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View from the Channel – With Luis Navarro, Co-founder of Totality Services

Totality Services offers fully managed IT support and IT consultancy to small and medium-sized businesses in the London area and recently launched WFH IT Support to meet the needs of work-from-home employees everywhere. The company was founded in 2008 by childhood friends Luis Navarro (right) and Pedro Martins (left), with a focus on providing affordable, leading edge technology with the highest levels of customer service. It has a client retention rate of 98% and, following its third Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award in as many years, has just been awarded Feefo Platinum Trusted Service status. With a Feefo review rating of 4.9/5, it is London’s highest rated IT services provider. Here, Luis Navarro offers his view from the channel.

Technology Reseller (TR):How’s business; better or worse than 12 months ago? And how confident are you about the future?
Luis Navarro (LN): Business is great. Our revenue is up 20% year-on-year, which is fantastic. Like most business owners, I had that ‘panic moment’ when the first lockdown was announced, but we are very lucky to be one of those companies whose services are very much in demand. This was evident very early on in the pandemic – we’ve never received so many enquiries, and our high client retention has hardly been impacted. Simply put, companies need quality IT support and robust IT security now more than ever.

TR: In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand?
LN:We launched the totality services Microsoft 365 Training Academy nine months ago, and it’s been extremely successful. Initially, we provided free webinars for our clients, focusing on home working and the use of productivity and collaboration tools, such as Teams, SharePoint etc., which were very well received. We now offer our clients and their staff bespoke training geared to their specific requirements. Having this offering means we can not only deploy Microsoft 365 to a very high standard but also train users so that they get the most out of it.

TR:Where is business proving most difficult?
LN:The main issue we’ve faced is keeping up with client demand for hardware, specifically laptops. Manufacturers and distributors have been selling out of all business mid-range models almost instantly throughout the pandemic. Previously we would buy in laptops, as they were required by clients in very small quantities, but now we’re having to buy in bulk and hold stock (especially for our larger clients). Adapting our processes to deal with this was a necessary pain, as we simply cannot let our clients down if they have a new starter or need a replacement device.

TR: How have you changed/are you changing business operations to exploit new opportunities?
LN: We launched a new entity called WFH IT Support to cater to businesses who no longer require all their staff to work from an office. The business is in its infancy and still in pilot mode, however we foresee huge traction in the near future. The thing I’m most proud about is that we’ll be donating 5% of revenue generated by WFH IT Support to Crisis. Homelessness is predicted to become an even bigger problem and we want to help out.

TR:What do you see as the biggest challenges facing channel businesses today?
LN: My sales team and I haven’t been able to grow our network much since March last year. LinkedIn has its limitations, and I receive around 20-30 connection requests per day, which is impossible to manage. Established businesses will have continued to flourish during these times, through existing networks and contacts, but start-ups in our sector will have struggled.

TR: Could vendors and distributors do more to help partners overcome the challenges they face? And if so, what?
LN:This could be a very long list! As a business, we are big fans of automation and integration of internal platforms. This frees up our staff to focus on looking after our clients, rather than actioning time-consuming manual processes that are prone to error. Touching on one aspect, it would be great if all our vendors’ systems could integrate with ours; this would result in huge efficiencies.

TR:Are customers becoming more demanding, and if so, in what ways?
LN:In our line of work, clients are always demanding, especially as a large part of our offering is service-related. We embrace it and have a very strong culture of continuous improvement. Without demanding clients we wouldn’t have achieved any success.Since the transition to home working, we have been pushing the IT security agenda to our clients to a much greater degree as there are far more risks now. We had to manage and deliver over 100 security-related projects over a 3-month period. Collectively, that was very demanding. Luckily, we have a great team that went above and beyond.

TR: If you could change one aspect of your job, what would it be and why?
LN: I would move abroad, work remotely and come back to the UK a few times every month. I’ll be addressing this in the near future.

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TechnologyReseller: 2021