• Rocketwise - The DLS4E5

    Rocketwise- The DL S4E5 is now available on your favorite podcast app! 

    In this episode of The DL, Diesel Laptops’ Founder and CEO, Tyler Robertson, is joined by Kevin Landers, president of Rocketwise.

    The rocketwise Dealer Ally Success Platform sets us apart from the normal IT provider. It strategically guides your dealership to maximize efficiency while increasing stability and reducing risks.

    As always, thank you for watching and listening!

    CONNECT WITH Kevin Landers and Rocketwise:

    LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-landers/

    Website - https://rocketwise.com/

    Listen on your favorite podcast streaming platform below:

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    Transcript for Rocketwise - The DL S4E5:

    Tyler Robertson: 

    This episode today really strikes close to home. So those of you listening or watching here may not know this about me, maybe you do. But before I did Diesel Laptops, my job was working at a OEM dealership,  truck dealership, and I was in charge of their IT and I was in charge of their marketing. So I learned a lot  about that side of the world working for somebody else and really those skills I learned helped me here  at Diesel Laptops. But I didn't take all those lessons I learned to heart. So as I talk about in this episode  with Kevin, you'll hear me talk and refer to some things. So yes, our company, Diesel Laptops, got  hacked and lost over $40,000. We've had some catastrophic IT failures along the way before we had  people to actually help do those things where phone systems didn't work and accounts got locked out  and all these things that happen with a business. And as a small business, taking IT security and  resources seriously is almost overwhelming. It is overwhelming. There's so many pieces to it. It's a really  hard thing to do. 

    And the story you're going to hear here with Kevin is first of all, super knowledgeable guy in this space.  He's actually just not that far from us. And the company he does and started, now he merged with  somebody, but they focus on IT services for equipment dealers. So equipment dealers are just like truck  dealerships. So I have a lot within in regards with Kevin, he's just right down the road, super  knowledgeable guy though. But really, if you're especially, again, small business, even if you have one  employee, just yourself, you need to learn at least enough to know. You don't want to be caught in the  situation where it's like, "Well, I didn't know about that," and now you're out $50,000 a year.  Computers, ransomware, and you can't access any of your files or your bank accounts hacked or all  those other badness that happens in the industry. And I know that's part of it. 

    The other part is having the resources to grow your business. You can't grow your business if your  systems and processes aren't in the right condition to allow you to scale. So Kevin's a great guy. If you  got questions about this stuff, reach out to him. The dude's got a heart of a teacher, he just wants to  keep getting out there and helping people. So I think you're going to like the episode. Again, comment,  like, share, all those things help. Enjoy the episode. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Welcome to the DL. I am your host, Tyler Robertson, the podcast show. We talk about everything going  on in the commercial truck world, your business, entrepreneurship, all these things I'm passionate about. And this is another one of those where you need to pay attention. As I said in the story at the  beginning of this, my company got hacked, we lost over $40,000 to some things, we've made a lot of  mistakes. I'm doing this from a place of my heart to try to help everybody understand there's things you  need to know about your business and things you need to care about, and there's people out there that  can help you. So with that, I brought in something that's local to me. So we're here in the studio again, if  you're in the audio portion, you can't see us, but we're in the studio here in [inaudible 00:03:00] and just  down the road for us down in Mount Pleasant, Charleston low country area, I have Kevin Landers here, President of Rocketwise. Welcome man. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Thanks man. It's good to be, like you said, back in person and yeah, I was glad that we ended up being so  close together.

    Tyler Robertson: 

    What's interesting is I worked in commercial truck dealerships my entire life and I happen to find you on  LinkedIn, don't know how I found you on LinkedIn, you posted something or what happened, and really  your company does IT services for equipment dealers. Man, that's like a niche inside of a niche. How did you guys... How did the company get started and...

