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TeleGlobal Consulting Group – providing an exceptional level of Managed Services to SMBs in the Professional and Financial Services Sectors
TeleGlobal Consulting Group
JOHN C. POPTSIS, CPA, CMA
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – January 17, 2022
CEOCFO: Mr. Poptsis, what is the overall vision behind TeleGlobal Consulting Group?
Mr. Poptsis: The overall vision that we have at TeleGlobal is to provide an exceptional level of managed services which are uniquely designed to meet the needs of small and medium sized businesses, mostly in the professional and financial services sectors. My background is in corporate finance, and I have leveraged my understanding of the professional services sector to be able help guide our team in developing a set of managed IT services which specifically meet the needs of firms in this space. With the rapidly changing pace of technology these days, the complexity of IT infrastructure, even in small firms has become quite complex. Add to this an ever-
Having come from a financial background and having been in a similar firm, I realized there were distinctive challenges within small and medium-
CEOCFO: Are people ready or perhaps even more than ready today?
Mr. Poptsis: I have seen a distinct shift over the past decade on the part of professionals in terms of being comfortable in making the decision to let outside firms oversee aspects of their IT technology and processes. More recently, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of cybersecurity attacks targeting firms in the professional services and financial sectors. The COVID 19 pandemic and resulting shift to work from home (WFH) business models, have further increased the vulnerability of firms as the quick shift to having employees work from their homes has meant that in many cases, work being performed from a home network which did not have many of the layers of cyber security that had been put in place to protect the office network. We are seeing that many firms in the sectors that we support have come to the realization that it is very difficult to develop the level of in-
CEOCFO: What is the key to TeleGlobal to being not only up-
Mr. Poptsis: We quickly realized that the pace and scale of changes in the IT landscape had reached a point where it was not possible for a single firm such as ourselves to effectively stay up-
We have realized that our strength comes from our ability to build a network of strong partners and to work closely with them to be able to develop solutions that allow our clients to benefit, not only from our own expertise, but from the expertise of all the industry leading partners that we work with. This is one of the critical success factors which has proven to be instrumental in allowing us to advance our cybersecurity business to the point where we feel comfortable that we are becoming one of the firms at the leading edger our industry. Success for us these days is in part dependent as much on the capabilities of our partners, as it is on the expertise that we are able to develop amongst our team members.
We are not only involved in the procurement of services from these vendors, but we are also heavily involved in their research and development and in giving feedback to these organizations on how to improve their services to better fit the needs of our customers.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us something specific that you might have learned or were able to embrace through the collaboration?
Mr. Poptsis: As we began the process of building out our partnerships with firms in the US, our discussions with these partners at the advisory board level really made us aware early on of the scope, complexity, and overall scale of cybersecurity attacks which many small and medium sized firms were experiencing within the US. This was a few years ago, when there were only a handful of large cyber-
Looking back, I am not sure that we would have been as successful in helping our clients had we not had the early insight into what was happening in the cybersecurity space from our partners outside of Canada.
CEOCFO: How do you reach out and how do you explain to a prospective client why they should be using TeleGlobal?
Mr. Poptsis: Our approach to reaching out and acquiring new business has leveraged my financial background as a CPA, as well as the expertise that we have gained from working with some of our very first clients in the professional and financial services sectors. As a former CFO and CRO, I have a strong appreciation for the way in which our clients evaluate our services, as I have been in their position before in evaluating IT outsourcing options. Many of our team at TeleGlobal have backgrounds that span beyond simply IT and include functional expertise in areas such as accounting, engineering, and business management. This multidisciplinary expertise allows our prospective clients to understand the value we can offer in terms of providing managed IT services which really address their specific needs and financial constraints. Our approach to working with prospective clients is not your typical IT driven sales process. We leverage the unique expertise of our team to be able to present IT solutions to our clients in such a way that really speaks to the key business issues of the prospective client in language and terminology that they can relate to within the context of their own business. As a CPA who had evaluated many IT proposals, I work closely with our team to make sure that our proposals are not written with an emphasis on IT terminology and are more focused on addressing specific business issues within the client. A detailed financial analysis that can clearly demonstrate the relationship between what we are proposing and increases in their business value is a key component of all our proposals.
