by Heidi Riley
Starport Managed Services helps companies which outsource their IT services. “When users have difficulties with their computers or printers, they reach out to us,” says Brad Yeo, Chief Operating Officer. “In today’s world, 85 percent of issues are solved remotely.”
The company supports all industries, including non-profits, high-level investment brokerages, mining, commercial real estate, and manufacturing.
The PEI service desk in Summerside does remote support for Toronto organizations and handles remote tech support, cybersecurity monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, proactive maintenance and patching, IT projects, office moves and upgrades, MSP compliance, audits, and reports.
“Currently, we don’t support any companies on PEI, but we are interested in growing the business in that direction.”
The company started in Toronto 16 years ago with four employees, and that number has grown to 50. The office in Summerside opened four years ago with four employees, and now has 16.
They plan to open an office in Charlottetown in early 2023. “We have a fantastic team in Summerside, and we look forward to having a fantastic team in Charlottetown as well.”
Brad is from PEI and moved to Toronto in 2005. “I came back to PEI every summer, and I knew talent was here. When we opened the office in Summerside, it was a very proud moment. The service desk on PEI has hit a home run – they knocked it right out of the park. It transformed our business, and we were able to grow in leaps and bounds. Customer satisfaction went way up.
“It also gave me a chance to move back to PEI, and I am officially a resident again.”
Aaron Boeker is one of the original PEI employees. “Our job is to identify, assess and prioritize. These days, most storage and services are in the cloud, so it is possible to fix issues remotely. We take care of managed backups, hardware procurement, figuring out what needs to be replaced, what is damaged or not working properly.
“We do change management – as companies change, we figure out what they need. During COVID-19, a lot of change had to happen. Cybersecurity is a big part of our job, as well as business continuity and disaster recovery. It could be spilling coffee on your laptop or hurricanes breaking buildings and flooding the server. Everything has to start running again as soon as possible.
“A big part of this is system security to identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. It is not about IF you get hacked – it’s about WHEN.”
Working in Managed Services
“We love the people who work for us on PEI – their loyalty and hard work, and the customer satisfaction,” says Brad. “What we do as a managed services company in the IT sector means there is not a better place to start for people coming straight out of school. Working with us, you will get to see almost all the technologies, and you will be able to find what interests you and build your career from there.
“Many of the people we interview are interested in working in cybersecurity. I always tell them to be careful what you wish for. It can be really boring. You are staring at stuff going across the screen – it’s not exciting like the show 24 where people are hacking into the Pentagon in five minutes. There is much more to it.
“In addition to cybersecurity, you are touching technology such as networking, PC, printers, switches, and firewalls. We do everything from high-level server networking to changing the batteries in a mouse. That is why people are interested in starting a career in Managed Services.
“When you start working with us, you will gain people skills, which you may not gain at school. Many people can fix computers, but they also need to learn to talk on the phone and be patient and walk people through to a solution.”
Why consider working with Starport?
- Long-term career – “People have moved from a tech position to a senior supervisory role working closely with clients as an account manager – there is a tremendous opportunity for growth,” says Aaron.
- Collaborative environment
- Opportunity to earn industry certifications and polish your skills
- Attend international trade shows
- Work with cutting edge technology in a small city
- Build relationships with clients and vendors
- Benefits: dental, vision and health
- Work with a company that cares about clients and staff
“We have students from Holland College, and we have people who don’t have formal education but have an affinity for technology. We train them up, we do internships and on the job training, and offer summer positions where people work full time and then go back to school. Some work part-time while going to school and then full-time once they graduate. There are lots of opportunities.”