Easy Engineering: To get us started, could you give us a little background on the company from your perspective? What was going on in the market when Swizznet launched and what were the goals for differentiation? SWIZZNET: The company was founded in 2007 by CPAs and then sold to Bluff Point Associates in June 2019. Swizznet enables businesses to leverage the applications that their operations run on from the cloud. We have architected (in-house) and consistently enhance an enterprise-grade, bank-level secure platform (see Why Tech Matters link) that is flexible in using 3rd Party applications and integrations to deliver the same on-premise experience that clients already use and expect without changing from their beloved ‘desktop’ Sage or QuickBooks (full featured products). This allows SMB and mid-size Enterprises to eliminate IT headaches and add unlimited mobility and scalability for mission-critical business and accounting applications. We pair our platform with our Obsessive Support ® for a seamless and reliable experience – all day, every day – with a guaranteed 99.95% uptime. We want to facilitate access to your accounting and business software to maximize efficiency of your back-office solutions. E.E: Given your industry experience, what have been the biggest shifts you’ve witnessed over the years in the accounting software and ERP hosting space? Can you identify any trends or challenges your team has had to stay ahead of to remain competitive? SWIZZNET: Swizznet, and the industry as a whole, have seen a move to the cloud that is only accelerating as business look to find a way through the pandemic. This trend started a decade ago and has only accelerated of late. Bob Hollander, Swizznet CEO/President likes to use the Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella’s quote that while ringing in 2020, no one could have imagined that the world would go through two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. This is not about to change because the pandemic has changed how most do business from this point forward. For those that will go back to the old norm, it won’t be the same old norm as before either! There is a new norm no doubt! 2020 has seen a race to cloud-enabled offerings to minimize the impact of COVID on their employee and clients. Business Process Impact – The way you work is normally vital to how you need to operate so changing it, changes risks and exposure to say the least. Unlike SaaS, which may also be a good option for your business, hosting your subscription in the cloud allows your software to continue to easily integrate with most any licensed 3rd Party app so that business processes don’t change. Because you are working with the same mission critical business flows, the look and feel are the same and there is no training so adoption is as easy as 1-2-3. Security Impact – Many companies rushed to expand their on-premise solution so it was ‘remote-like’ or shifted to hosted solutions of varying quality while they assessed the business situation for the long-term. For those making a shift to hosting in the cloud, we have found several businesses that put their software on platforms not authorized by the software vendor and do not meet minimum requirements. While others have chosen the lowest cost option to save money during the pandemic but are finding a frustrating experience with the systems that are not user-friendly or staff that are not QuickBooks ProAdvisors or Sage Certified. As seen in Why Tech Matters, Swizznet has layers of user experience and security built throughout our entire solution. We go above and beyond to offer secure, enterprise-grade technology. E.E: You have a good list of solutions — from Quickbooks and Sage hosting to private cloud servers for hosting an entire portfolio of applications. Is there an underlying tenet connecting all of your services that you think attracts and retains customers? What’s your personal favourite aspect of Swizznet to tell people about? SWIZZNET: Yes, we take those two market-leading products and host them in the cloud by pairing them with: Enterprise-Grade, Bank-Level solution with a simplified, superior remote user experience – Our systems were originally designed and continuously updated to support hosted accounting solutions for a high regulation environment. We don’t just put a few data centers together and stick software on it for a user to access. We deliver SOC II data centers, PCI compliance, meet HIPPAA regulations and 256-bit encryption for data at rest or in-motion. We do this by providing access to your software in multiple – easy to use – ways that, at a minimum, include: (1) HTML / Web Browser with safe-site SSL Certificate, and (2) a desktop application. “These access tools are powered by Citrix or CloudJumper and are absolute game changers!”, says Bob Hollander. They will deliver an office-like, desktop look and feel where you can print locally, makes use of multiple monitors, user shadowing and provides incremental security while increasing speed and more. This is a huge performance improvement over the typical Microsoft Remote Desktop Services alone, which are seen as clunky and slow, and open to security vulnerabilities. White-glove Obsessive Support ® – 24/7/365 US-based support that can be reached 4 different ways: (1) email, (2) live chat, (3) ticket system, or (4) phone. Yes PHONE! We want to make sure that when you need someone fast, you are not waiting for hours or days to get a reply to an email or ticket that frustrates your experience! And often live chat, is best for short, quick answers or to begin a conversation – not for more complex, detailed discussions. Additionally, our Support Team (and many of the Sales Team) are QuickBooks ProAdvisor Certified or Sage Certified. Having staff members trained on the software helps us bridge between software glitches and useability so the user does not feel like a ping-pong ball being handed back-and-forth between our IT Department and the software vendors. When it gets beyond our skillset, we personally connect them with a contact at Intuit or Sage for a seamless handoff. We take this very seriously. E.E: If you had to quantify the #1 benefit Swizznet delivers to businesses, what would it be (dollars saved, hours saved, high performance/uptime rates, ROI, all of the above)? SWIZZNET: Because we were built by accountants, for accountants our staff is trained to be more than a cost centre to our clients. Yes, we save them money by providing all the above at a price you cannot do it yourself. Yes, we deliver Headache-Free IT. But it’s equally true that we want to bring more to the game. With our QuickBooks environment we help provide cloud-based accounting collaboration for users and CPAs and we help showcase year-round revenue opportunities for CPAs. This year-round revenue is further supported by online tools on our website. And with Sage, we provide rapid server deployment the same day while extending full administrative access to clients. E.E: We’re curious about your internal development processes. As you’re updating products, adding features, and putting new ideas into production, how much of the process and discussions are based around adapting to the newest trend and/or listening to customer feedback? SWIZZNET: Because we were built by accountants, for accountants our staff is trained to be more than a cost centre to our clients. Yes, we save them money by providing all the above at a price you cannot do it yourself. Yes, we deliver Headache-Free IT. But it’s equally true that we want to bring more to the game. With our QuickBooks environment we help provide cloud-based accounting collaboration for users and CPAs and we help showcase year-round revenue opportunities for CPAs. This year-round revenue is further supported by online tools on our website. And with Sage, we provide rapid server deployment the same day while extending full administrative access to clients. E.E: What’s on the horizon? Is there anything coming down the pipeline that you’re personally excited about? Anything else you’d like to highlight in the article from a marketing perspective? (could be a product update, a new internal focus, or company milestone, etc.) SWIZZNET: The company has literally doubled down on its technology investments to scale the business, better penetrate the market, and offer increased value to customers. So, we are always improving the existing systems today while building for tomorrow. It’s not just about moving a business to the cloud but also about how clients ‘utilize’ the power of the cloud and gain more value-added benefits. Typically, at a lower cost, higher quality, more secure solution. Additionally, Swizznet strengthened it’s Financial ITaaS portfolio by acquiring RightSize Solutions (RSS) announced on November 6, 2020. With this transaction, Swizznet has expanded its cybersecurity, compliance enforcement and managed technology services portfolio for the financial services industry. “By far, RightSize has the most secure ITaaS solution set in the Financial Services sector, with 18 years of experience delivering SEC-compliant cloud services to hundreds of firms across the US,” said Bob Hollander. “Swizznet leads in delivering fully-supported hosted accounting applications and the acquisition of RightSize further positions us for the growing security, compliance and remote-worker needs our accounting and business clients have”. E.E: Describe your team—is there a company ideology you’re most proud of, or perhaps, a little-known fact about your team culture/office dynamics that you think contributes to your success as a brand? SWIZZNET: We are a small but growing company so we are very personable. Bob Hollander, CEO/President pushes for an environment that is inclusive, collaborative and solutions-based.