– What it Means to Build a People-Centric Business
Bottom Line I.T. PodCast for May 2021.
In April 2021, ASK announced their merger with Convergence Networks / Grade A. This isn’t like other merger announcements though. Senior leaders within ASK knew the individuals of Convergence Networks / Grade A for over 10 years in a peer group. They had a deep relationship with one another, similar business structures, similar entrepreneurial spirits, and most importantly, similar values.
To shed some insight into who Convergence Networks / Grade A is and why this merger made sense for ASK, Mike Maddox sat down with two of the senior leaders: Mat Lafrance and Eric Gray.
Give this six segment episode with Mat, Eric, and Mike a listen in the podcast below:
As you listen to their discussion, you will notice a few commonalities Mike, Mat, and Eric share. All three companies are led by technology enthusiasts that have a deep passion and appreciation for their staff, clients, and customer service. Which is the entire goal and vision for the company – to become North America’s first people-centric managed service provider.
You might be thinking though – aren’t there already managed service providers that say they focus on their people? The answer is yes, but as the MSP world becomes commoditized, there is a level of human interaction and genuine customer service that is lost. With commoditization of services, the focus slowly turns to price and automation, break-fix mentality, and cutting corners to earn an extra dollar - and less about the business, the people, and the customer experience.
Convergence Networks / Grade A is on the path to change that. Mat Lafrance, CEO of Convergence Networks / Grade A, said in this episode that when he first founded Grade A about 20 years ago, it was founded on the simple, yet powerful stance that staff engagement equals great customer service. This stance still rings true for the organization today and will continue to be the foundation in which decisions are made for their staff, their business, and their clients.
Like most companies, the pandemic forced each company and leader to think differently. As you can imagine, the pandemic hit the technology industry hard and fast – but in a good way. Companies like ASK, Convergence Networks, and Grade A were forced to expedite service offerings for Azure, Microsoft 365, and Teams Voice. Their clients were hungry for technology to support remote work. Eric Gray, President of Convergence Networks / Grade A, said that “when the world went remote instantly overnight, the demands of our clients to get into these kinds of technologies exponentially grew and we knew that to actually scale and pivot the business, we needed to be bigger.”
Tune into the rest of this podcast to learn more about what made ASK to want to merge with Convergence Networks / Grade A and what it means for the Michigan business community.