Meet the Finalists: Q&A with dataJAR's Director and Head of Services James Ridsdale

Nima Green
clock • 4 min read

dataJAR has been shortlisted in ‘Best MSP Technical Support' in this year's European MSP Innovation Awards 2021

Channel Partner Insight has today revealed all those who made it onto this year's European MSP Innovation Awards 2021 shortlist.

Apple partner dataJAR is a finalist in the 'Best MSP Technical Support' category.

Its director and head of services James Ridsdale spoke to CPI about why the MSP entered, what the challenges of the last 12 months have been, and what's next on the horizon for the business.

What does this win mean for you/for the business? What could be the impact of this recognition?

This win is an important recognition of the quality, skills and commitment across the entire dataJAR team.

Delivering best-in-class support is undoubtedly a company-wide effort. For me, this proves the team is wholeheartedly committed to providing the best possible experience for our customers, and is a great milestone in our journey towards developing the next generation of managed services.

Has the last year changed dataJAR's engagement with vendors? And with customers?

This past year has been transformative for dataJAR. From the very start of the pandemic, we knew our customers would look to us to enable them with the technology and support they needed to be able to respond to the challenges of remote working during unprecedented times.

Knowing this gave us the drive to set some ambitious targets for ourselves.

We reviewed and adjusted all our partner and vendor engagement processes, ensuring we could respond to more frequent but shorter remote requests, as opposed to the longer in-person visits that were previously the norm.

For our customers, our strategy employed a two-pronged approach that focused on communication and technology.

We placed great emphasis on providing assurance to our clients by increasing our customer success and technical support touchpoints. At the same time, we stepped up our software development efforts to build and release products and tools that would enable our customers' technology teams to be self-sufficient, from anywhere.

What were some of the top achievements over the last year?

This has been such an active and rewarding year for us, with multiple high points that are difficult to rank by importance.

Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, our focus and commitment to our customers and platform has allowed us to grow the business by 40 per cent. We established a strong development team that has already released new products, while launching a new partner programme enabling some of the world's largest channel vendors with unmatched Apple device management capabilities.

Another notable achievement for us was inclusion in the G2 Grid® for Mobile Device Management, while being awarded ‘best support' for two consecutive quarters.

This is a key success metric for us as G2 rankings are based on both customer and independent reviews, as well as market data. Seeing, our Device-as-a-Service platform for Apple, continue to outperform the majority of MDM solutions in the satisfaction table and to be ranked in the top five (out of 104) is a fantastic accomplishment and testament to the team's skill and commitment.

What are the most important strategy decisions dataJAR is considering to continue to be successful in the European market this year?

Our mission is to help our customers simplify, automate and succeed with Apple technology.

We aspire to achieve this by combining our skills and experience with powerful technology. The continuous development and improvement of this technology, which must respond to customer needs and deliver clear and measurable value, is of strategic importance to us.

We see ourselves as a services-enabled MDM vendor as much as an MSP; I believe our success is intrinsically linked to the guiding principle that drives our approach towards providing successful managed services. In order for a MSP platform to provide real value to its customers, a combination of three things is required: technology, skills and process.

This principle underpins the development of our entire product portfolio, which is designed to deliver a set of powerful technology and enablement services, framed by a support function of the highest possible level of technical skill in the Apple space.

It is our strategy to continue developing our product portfolio with service-enabled solutions for managing and securing Apple.

What will a MSP look like in five years? Essentially, where do you think the market for managed services market is headed. Are you planning to make a business model pivot?

Without a doubt, the changes we have all experienced in the last year will have a long-lasting impact on the way we work and the increasingly important role of technology.

For MSPs across all verticals, this warrants a rethink of technology strategy and business models, from being reactive and transactional to data and automation driven. I believe this shift is already happening in many forward-thinking MSPs and it will become mainstream in the next five years.

From a dataJAR perspective, we want to be among the first in the sector to bridge that gap. We aim to have developed a strategy that will allow us to innovate on technology, both in what we develop in-house as well as in integrating with our partners, while also building on our core strength of technical expertise and truly understanding our customers' needs.

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