A lot of our business has been acquired through referrals from existing clients. Once a referral has reached out to us, there is a certain amount of implied trust that comes from having one of our existing clients vouch for our abilities and track record. The professional and financial services sectors are a very close-
We have now reached a point in our company’s growth where we have established a certain degree of reputation amongst the industry and our peers in terms of our core philosophy, expertise, approach, and our consistent track-
CEOCFO: Why is now the time and how are you ready?
Mr. Poptsis: I think a couple of factors have made this the opportune time to start approaching a much broader sector of our market. We have gotten to a point where we feel very confident with the capabilities of our team, as well as the systems and processes which we have implemented. The COVID19 pandemic provided our firm with a really good way to test the resiliency and robustness of our services and capabilities and showed me just how strong a team we have in place. We have always informally adopted the motto of doing “whatever it takes” to overcome adversity in the pursuit of achieving our objectives. The pandemic simply highlighted to me the degree to which we have built a remarkable team and has allowed our employees to really shine in the face of a once in a century, global pandemic.
The notion that people can rise to a challenge has clearly been evident at TeleGlobal over the past two years. I am confident that having been able to successfully help our clients navigate through all the challenges presented by the effects of the pandemic, while being able to continue to grow our business in the double digits throughout the COVID19 pandemic, has shown me that there is very little that our team is not able to accomplish.
As an accountant, I am always quite conservative, so risk mitigation is always important to me, so I am always a little hesitant to undertake strategies to grow our business too quickly. I believe that based on what I have seen our team accomplish over the last two years, I am very comfortable with accelerating our efforts to expand our business.
We have put a lot of effort into developing the expertise of our team. We have specifically hired people with very diverse backgrounds so that we can increase our skillset and understanding as a company. As a result, our team has done an excellent job of creating a platform for our business which will allow us to scale our operations not only domestically, but also internationally. In the past few years, we have seen a sizeable amount of growth in our business in the US. It first started when our Canadian clients began to expand their operations in the US, and we are now starting to market our services directly to US based customers which I believe is a natural evolution of where we want to grow as a company.
CEOCFO: What have you learned during COVID?
Mr. Poptsis: The COVID19 pandemic reaffirmed a virtue that I have held for most of my professional career that being flexible and resilient and able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, efficiently, and competently is a key factor in the long-
What we learned as an organization early in the COVID19 pandemic was that our ability to adapt and react quickly to changes facing our clients’ businesses was something which set us above and beyond many of our industry peers. We have always been very proactive in terms of addressing our clients’ needs and we knew that the pandemic would have a quick and long-
Looking back, it was a very hectic and stressful couple of weeks, but I think that our clients quickly realized that we were very flexible and able to adapt quickly to changes in their businesses resulting from the COVID19 pandemic.
As a result, our clients were able to transition from their in-
In the last eighteen months, I believe our clients have had an opportunity to gain a deep understanding of what our ethos is at TeleGlobal and to understand where our focus is, how we operate, and what we hold true in terms of being a valued managed services provider.
I firmly believe the COVID19 pandemic was an unprecedented global situation that may not be seen again for quite some time, so the fact that we were able to live through it and learn from this experience is something that will make us much stronger going forward in much the same way previous global challenges have shaped future generations.
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“The notion that people can rise to a challenge has clearly been evident at TeleGlobal over the past two years. I am confident that having been able to successfully help our clients navigate through all the challenges presented by the effects of the pandemic, while being able to continue to grow our business in the double digits throughout the COVID19 pandemic, has shown me that there is very little that our team is not able to accomplish.”