The Monthly Souz April Edition

If you are like me or most of us, we love our work, love technology, love software but just don’t really understand how it all works; or let’s say works best for our needs and businesses. I personally am an idiot as it relates to setting up a computer, putting software on my computer and knowing how to secure and maximize results from what I have available to me. I am too small to have an IT dept. and even when I worked at Vayner Media which, at that time, was an office of 500 employees spanning over two floors, there was only so much the internal team could handle. One day I had enough of the pain caused by losing hours and sometimes days of work, due to my technologies not working as I needed. A dear friend, Stacy Fischer of Fischer Travel, came to my rescue and introduced me to her IT firm and from that day on I was in love :). Today many of us have had to restructure our businesses from our offices in the city to working from home offices, kitchens, dining rooms or front porches. The challenges we had before have become more relevant as we solely depend on our computers and devices to help us run our businesses and maintain client retention. Anyway, years ago I dreamt of a bespoke , WHITE GLOVE version of the ‘geek squad’ being available to small or medium size companies and even independent contractors like myself. I used to say “I would pay anything if someone can just get me sorted ASAP so I can get back to what I do vs. fiddle and fumble around with what I don’t do. Well folks, dreams can come true……

Q&A with Louwki Coetsee

What is Netsurit?

Netsurit is one of the top IT managed service providers in the world, which is something we are extremely proud of. The name is derived from the term ‘network insurance’. The company has consistently been recognized as one of the most innovative and strategic IT service providers today. It was launched in South Africa in 1995 and has since grown into a global business with more than 300 employees worldwide. We offer managed IT support services and consulting for a wide range of clients. Our geographic footprint allows us to offer true 24/7 support to our clients. No matter the time of day, our clients can count on us to be there for them.

Why do your clients choose Netsurit?

The cause that drives everything we do at Netsurit is “supporting the dreams of the doers”. It means we are committed to serving our employees and clients by nurturing them and helping them to realize their dreams. We do it for clients by providing proactive industry-leading IT strategy, systems design and ongoing support to enable them to streamline their business operations, increase productivity and boost profitability – and maximize the overall ROI of their IT investment.

How did you get into the industry?

My entire career has been devoted to serving companies’ technical needs. In 2001, I qualified as a master network engineer and became a technical trainer. I joined Netsurit in 2004 and spent more than a decade there, fulfilling numerous roles from senior technical consultant, all the way up to head of support and part of the executive committee. I left in 2014 to join Dimension Data’s global service center management team as a service improvement and enablement manager. I returned to Netsurit in 2017 to lead the company’s US business. The executive team knew that I had always wanted to move to New York so that was the achievement of a big dream for me.

Who are your clients?

They include SMEs, corporates and large enterprises – anything from 20 people upwards. Although we are industry agnostic, we have developed deep insight into non-profit organizations. Our clients are varied and include the Center for Reproductive Rights, Skyhorse Publishing, Fischer Travel, Orr Group, Second Stage Theater and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

What problems are you uniquely solving?

Netsurit offers clients deep Microsoft knowledge and expertise. We have 11 Gold competencies and provide advanced specializations in the cloud and security as part of our portfolio. These have enabled us to expand and grow our business.

We have two key areas of focus. One is to help organizations take advantage of the latest technology to enhance their business by providing a roadmap to evolve their IT infrastructure. But our core focus is to handle the ongoing maintenance and support of our clients’ technology environments by having our team of experts take all problems off their plate, so they have more time and energy to spend on growing their business. My specific role is to understand our clients’ current technical needs and help them plan for future needs and lead the deployment of our expert technical team to meet them.

Do you replace internal IT teams?

Staffing is one of the more crucial issues businesses face in trying to modernize their digital approach. We augment internal IT teams by providing the skills and expertise that they may not have in-house.

How are you managing the business during COVID-19?

We do almost everything remotely, so it was not difficult for us to suddenly have to support people working from home. We started mobilizing our clients two weeks before the lockdown was announced, and that foresight meant we were not on the backfoot. We were able to quickly help our clients set up their home networks correctly because we anticipated the situation. They now have the technical capability to do everything that they would have done in their office.

What are your short-, medium- and long-term goals for the business?

We are geared for growth. One of the best moves we made recently was to relocate the business from Brooklyn to Manhattan, to be closer to our clients. We have been upping our presence in New York and are positioning ourselves as “the 911 for IT”. In the medium term, we will seek expansion across the East Coast, and eventually throughout the US. We are well positioned to do that from an operations perspective because we do everything digitally.

Introducing the Netsurit difference

The Monthly Souz newsletter was launched in 2018 as a way for my network, which has been built over 30 years, to see what my clients do and how everyone can mutually benefit from each other. We reserve some of our best content for members on this list.

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