In Conversation with Sensible Systems’ Founder, David Ferris
Sensible Systems is the direct result of founder David Ferris’ diverse background working with some industry heavyweights. He determined that by creating a specialty consulting firm, he could make his unparalleled level of technical expertise available to smaller firms which typically would not have the means to access such knowledge.
His conviction to help small to medium-sized firms get a handle on their IT led to the creation of Sensible Systems in 2001. The rest, as they say, is history.
David, can you tell us about your background and what led you to found Sensible Solutions?
I’ve long been interested in systems – more specifically, I’ve always been fascinated in determining how to improve existing systems. I guess I can trace this interest to my degree in Applied Physics. Like all physicists I have a deep appreciation for research and the use of scientific principles and I apply this approach to designing IT systems.
While living on the east coast I worked as an engineer designing complicated programs as part of an electron beam accelerator project. I also worked for Motorola developing satellite communications systems. Both positions required me to design and create highly advanced and extremely complex structures.
As Chief Technologist with global consulting firm, Keane, I had the opportunity to interact with senior leaders of major corporations and gain incredible insights into the needs of numerous industry leaders. I also served as the CIO for several tech companies and in 2001 I published much of what I had learned in a book titled “Building an Intelligent e-Business”.
It was also around this time that I became very serious about the convergence between business productivity and technology; as a result, I founded Sensible Systems in Denver in 2001 with the mandate of helping firms use technology to improve productivity.
That’s an impressive list of accomplishments. How do you feel your experience helps you deliver value to your clients?
I certainly understand how to leverage technology to find solutions to specific problems and find new, more efficient ways to perform tasks. This is a direct benefit of my past work experience where it was critical to stay ahead of new technology.
As Sensible Systems has grown, I’ve recruited people with similar levels of expertise and dedication. As a company we’ve demonstrated a commitment to continue to innovate. For instance, we have broadened our offering and developed a comprehensive range of cloud services and we continue to develop new tactics as technologies change.
What do you offer your clients and why are you different?
At the core of what we do is to use our expertise to build systems for our clients that are highly efficient, secure, and reliable. But of course, this is expected from any services provider; we want to provide our clients with even more including contributing at the policy level.
As part of our consulting service, we work with each client to gain a detailed understanding of their current systems and policies. We also look at how staff use these systems, and what they are required to do.
From this, we leverage our knowledge and experience to advise on behaviors and actions that could pose a threat to the network and help draft new risk mitigation procedures.
We also have a deep understanding of the regulations many companies face such as HIPPA for health agencies and requirements for which financial firms may be responsible under legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Act and actions to counter money-laundering.
But if I had to distill all that we do down to just one element, I would say our overriding goal is to continually impress our clients. If we are always doing that – always impressing – then it means we are continuing to offer good service and continued value.
What motivates you and gets you fired up each day?
I am very much a service-oriented person – and by that, I mean I feel rewarded when I am able to deliver a product or service that exceeds the expectation of the client. I worked for many years as a consultant and – again, I think this goes back to my role as a physicist – I enjoy the challenge of solving a problem and finding a better solution.
I like that I can see the tangible benefits we bring to our clients – I can look back at where they were when we first starting working with them and then see the improvements we bring by way of increased productivity and an IT infrastructure that is efficient, secure, and very reliable.
Let’s end with your views on what the future could hold for your industry and technology in general.
There is little doubt that we will continue to see accelerated change in technology and this will certainly impact MSPs and their clients. In the near-term, the adoption rate of cloud technologies will continue to grow and we’ll see more businesses migrate their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud.
There will be exceptions, of course, with some larger companies potentially being required to maintain some systems on-site. This will lead to a hybrid infrastructure that will require a new approach and at Sensible Systems, we are already thinking about how to best design these hybrid networks.
I expect we will see even greater demand for remote access systems and this introduces more concern over safe-guarding networks and data from unauthorized intrusions. Sensible Systems has outlined customized policies to safely accommodate an increase in remote users as well as the data they can access.
Finally, I see a need for businesses to partner with companies like Sensible Systems to provide training and support to their staff as these changes come into place. Providing clients with subject experts to train staff is another example of additional value that MSPs can provide.Contact Us