Paul Holmes of Smart Dolphins

The Network Hub got its humble start in the heart of busy downtown Vancouver, but we have since opened new locations in Whistler and New Westminster. The newest expansion brings us across the water to Nanaimo, supporting the growing startup and small business community on Vancouver Island. One such company is Smart Dolphins IT Solutions, who we are highlighting in today’s Member Spotlight.

Tell us a little about Smart Dolphins and the services you offer.
Founded in 2000, Smart Dolphins IT Solutions is a Vancouver Island based award-winning computer and networking support company. As a managed service provider (MSP), we offer a proactive approach to IT, helping local businesses and organizations better leverage technology.

How is Smart Dolphins different? Why would someone choose you? What makes Smart Dolphins so different is our structured, holistic and methodical approach to leading and managing our customers’ IT infrastructure.

What sorts of businesses do you serve? We serve businesses and organizations where data is critical, such as law firms, insurance agencies and non-profit organizations.

You’re based in Victoria, but do you have customers in other parts of Vancouver Island? Our head office is in Victoria but we have clients as far north as Campbell River. We have one full-time employee in Nanaimo and we recently joined The Network Hub to support our expansion throughout central and north Vancouver Island.

Where did you learn about The Network Hub? We learned about The Network Hub through networking. Our technology ambassador, Paul Holmes, met Angie Barnard and it didn’t take too long for us to understand and take advantage of the opportunities The Network Hub offers.

How has your experience been with the Hub? Would you recommend it to others? We love the professionalism and social media savviness that we’ve experienced with The Network Hub. On September 24th, we will be hosting our first Nanaimo lunch and learn. We look forward hosting events in Nanaimo where professionals can learn more about safe computing and better understand best practices for leveraging technology in their industry. We have already started recommending The Network Hub throughout our networks.

What is the most common IT challenge that SMBs face today? The biggest challenge for SMBs is understanding IT risks. A lot of business leaders do not understand the real risks associated with IT problems. You tune up your car, you get your fire extinguishers checked, and you replace batteries in your fire alarm. Of course, you don’t have to do any of these things. But when you don’t do them, you roll the dice, and take unnecessary risks. Small IT problems may result in data loss, downtime, costly data recovery projects and lost employees or customers due to IT hassles.

Can you give your best piece of advice to startups and entrepreneurs? Our best piece of advice to start-ups is to invest in your technology. Create a technology plan and budget. Consult with local MSPs and technology consultants to find a solution that best suits your IT needs.

Where can people find Smart Dolphins? You can find Smart Dolphins in Nanaimo hosting monthly lunch and learns at The Network Hub, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Be sure to check out our events at http://www.smartdolphins.com/culture/events/.

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