    Kevin Landers: 

    Sure. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    How'd you get there working with equipment dealers? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    So I didn't start there, obviously. We've got 20, maybe 25 years in the industry just doing IT in general  for a variety of different organizations out there. And 2018, a good friend of mine and I, we had  organizations that they really had a lot of similarities. We did everything just about the same. And over  the years we had always bounced ideas off of one another, really collaborating, doing a lot of the same  things. And 2018 we decided, you know what? It's time for us to actually really talk about a partnership,  bring our two companies together, see what we can do. And in that transition, among all the other  things in that transition, one was, what are we really good at? Who do we really enjoy doing business  with? And where do we actually see that we can make a difference? And as we looked across our entire  client base, the equipment dealers that we worked with, really there was a lot of symmetry there. We're  very service focused. They're very service focused. We were being allowed to really do some things to  bring more value to them, help them be more efficient, enhance their business processes, et cetera. And  so as we got to looking at it, it just made sense, "Hey, let's look into this industry, let's see what their  need is beyond just what we know and-" 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So you guys had some customers already in that space at that time? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Okay. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    And they were local to us and that's how most IT companies are. You reach out to someone local, maybe  you know through the chamber, maybe you know from a family friend, maybe your kids go to school together. And so that's how we got into it because we had a local IT or, excuse me, internet service  provider that was a partner of ours, and they called us to tell us that the first dealer that we started  working with, that they'd had someone snag a fiber line, it had started a fire in their network closet, they'd been down for two days. 

    Tyler Robertson:

