January 24, 2022
How a Career Spent in an MSP Inspired Forward-Thinking Strategies for a Cloud-Based Future
After two and a half years of working together with Justin Copie, CEO of Innovative Solutions, I recently had the chance to sit down with him to discuss his journey from intern to CEO and all that he has learned along the way including how best to modernize an organization for the future of the industry.
Growing up in an MSP
Justin brings with him a very unique, fresh perspective having spent his entire career at Innovative Solutions. Justin made his first career foray into technology running his own side hustle, “Rent-a-Geek”, while simultaneously working as a sales person for Verizon broadband services. Justin used the skills he was learning at school to fix people’s home computers and discovered a love for helping customers understand something they didn’t know and guiding them to make a decision through cold calling for Verizon. The two created in Justin a passion that helped jumpstart his journey to eventually become CEO.
Justin then interviewed for a sales position at Innovative Solutions. He immediately fell in love with the job - meeting new customers, helping them understand Innovative Solutions and how the organization could help with their technology needs. While not fully an MSP at the time, Innovative was a mix of a traditional software development shop and managed services shop and they knew they would soon need to choose which would be their area of expertise. A few years later, they chose to double down on software.
By 2010, Justin felt ready to take the next step in his career with Innovative Solutions and move on to something bigger. The current CEO, however, knew that what Justin needed was to live a bit more life, gain more experience around building a culture, so he went through a 5-year succession planning process. In 2015, Justin purchased Innovative Solutions and hasn’t looked back since.
Going where few others have gone before
While the company had been around for 30 or so years at this point, it was time to make another major transition to align Innovative Solutions with the ongoing evolution of cloud-based technology. Their entire employee base was skilled for an on-premise tech world, but it was clear that expertise would not suffice for the future of the industry.
Justin sought to skill up his employee base and build an entirely new strategy map to pivot to more cloud-based technologies. With the buy-in of the entire company, Innovative Solutions launched Transformation Strategy 2.0 - utilizing certifications and partnerships with cloud services to bring to life this future vision for the company.
Innovative Solutions has always prioritized how their employees feel and how their customers can best benefit from their services - a main reason as to why Innovative Solutions has partnered with Datto. When Justin challenged the team to improve upon their processes and grow their own knowledge, he knew it would take much more than just upskilling and career growth management. Innovative Solutions implemented Datto products to help gain visibility and control of their everyday business operations. Choosing Datto products has allowed their employees to leverage automation and integrate systems, freeing up time to upskill in other areas and increasing the effectiveness of the experience for their clients.
Justin says Datto “was a game-changer for us”. After a quick migration of their data into Datto systems, Innovative Solutions immediately saw an increase in productivity and employee satisfaction. Employees found it much easier to get data in and through their systems and were pleased with the ability to integrate with their other systems, as well as create dashboards that provided the team with up-to-the-minute insight into what is happening across their business.
Where to next?
In the next few years, Justin hopes to serve customers and grow globally as their national experience has already been expansive and eye-opening. While Innovative Solutions continues to increase the number of new customers added each year, their goal is to keep those customers for life. Rather than lock customers into a contract, Innovative Solutions allows customers to leave immediately if they are not satisfied, leaving it up to the service and success of Innovative solutions to keep the client around.
A true modern business leader, Justin is motivated by fear and knows the day he is no longer motivated to push the boundaries and continue to evolve and grow, is the day he should no longer be leading the company. But for now, Justin continues to idolize the future, better version of himself and the future, better version of Innovative Solutions.