When Steven Taylor first decided to become an entrepreneur, it wasn’t to get rich quick or patent the world’s next big innovation.
It was to bring people and technology together – minus the frustration and headaches.
Working in the unified communications industry for over 20 years, Taylor saw that customers were becoming more and more disenchanted with costly technology solutions that didn’t meet their needs. The growing alienation between people and technology bothered him, and he believed customer experience could be done differently. Better, even.
“At the time we started Ignite Collaboration, so many people were talking about collaboration solutions, but nobody was really doing a good job at it from a customer experience perspective,” says Taylor, President and CEO of Ignite Collaboration Services Group (IgniteCSG).
“Organizations were spending a lot of time and resources on solutions that didn’t work for them, and they weren’t getting the right kind of support from service providers. What was missing, frankly, was the relationship between the customer and the provider.”
Taylor, along with business partners Darren Lapierre and Rommell Mendoza, started IgniteCSG in 2011 with a mission to create a better technology experience for their customers. At a basic level, a better experience means customers have the right solution to meet their needs, and it works – it makes doing business easier and more efficient. But a better experience also means having a partner who understands your business, stands beside you long-term, and helps you work through problems when they arise.
With IgniteCSG now serving more than 300 accounts across Canada, Taylor feels pretty confident their approach is working. Now, the Ignite team has set its sights on another troubled technology solution – cyber security.
Eric Jeffery is a cyber security expert and consultant for IBM’s Security Operation Center. He says that despite numerous high profile breaches over the past few years, many organizations fail to prioritize cyber security and end up “reacting” when a cyber security incident occurs.
“Everyone involved with information security must learn that unless we prepare and prevent, we will react, after the fact, as numbers of governments, companies and individuals already have,” Jeffery writes in his white paper for the International Cyber Security and Intelligence Conference.
The difficulty for many organizations, however, is the prevalent culture of fear within the cyber security industry. Taylor says many companies simply aren’t getting the support and partnership they need from service providers, and the feedback he hears from customers is that they are worried about a cyber attack, they don’t understand the solutions being sold to them, and they are left unprotected.
The newly minted Ignite Security Services Group (IgniteSSG) promises to partner with customers long-term and build a cyber resilience strategy that goes beyond making a one-time security product purchase.
“We wanted to create an experience where if customers have a problem, they feel like they have a partner that can help them work through it. It’s not a one-and-done purchase order type strategy,” Taylor says.
“We want to help customers understand where they are today, and where they need to be from a security standpoint – then help them make sure they have a road map to success that includes their security partner in the process.”
And so far, it’s working. IgniteSSG is already making inroads in industries like oil and gas, high tech, and transportation. Bluedrop Performance Learning is an e-learning company based in Atlantic Canada. They serve clients in aerospace and defense. Chief Operating Officer, John Moores, says he was impressed with IgniteSSG from the start.
“When we met with them, they provided a full review and business case. Their presentation was well done,” says Moores. “We already knew of Ignite, but their presentation sealed the deal.”
Moores notes that IgniteSSG’s technicians have been responsive and adaptive to Bluedrop’s complex needs, helping to resolve issues in a timely manner as they continue to work through implementation together.
“The project isn’t finished yet, but so far, we are pleased,” Moores says. “Good service and a good price. What more can you ask?”
Separate from Ignite’s original collaboration focus, IgniteSSG employs a specialized team with global experience in cyber security and a high degree of expertise in the space. Taylor says they plan to work with mid-market, small- and medium-sized companies who may not have the resources in-house for a fulsome cyber security program.
“Nobody wants to spend 80-100k on an application that makes them feel secure only to find out that they aren’t. That’s disastrous and detrimental to the business, and unfortunately there are many people out there in that position,” Taylor says.
“We know we can create a better experience for our customers, and the market is telling us that organizations are looking for a longer term relationship with a security provider they can trust and rely on. That partner is IgniteSSG.”