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Meet Cloud Voice & Data’s New CTO, Simon Costello!

Simon Costello is new to CVD, but with more than 20 years of experience in the IT sector, our Chief Technology Officer is an old hand in the industry.

From a childhood enthusiast to running a large managed service team, Simon has experienced all aspects of the IT industry.

As CVD’s CTO, Simon is responsible for aligning best practice platforms with process-driven solutions, enabling clients to efficiently deliver quality solutions to push our clients ahead of their competitors.

Simon sits down to talk about his experiences, his new role and CVD’s evolution from a Managed Service Provider to a ‘technology partner’.

What is your background and experience in the tech industry?

I began my tech career 20 years ago, working as a desktop support officer. I didn’t have formal training, but I had an interest in technology that drove me to self-teach, a constant process in an ever-growing industry.

I’ve done everything from tech support to running both service and project teams of 30 staff. I’ve been involved in the MSP industry, virtually since its inception, with hands-on experience across numerous industries.

I worked my way up until I was given the opportunity to help launch an MSP, where I was involved in the design and implementation of products to be taken to market.

This start-up background has driven me to develop skills in peer and performance management, recruitment, staff training and business advisory.

When I left that role, we went from a 2 person team with 0 clients, to a team of 80+ with 450+ client agreements. I’ll always be very proud of that business and its achievements, but the thrill of the build and pursuit of self-improvement drove me to seek a new challenge.

What began your interest in the tech industry?

My interest in tech was sparked when I was young.

At school, I became interested in robotics and won the high school Queensland championship for robotics for two consecutive years, and placed second at the Australian championships which sent our team to the world championships in Japan.

After finishing school, I was still enthusiastic about robotics, and I wanted to continue down a similar path in my career.

I began an IT course at TAFE but quickly realised the space was moving so fast and things I learnt in my first course were already outdated. So, when I was offered a position as an IT support officer at Emmanuel College on the Gold Coast prior to finishing, I took a leap.

Describe your position as CVD’s CTO

As a team, we remove pain points and stresses for clients with process-driven solutions to improve the delivery of their services. As CVD’s CTO, it’s my responsibility to align best practice platforms and solutions for clients to achieve their goals.

Internally, I oversee the development of the CVD team and individual members. Through strong training and performance management plans, we drive a well-rounded team who are at the forefront of the technology industry.

What do you bring to the company?

I’ve worked in the MSP space for a long time and accumulated first-hand knowledge and experience in all aspects of the tech industry. I’ve worked with a variety of industries and have been exposed to their day-to-day business goals, and practices. Using this experience, I am excited to watch CVD grow.

I’m passionate about staff development and workplace culture. Through internal training and performance management plans, our well-rounded team is best equipped to deliver solutions for our clients.

I want to expand on the positive workplace environment here and showcase that CVD is a place where talented staff work with great clients on optimum solutions for clients and that it’s also fun to be here.

What do managed service providers do?

A good MSP should be “seen and not heard.” Technology should be an integrated part of a business that works seamlessly and improves efficiency. It shouldn’t be disruptive or intrusive.

MSPs should complement their clients’ existing businesses by delivering solutions that remove grievances and simplifies their delivery. By removing IT problems with best-fit solutions and automation, clients can go out and provide their service, unrestrained.

Over time, working alongside clients, we get to know their businesses and can develop digital transformations and roadmaps to improve their business and offerings. Digital transformations help a business get from where they are now, to where they want to be.

Define the evolution of the Managed Services Provider to ‘technology partner’

Previously, MSPs worked under a break-fix model – you call us with an IT problem, we fix it.

Now, we’re more involved in the business, its growth, and its direction. When MSPs are willing to be involved in the discussion before issues arise, we can advise the best solutions to streamline business processes and direction.

What does a ‘technology partner’ mean to you?

I am a big believer in technology partners being involved at a board-level or C-level position. This allows technology partners to be involved in the discussion from a strategic level and provide solutions along the way.

It also allows the board to understand the technology better. We want to encourage the people in the business who are most set in their ways to embrace, understand and participate in the advantages of technology.

At a base level, a technology partner should be a trusted advisor in the technology decision-making process for a business. As technology partners, we’re here to help businesses perform their service at their best.

How would you define the CVD approach?

At CVD, we are not a ‘one size fits all’ MSP. During our discovery phase, we find solutions best suited to the business. We align our services with those who can provide the solution or service, and we won’t rebrand it as our own. We want the client to be in the front seat.

We are strategic partners to our clients. We go along their business journey with them at a tech level, supporting their growth and development with the best-in-breed solutions and services.

Currently, we are improving a client’s staff onboarding process so that it’s easier to use and digest. We spend time with their employees so internal resources are used across the organisation, ensuring their onboarding process is deliverable to the end user.

How would you describe the workplace culture at CVD?

Typically at MSPs, there is a divide between the sales team and the tech support team. At CVD, there’s a very healthy, collaborative relationship between the two. There’s a lot of involvement from the tech team in tech architecture and solutions development.

We want our sales team to have a deep understanding of the product and people on the ground to be unafraid to speak up when there’s a better solution for a client they work closely with.

Having a good relationship between the two teams creates a mutual understanding of what CVD’s goals are and better outcomes for clients.

What is your favourite part about working at CVD?

The coffee machine is great!

More seriously, having a team of specialists and a leadership team that ensures everyone understands our business goals and can contribute to the business in a meaningful way.

Everyone knows what their responsibilities are and the services we deliver, working autonomously to provide our services. Most importantly, staff know their worth and the value they bring to the business.

When you’re not hard at work, what do you find yourself doing?

I like to keep busy with my family, including our dogs, guinea pigs and chickens. I’m also a big sports fan and love to support Collingwood, sometimes a point of contention in the office!

During the pandemic, I got really into sim racing with friends. But, ultimately I’m a home body and nothing beats staying at home with my family to watch a movie and eat popcorn.

Where do you think the tech industry is heading?

With Covid, the tech industry had to change and adapt very quickly.

The flexibility of working arrangements has seen an explosion in the technology needs of businesses. Businesses were forced to move tech infrastructure to the cloud, quickly.

Companies’ technology consumption is no longer buying solutions outright, it’s now more agile with on-and-off and month-on-month models.

We will continue to see more advancements in cloud-based infrastructure and subscription-based models and we’ll see a focus on virtual reality and automation.

Many tech companies, Microsoft included, are already shifting to focus on business automation to increase productivity and better utilise technology.

Where do you see CVD heading in the future?

Honestly, it’s cliché – but anywhere and everywhere our clients need us.

We look forward to further aligning ourselves with clients who want to improve their business through technology. We aim to thrive through our client’s successes.

Want to learn more about Simon?

Are you looking to empower your business through technology?

Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation.

Cloud Voice & Data