    How'd that start a fire? I didn't think that starts a fire. You cut a network fiber line? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Apparently it does. We actually went in there, there were char marks up the wall and oddly enough  there were metal racks with network equipment in it and they were arc welded to the shelves. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Has to make you wonder how well... I mean, cable management. And just having your server rack in  order probably has something to do with it, I guess. Making sure things are grounded [inaudible  00:06:14]. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah, I never really considered, will it start a fire? Yeah, it was interesting. But yeah, a dump truck, I believe it was, snapped a line on the way off the property and... 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    That was it. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    That was our introduction to equipment dealerships. So we had already established that relationship,  began to doing business with them, and so by the time we did our merger and started really looking at,  where do we want to head? That was where we ended up. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So I mean I've never had a partnership. It's always been me just being dumb and figuring things out.  How is it having a partner? I mean, I imagine there's pros and cons to it. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah, there are. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    How has it been for you? It's been a couple years. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    I don't know how many people will be familiar with Dave Ramsey, but 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    A huge Dave Ramsey fan right here. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Okay. So Chip severance, my partner, and I, we actually met in Nashville at a Dave Ramsey entreleadership where he kind of teaches the how and why, how they do business. And we got introduced  there one night over dinner and really nothing developed from that conversation. We each had each other's card and like I said, by the time we did a merger, we'd found that we were, again, doing a lot of the same things and we found that we were having a call once a week on a schedule just brainstorming,  how do we improve our individual businesses? How do we troubleshoot? Anyway, that being said, to  your point, and I guess the irony there is that Dave Ramsey says the only ship that doesn't sail 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Sail is a partnership. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Is a partnership. And so, 2017 was a weird year for me, I had lost my father, had my first child, and then  Chip calls me and says, "I've been doing this thing called entrepreneur organization and every time we're  having a meeting, they're bringing these folks who are talking about their success, how they just  ballooned their business and almost 95% of the time it's partners." And so we had jokingly would ask  each other, "Hey, when are you going to come to Charleston and be my CEO? When are you going to  come to Knoxville and be my COO?" And so he told me on that call, he is like, "We need to put up or  shut up. Either we seriously consider it or we just quit joking about it." And it's been an interesting  marriage of sorts. I mean, technically, I guess, he is my work wife, at least that's how my wife refers to  him. But the nice thing is we both have strengths where I'm empathetic, he's very non-empathetic and... 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    You need that yin and yang and the difference is there, so I get it. So I just want to real quickly sidebar,  just because you mentioned Dave Ramsey. So first of all, when I moved to South Carolina, man, this is 15  plus years ago, it took me two or three credit cards to get through the grocery store. I was just a mess,  didn't have my things, wasn't honest with my wife about it. It was not good. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Understood. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    And that was the point. I was like, okay, this is never happening to me again. So maybe a couple years  until I really started listening to Dave's podcast and read his book and everything, but I can tell people  listening to this, one of the big reasons I was able to even quit my job in duties of laptops is because I had zero debt, no car payments, no student loans. I was this close to paying the house off. It was almost  done. And it just gave me a lot of runway to be able to afford the time to do it. So I think a lot of times  people get confused in business when we talk about risk and debt and all these things. And especially  when the market's hot, everyone's like, "Get mortgages on your house, put it in the market," and all this  stupid stuff. He's really right though. You have cash in the bank, you don't have debt, it gives you some  flexibility to go do some things and de-risk your life. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    It certainly does. My wife and I, we were dating at the time and we came home one night to my parents'  house and my dad had this weird baldheaded guy who's screaming, calling people stupid on Fox  Business and it was Dave. And I'm like, how would they not kick the guy off the air? What in the world? And she was coming out of medical school, she's a PA and she had her shared debt hanging around her  neck. I had student loans still. So anyway, the timing was good for us. We got introduced to him then.  And like you said, a lot of the things he said just made sense. And so we worked hard. We became debt free. We're debt free now other than the mortgage on the house. And the positive thing is a business  owner, especially when you run your business that way so that you're not utilizing debt is that you make  decisions differently. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Every dollar counts and you got to be like, okay, I'm putting a dollar in, I need to get more than a dollar  out of this thing. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Sure. And you can really lead in a different way and you never have to worry, am I selling something to  someone just because I got these bills I got to pay? I don't care whether they need it or not, they need  to buy this so I can pay this. You're not forcing this sort of situations, you get to focus really on doing  what's best for your customer, what's best for your team. And there are other things that play into that,  sure, but 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Oh, I mean, yeah, you're not making the best decision for the bank or for the manage payment or the  shareholders. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Or my dad would say, "Don't work for others. Don't work for JCPenney and [inaudible 00:11:33] and  Ford Motor Credit and work for yourself." 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    No. It's, again, if people are listening to this, seriously, if you have, I guarantee you most of you listening  to this have a bunch of student loans. Like Dave says, people keep student loan payments around like  their pets, right? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Sure. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    They hang around for 20 years. Trust me, go check out Dave Ramsey. I'll get off that pedestal here for a  second at Soapbox. Sure, it does help people, but I think it goes back to what we're talking about is de risking your personal life, de-risking your business, and a lot of what you do with IT services with  company is de-risk them. It is a 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Look at that [inaudible 00:12:10]. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    It is a dangerous world out there in the interwebs across the globe. 

    Kevin Landers:

    Yes it is. And yes, the amount of risk that is out there for business that in ways that people have no idea  about and ways that keep me up at night. Yes, it's a wild, wild west out there. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So my kind of story here when it comes to cyber security or risk mitigation, however we want to call it, is  my company's in about our third year of business. We, get this, we're selling on Amazon so we get  deposits every two weeks from Amazon. I know which day they're coming. They come every day, every  two weeks, the last two years and it doesn't show up. I'm like, huh? So I'm like, okay, it's an ACH. Who  knows? Banking system. I'll give it a day or two. Doesn't show. I'm like, okay, let me contact Amazon.  "Hey, where's my deposit? It says it's been issued. Why not?" Like, "Well, it could take up to a week." I'm  like, okay, so wait a little bit more. And it was like I said, 40, $44,000. Somewhere in that neighborhood.  A week goes by, I'm like, okay, no money. What the hell's going on? 

