t have before ConnectWise.”

A comprehensive solution set helps improve revenue and profitability

When SNS became a ConnectWise partner, it focused on selling RMM for servers and endpoints. Over the past few years, SNS has added ConnectWise services for BDR, integrated network monitoring via Auvik, security, help desk, DNS filtering, dark web scanning, and more.

“Each new ConnectWise service gives us an opportunity to upsell our existing customers, as well as replacing one more manual solution with an automated solution. This makes us more profitable because the more stable our customers are, the less we have to do, and the more we can focus on building the business and seeking new clients,” says Gelsinger. 

Enterprise-class services open new business opportunities

“With every dollar we have spent with ConnectWise, we have been able to build a bigger, better solution to serve clients that just seven years ago we could not have considered. Even though we’re a small company, we can provide services that rival enterprise corporations, and do it for a fraction of the price those companies charge,” says Gelsinger. “In 2016, we picked up our first Fortune 500 customer,and today, they were acquired by a billion-dollar company which resulted in increasing business. We started with security vulnerability scanning,and now we are rolling out RMM to 900 end users.”

The SNS team, currently three full-time employees and two ConnectWise Dedicated Techs, is poised to grow even more. They’ve shifted from day-to-day service to engaging in conversations with customers about their IT wish lists, and they’re identifying new opportunities for sales and growth. Gelsinger’s current plan for SNS includes growing to 10-15 full-time employees, opening a physical corporate headquarters, and shifting more of his responsibilities to a new generation of company leadership.

Moving forward

“My requirements have been met and exceeded several times over,” says Gelsinger. “I continue to explore new ways that we can leverage ConnectWise to grow SNS and improve the relationships with our existing customers while bringing on newer, bigger customers.”

In the meantime, ConnectWise has helped him enjoy a better work/life balance. “When I started SNS years ago, I worked 80-100 hour weeks for years. As a husband and father of four children, that meant missing out on a lot of special occasions. With ConnectWise, I can now focus more on the things that are important to me.”


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