In an interview with IT World Canada, chief executive officer of Acronym Solutions John Papadakis discussed how the business needs of the mid-market became a key target for the company, following its rebranding in 2021.
The Toronto-based company has graduated from being mainly a connectivity player as Hydro One Telecom to providing a host of ICT solutions, spanning voice and collaboration tools, security solutions, cloud-based services and more.
Mid-market companies, Papadakis noted, “were a sweet spot,” as they had to navigate four fundamental things during peak pandemic time: they needed connectivity, more bandwidth as data demand exploded, collaboration tools as a hybrid work model emerged, and cloud-based services like backup as a service or disaster recovery as a service.
“The pandemic actually validated, and in a lot of ways helped accelerate our path to that ICT space,” Papadakis added.
To provide these new solutions, Acronym went on to revamp its own systems, invest in new technology, and foster partnerships with other players in the industry.
“You have to continue to invest in the solidification of your core network and your assets to ensure survivability and redundancy in what you offer to your customers. We can never take that for granted. There’s new technology, constantly evolving. We were going through a refresh of our own, and we will always do this because we believe in investing in future networks, not just maintaining the past.”
Survivability and redundancy, Papadakis added, are now more important than ever and even harder for businesses to afford, especially as network outages become more frequent, making it urgent for businesses to fortify their systems.
Outages or unreliable network systems are also a result of a lack of collaboration between telecommunication companies, he underscored.
“A perfect example you probably heard, finally, after so many years, where a minister had to get involved, that you’ve got wireless coverage on the Toronto subway. Why did it take so long – because of technology? No.”
He explained, “I built wireless networks for over 20 years. You have to collaborate and find ways to create environments for your customers, even if you’re not providing all of it,” and, he added, “we cannot afford to be down.”
However, Acronym also took it upon itself to minimize and mitigate outages, Papadakis noted, as the company invested to improve its optical network, fiber bases, end devices and more to create and provide more robust, survivable and routable networks for mid-market businesses.
These businesses are also increasingly stressed about the evolving threat landscape, he noted.
“We’re at the table, having conversations with them to ask, ‘how are you protecting yourself? And more importantly, how can we work with you to put in the right solutions for your business.’”
Security, he added, is not just a technology or software, but also a process and a mindset, which is why Acronym seeks to also educate clients on cybersecurity processes.
While providing this stack of ICT solutions is mostly driven by client demand, the other side of it is also the rapidly evolving technology, which Papadakis said “is going to hit you whether you’re ready for it or not.”
Acronym, he said, will continue to evolve itself and stay on top of technology, and simplify it for customers.