    And I go into the settings on our Amazon seller account and I go check the deposit information. It's not  my bank. Not my bank at all. And I'm like 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Wow. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Okay. This is not good. And as a small business owner, you kind of have that wake up moment like, I just lost $40,000. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Sure. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    And I went down that rabbit hole of, all right, file a police report, call the banks. An FBI agent happened  to be living in my neighborhood that I lived in. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Oh wow. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So I'm like, "Oh, hey man." And he actually got me with their cyber crime department and I talked to the  guy and the guy just like, "Look, man." He goes, "This is the modern day bank robbery." He goes, "That  money was gone the minute that happened. No one's going to chase down only 40... You put a couple  more zeros on there, maybe somebody get interested, but chalk it up to a life lesson, man." I was like,  "Absolutely. Okay. Life lesson learned." And I could be mad all day long about all the reasons that  happened. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Sure. 

    Tyler Robertson:

    But it's really my fault at the end of the day. We didn't have two factor authentication. We didn't have  the right different login. We're sharing the same login. Nobody's reading the emails about notifications  of changes to bank. I mean, there's so many things we did wrong to make that account. But I've seen  that happen to me. I know a big company that we work with, I mean this is a company that does over  half a billion dollars in revenue, they get ransomware. And it happens more frequently I think, than  people care to admit. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah. I mean, the reality is that if you do get hit, your insurance company's going to want to control PR.  Right? I mean, because some people complain about, why are we not hearing about it? Why are they  not fessing up to it? And the other side of it is a small business. I mean, it's a PR nightmare. I mean, who  wants to go out publicly and say, "Hey, we lost all of our customer records?" 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Oh, it's horrible. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    People in Nigeria know who you are and your date of birth and 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Oh yeah, by the way, [inaudible 00:15:10], social security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name. Good luck. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Right. So nobody wants to go through that and the sad fact is that basically all the statistics show that  everyone that pays a ransom, there's a good chunk of them, like 70 something percent that say they just  pay it a second time. That's their plan, which is 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    I mean, it happened with Colonial Pipeline two years ago. Everyone remembers Colonial Pipeline here in  the southeast got hacked, all the pipelines shut off, essentially everyone panicked and ran out of fuel. So  it happens. So I guess for the audience, I think a lot of times people think these are super sophisticated  ways that people get in. Break it down. How do these things usually start with these types of attacks? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    So here's the sad reality. Majority of it's automated. Most people are like, "Why am I a target? Why would they target me?" The reality is you're a lot easier to target than the Colonial Pipeline. I mean,  someone hit Payter there and whatever. And in fact you actually see some of these larger companies get  hit and you see the ransomware gangs or crime gangs, whatever you want to call them, in some cases  they've said, "Hey, back off, we're not going to take those targets again." But the reality is that it's just as  easy to go online on the, quote, black market and basically rent access to computers that have already  been compromised to be able to then license software as a service, get a subscription for, "Hey, I want  to hit a hundred computers with ransomware and pay a couple hundred bucks. And not only do you get  the software, now you've also rented access to a couple hundred, couple thousand computers, and you  if tried to run the script and it doesn't work, you've got access to customer support. You can literally pick up the phone and talk with these folks and they'll help you actually make sure it works. And if you  actually don't get certain amount of return on your investment, they have money back guarantees. I  mean, they're running businesses. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    They're running a business to ransom... Ransomware is a service almost to everyone that wants to do it. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    I mean, Microsoft can't even run customer service as good as these folks are. And so I mean, that reality  is it's that simple. You just have to go to the right place and sign up with the right things and get access  to it. And then the other side of it is they're not necessarily targeting you. A lot of this is just spray and  prey automation that they run a script, they walk away. It's not like they're going, "I want to go after  Acme Machinery Company," and they dedicate five or 10 people to 24 hours a day, seven days a week  trying to hack in and figure out a way in. It's literally they're subscribing to a list where, shoot, we just  saw in the news that Uber got hacked. So socials and driver's... Or not socials, excuse me, state  identification numbers, driver's license numbers and other information details on Uber customers. And  so what do they do with that? They turn around and they sell it to these services so, okay, well now I  have all these email addresses and I can fake emails and pretend to be Uber and try to trip them up on  that, get them to click a link. And they don't care who the people are on the other end, it's all  automated. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So I know Okta is a publicly traded company, they make a user off system. They got hacked several  months ago, we saw the press release, because we were thinking about using them as a vendor. Then  we're like, "Nope, not using them as a vendor." But then I saw today another article where they were  using the credentials they stole off Okta to use onto other platforms and just, it's like this thing that just  keeps building up but 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Sure. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Where does it start? Is it email? Is it text message? Are they... You trying to hack into websites? Where  do they go? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    The majority of this stuff happens via email. So email makes up like 92% of all cyber crimes starting  there because, at the end of the day, what do you have to protect against? You have to... Or let me  rephrase. What are you actually fighting against as a malicious actor? You're fighting against people  actually having email security in place correctly. And I can't tell you how many times we see that that is  not the case. In my years of doing this, I've only run across, and it was recently, I ran across one  dealership where I actually commended the IT manager. I'm like, "You guys have your stuff together."  Literally had that call earlier this week. And I've been in this business for 20 plus years. So the first hurdle  is, do they have email security? And then the second hurdle, which is the weakest, is, what's the entity between the keyboard and the chair? How well is that person trained to actually pick up on it? And  that's your weakest link. And so the weigh in 92 plus percent of the time is email. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So we just finally switched from Rackspace to Microsoft 365 essentially for emails and everything so I  hope we're doing the right things. I'm going to have to 

    Kevin Landers: 

    I would say you are. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    We're going to do a tour after this and I'm having to talk to our IT person but it was nice to finally get  two factor authentication on our email accounts. And then we got the whole, we can encrypt messages  to each other if we need to. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah, sure. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    We can do the entire, people hate it, but it comes up on every email, this came from an outside source.  Because we were getting so many people that were, and we have SFP protection so people can't spoof  our email addresses and all those things. But it was so many people, I don't know how they do it, it'd be like a new hire, it happens every week with a new hire, a new hire would be like, they'd get an email from me, and I'm putting me in air quotes here for the audio portion, being like, "Hey, so and so, can  you run down to the store and get me some gift cards real quick?" And they would forward me the email like, "Is this real?" I'd be like, "No, it's not real. It says my name Tyler Robertson but it's really some of their domain [inaudible 00:20:59]." 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Hotgirl@hotmail.com or something. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Yeah. So everything I've learned though is it does start with emails and people just doing stupid stuff. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    And it's not so much, to be fair, most companies don't have a good security awareness training program  in place, so that's one. But going back to the Dave Ramsey thing, one of the things that I learned via  entree leadership is that majority of your staff, especially when you have more than yourself, you have  other people in your business, they have a life that is outside the doors of your company that impacts  everything they do even when they're doing their 40 hours a week in your business. So just this week we  met with my four and a half year old son's pre-K teacher, so that's on my mind, that's affecting me.  Whether it's the equivalent of, how do I protect my clients against some major attack? It's still back  there and it's a stressor, or anything going on in family life, anything going on in your personal life. So  there's this stuff that your team brings to the table with them when they come in the door every day.  And hopefully as a good leader, you're doing the things to help impact their lives personally in a positive way. But still, there are those things regardless of how well you've trained them, that always layer on at  the end of the day, are they going to click this link? And if they do, are they going to enter information? 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    It's always interesting when I go to these conferences and hear these people speak about how they'll go  to a company, they'll do awareness training, don't click on, don't open unknown attachments, don't click  on things, and then they do a fake one or whatever. And it always seems like it's a senior executive  somewhere, that the one person has probably more access to anything that does the stupid thing. But it  is a lot of education and I get it. I think me and you can understand when we're talking acronyms and  understand how things work, most people are just like, "My email works and I reply and I click a thing  because I trust it," and there's a lot more happening under the scenes that people typically don't  understand. So your company, you obviously, it sounds like, help dealerships, equipment dealerships, your customers with site with security or risk mitigation. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Sure. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    What else do you guys do over there? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    So I mean at a 500,000 foot view, we are an IT and cyber security firm and so we work with dealers that  have no IT staff and we are their IT department. So we handle everything from strategy to the day to  day putting out fires as it were, and monitoring their systems and so forth, as well as doing their cyber  security, keeping them secure. And then even with dealerships that have internal folks, we do what we  call co-managed IT where we kind of come alongside them, become an ally of theirs, and kind of fill in the gaps where they have a need, whether that's doing help desk for them or doing some of the more  heavy lifting projects or managing the cyber security, the infrastructure and all those sort of things. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    And I know people, if I say, "Oh, a company's got 150 employees, 200 employees," a lot of people are  like, "Wow, that's a big company." But I don't think a lot of people understand, usually in a company  that size, there's usually one IT person, maybe two. And the world of IT is a huge thing. Phone systems,  printers, PCs, desktops, networking, security printers, I mean the list goes on. And that's how I got first  involved was like I came into a company and I'm like, "Oh, I'm in charge of IT. Okay." And they really did  outsource pretty much everything but I quickly figured out like, man, there's no way I can be an expert  in all of these things. And it's a really hard thing to do inside a company. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Especially when you're looked upon to a one man band, so to speak, you're the IT department. It's hard  to be strategic and try to help leadership figure out how to be more efficient, to drive business  processes forward in a better way, how to deliver new offerings to your customers via leveraging  technology in a certain way. And while you're doing all that, do the actual projects to implement all  those ideas, and then while you're doing that, also do all the day to day helping Jane with her printer  and Jim with his email and all that. And you're expected to be an expert on all that and keep away all the bad guys. So really for us, it's all about putting the business in, leveling up their technology, their  operational maturity level with technology, and coming alongside of them and figuring out how do we... 

    Well, first of all, is it even in their best interest for us to actually be a part of the team? Because that's  not always true, depending on what they have going on. But if it does, then how do we actually fit into  that puzzle? You can't just take a random piece of a puzzle and slam it on the table and it fit, no matter  how hard my four year old tries. But you do have to look at it and figure out where everybody's  strengths and weaknesses are and figure out how your folks can play a part. And so to your point, trying  to be an expert on a lot of different things, that's some of where we bring value is that we're working  with more than one of you. Multiple dealerships, multiple brands that they carry, helping them figure  out how to do things with their F&I department or sales department, service, rentals, parts. And we're  learning best practices that Acme Machinery is implementing and best practices that another dealership is implementing. We're forming relationships with companies like yours and so at the end of the day  we're developing this wealth of information about, hey, how can we help streamline a dealership and in  a lot of different ways? Even securing them better and streamlining that. And honestly I believe that's  where we bring a lot of the value to the table is that knowledge. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So if you just take one of those like phone systems. So my journey at Diesel Laptops went from, I have  my cell phone, everything just rings to that, that's the number on the website, that's the number  everywhere, to, oh, I'll get Grasshopper. They're an online one. Now I can use an 800 number, but it still  rings my cell phone. And then I was like, okay, now I got more employees, I need extensions. And then  we started maxing out what Grasshopper can do. We went to something, I don't remember what the  next one was, and then we went to RingCentral. So it's in this constant evolution of just growing that  basically operational system inside our company. Do you guys get involved helping these companies  navigate that if they're like, "Man, I got this phone system but it doesn't do X, Y and Z?" 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah, we get involved whether it's a service we offer or not. I mean, end of the day, my philosophy is  this, if you're partnered with us, what would you ask your IT department? I mean, so for you, you may  have a couple guys or gals on staff and if the conversation of phones came up, who would you bring to  the table? Nine times out of 10, the IT department's going to brought in at some point. And so yeah, we  always take a consultative approach and if it's a vendor they're looking for, I mean, shoot, one of the  ways you and I have interacted here recently is we have a dealership that they represent 10 different  OEMs, or, excuse me, they represent six, but they do some work on four others. And unfortunately, they  don't have access to any tools to actually really do diagnostic. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    That sounds like something we do here. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah, and that might make sense. But ultimately we're bringing that conversation to the table. We are  going to the table and going, "All right, well explain to me more about what you're trying to accomplish  here and then let's help you find the solution out there, whether it's something we can do or whether  it's somebody we just help you vet and ask the right questions." 

    Tyler Robertson:

    So what I've learned over the years have, I mean we've spent millions of dollars of vendors. What I've  learned is I've really tried to find vendors that understand my space. So like an accounting firm, you  wouldn't think, "Ah, it's accounting." Well, accounting somehow understands deferred revenue,  someone they can do some more advanced stuff. Beside, I'm not a manufacturer, I'm something else.  We have SaaS models and deferred revenue and all reserve account, all these things. You need someone  that understands how to account for software development and that's different than someone that  makes a widget in a factory. I can look at a lot of our other systems, like our marketing, it really helps  when we find a pay-per-click person that understands our products. That is such a huge ad versus  someone that's just like, "Oh, we help every company everywhere with everything." Okay, are you really  the best solution for me if you don't even understand what I do as a business? So got to imagine that's  important to your customers. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah, it is. One of the beautiful things about nicheing, when we decided to niche and focus on the  industry was, it took our wide vision and helped us narrow it down so we're focused now on certain sets  of things. Now, there are things that we do that we could apply to any client, but at the end of the day,  it's the special specific things that when I'm talking with another IT manager, that we can immediately,  we're on the same page about what they're trying to accomplish, we understand what their diagnostic  software is for and how they're leveraging that with off highway equipment. And we understand the F&I  department and so we understand what those folks are trying to accomplish. And so when we're putting  in email security solutions, we're bringing other solutions to the table that help them get past the  roadblock that they're inevitably going to hit, which is they can't send financial information out in  unencrypted email like they've been doing for the last 10 years. So it worked before 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Let me just email you over their social security number and EIN, just so you can go process this real quick, and their financial statements. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    It's one of those things where we just try... We know that that's going to happen and so we try to have  that conversation right out the gate like, "Listen, here are some of the things that you're going to find  that are going to be a problem. We try to secure this stuff for you. And here are your options." Which  one of those options is actually another provider in the space that is focusing on providing a secure  financial and insurance portal for handling all those applications online with all the manufacturers, and  well that sounds like an easy way to overcome this obstacle but also improve your business process. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So one of the company's areas that I think have it the hardest, like small businesses. So you're a small  business, 10 to 20 employees, somewhere in there, you're the owner. I mean you're wearing a lot of  hats and unfortunately the IT hat is probably on you or your kids' or your uncle or your brother's  nephew that's working for you or something. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah, sure. 

    Tyler Robertson:

    So I guess the question I would be is if you're thinking of that small business owner and they just got  questions on any of this kind of stuff, where do they go? Is there websites or resources or just start  calling up random companies, call you or what do they do? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Sure. Well, where they normally go is Google and normally look up the first IT company that they spin a  bottle on the table and the first one that finds it in town. For us, we try to make ourselves available to  just have those type of conversations with. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So what kind of questions should they be asking? If they're like, "Okay, I need some help here, I need some security. I need to make sure my business isn't going to go in the ground if that computer blows  up." Is there specific questions they should be asking? What kind of questions do you like to get from  your potential customers? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Well, type of questions they ought to be asking for. What I find that is usually what they want to know, they want to know if they're secure, is usually what I find, when we get on the phone. Because they  don't know what they don't know. And to your point earlier, they're trying to accomplish it some way  right now and usually that is probably someone in service who happens to be the most techy person on  the team and so they won the lottery, they're it. And so at the end of the day, the small business owners  don't really know how to inspect what they expect. They expect that their technology's up and running. They expect that they're secure. They expect that everyone's doing the work efficiently and that we are  currently doing it the best way possible. And there's usually, by the time they're looking for someone for  some insight or some answers, some questions, there's enough of a question mark there that they begin  to realize they don't really know how to find out. 

    And so sometimes they don't know the questions to ask. Usually where we start is we try to help them  get an understanding of what they have. And usually where we start with that is cyber security audit. I  mean, it's a lightweight assessment. We kind of ask them some questions, help them begin to reveal  some of the areas within their business from a process standpoint, like policies, procedures of what may  be in place already, what may not be that they just haven't thought about. And then we actually go through an automated process, we call it kind of like a lightweight penetration test, where we help run  some assessments internally and basically come back with a report of findings as it were, that's not  technical. There's technical underneath it and there's a lot of detail that's available, but it's more about,  what are the business impacts of where we currently are? 

    Are we good here or are we not good here? And if we aren't, then what do we need to do? Because  again, usually either if they're coming to us, usually they just don't know what they don't know. And so  kind of taking that approach helps them begin to put one and one together and get a good  understanding of where they're at. Other than that, usually they have a very good idea of what they  want and that is, "Hey, we've got four locations and we purchased all of them and they've all got  different IT people and so we don't know whose throat to choke when there's a breakage. How do we  [inaudible 00:35:30]?" 

    Tyler Robertson:

    That was my experience when I took IT it would be like, it was my second day [inaudible 00:35:32] like,  "My internet's down." I'm like, I don't even know who does what around here yet but it was just pick up the phone and call people and trying to work your way through it and everything. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah. First person that answers from my Google search. That's it. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    So do you just service people locally near... It sounds like you guys have the Knoxville or Tennessee  location? You got [inaudible 00:35:49] here or do you guys 

    Kevin Landers: 

    No, I mean we're nationwide. In fact, we're currently having conversations even in Canada. So one of the  things we realized when we niched was there's not enough to build a business on locally. Which, to your  point about marketing and pay-per-click and all that, that means a lot of our strategy had to change  because we were that traditional local company that was servicing the equipment dealership over here,  the hotdog stand over there, the lawyer here, the dentist back over that way and we were master none.  But going all in on dealerships has meant that we really do have to spread our wings up. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Well, I know we had a Zoom call before this and we were talking and I'll say it again, man. Truck  dealerships work the same way as equipment dealerships, there's definitely a market there for you. 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Yeah, I'm looking forward to learning a little bit more about them. They have been on our radar, we just  haven't known anyone quite with the inside scoop yet. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Well, I'll tell you, I think about a third of the employees here used to work at a dealership so we can tell  you all about them. But all right man, if people want to get ahold of you, learn more about your  company, where should we send them? 

    Kevin Landers: 

    Absolutely. So our website's, rocketwise.com and can certainly find me on LinkedIn, Kevin Landers at Rocketwise, and that's pretty much it. You can get us right there. 

    Tyler Robertson: 

    Awesome man. Well hey, appreciate you driving up here from the low country. Great to get you in the  studio. I'm going to give you a tour of the place after this, show you kind of what we do here. The more  you know about us, I get the feeling more you're going to help us as well and vice versa. So again, thank  you for coming on. Everyone, thank you again for watching, listening. If you are on any of the podcasts  we're on, anywhere that you're listening, please like, share, subscribe, comment. It all very much helps  us. And we'll end it by saying it's not just diagnostics, it's diagnostics done right, but you also need to  really pay attention to your infrastructure, your security, the things you have going on. These things will save you money, they will save you time and they will de-risk you. So thank you again. See you on the next one.

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    Ariel Ifill

    Ariel Ifill is an Internet Marketing Specialist for Diesel Laptops where diagnostics are done right. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina. Go Cocks! In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and cooking.

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