In this interview with Ahmed Bedir, owner of Cloud Converters, we discuss the value of the cloud for business.
Be sure and check out Cloud-Converters.com
Chris Templeton 0:00
I am really pleased to introduce Ahmed vedera. From cloud converters. Welcome, Ahmed, thank you for being here.
Ahmed Bedir 0:07
Thank you, Chris. Very nice seeing you.
Chris Templeton 0:09
Thank you talk a little bit about what cloud converters, big mission is, what are the things that you really want to focus on? And that you're, what are the things that you're really focused on in your business?
Ahmed Bedir 0:25
Well, Chris, actually, you know, the cloud is the future for everyone. Cloud, especially nowadays, with the pandemic situation of the COVID-19. Most of the businesses that were depending on the cloud, it's those businesses that are currently growing and operating, and so on. And the cloud is the future. It's a must in every organization. The good thing about today's cloud is that integrates everything, the business, the processes, and integrates the it and the marketing. And, actually, we are very much focused on small medium business, because my 20 years of experience is helping small and medium businesses. And I really enjoy that, you know, because they are different kinds of businesses, they have different mindsets, and so on, we can help them with this. So it's not only we're not an IT company, we're a consulting company that comes and help small businesses to develop either the processes to reach for customer and so on.
Chris Templeton 1:37
So one of the things you mentioned that caught my attention is, there's a very big difference between a small and mid sized business versus an enterprise business, isn't there?
Ahmed Bedir 1:50
Of course, yes, it is. And actually, Chris, you'll be surprised that the number of small businesses are very much bigger, I think there are about 99% majority of the businesses are small businesses, and most of the world and the countries they are depending on small business, because this is what helps the community. This is why if you can see, SBA is mission to develop small medium businesses, because this is actually the future. But small medium business, as you have mentioned, it's very much different than enterprise, you know, small businesses normally starts with somebody who's started selling his services, or produced a product, it's a small number of people. And that working the way they work, it's totally different than the big organizations.
Chris Templeton 2:41
Talk a little bit about from the standpoint of a business owner who is just starting a business or has been running a business for a couple of years. Their whole focus on the bottom line, their expenses, their employees is very different. And I imagine there's some very common problems that that you see with small businesses, especially in how they deal with expenses, and how they deal with employees.
Ahmed Bedir 3:10
Yes, I have started the three companies in my life with their an IT. And I saw all these challenges. And I I feel the pain of the small business owners, busy business owner, small business. As I mentioned previously, it's a collaboration of small members that are joined together to develop a company or to provide services. They have a different mindset, they don't have a strategy. And this is the issue. Whenever they start the business, they want to get the lowest thing, or the most, they tried to save money as much as possible so that they can save on other things. Working with them, specifically, from day one, we can help them a lot because we can enlighten them on what features to use, what the software they use, and how their business shall operate. And they shall compete with that. You know, one of the today's challenges are the digital transformation, no digital transformation. This is the friend you see all IT companies. They're talking about digital transformation because it's around us everything has changed. The way we deal now it's very much different than before. Let's say Uber for example. It innovated the transportation, the taxi in the streets, it elbow, it give you an add on so every business needs to look how they can give their customers a better experience and to work with that. They need to use the right tools.
Chris Templeton 4:57
I imagine a big part of the problem Just how many different tools there are out there, especially on the cloud? And how they don't talk to each other very well.
Ahmed Bedir 5:09
Exactly, exactly. That's a big issue. You know how this normally happens? They don't, as I mentioned, they don't think of it strategically. So let's say they want an email system, they will just go on GoDaddy, get an email box, they want a calendar application, they go get it from a different vendor. And then there is no integration, it will work, it will do whatever they wanted from them. But I want to tell you something, how about if I have an automated system? For me, that's all integrated together. For example, I'll give you an example for meeting booking or consultation. If I'm a small business, and I want to provide consultation, all I need is a good site and good tools that can help me and save me time and create the complete process as it should be, you know, small business owners, most of the team, they complain about them, because they're micromanagement. They don't trust anybody else to do the thing as they should do it. This is one of the key factors that I heard a lot from employees in small business environment. And it's not about trust issues, a different mentality. It's a one man show that he gets people to run his business.
Chris Templeton 6:31
When you look at a business, who has all kinds of different solutions, that are in the cloud somewhere that are on their computer, there's got to be a huge cost. Compared to somebody who's using an integrated system, probably all on the cloud, and available to everybody all the time, it must be a huge game changer in terms of the expense of doing business.
Ahmed Bedir 6:59
Yes, it is actually, it's changing, it's changing it from a capex model, to an OPEX model. So instead of the investment, that small business owner or the business owners try to often they don't have to make an a big investment. And this saves them a lot, by the way, especially they don't need it infrastructure. They don't need to keep anything in house, everything is hosted outside, they just need an internet. And as well as that go live is very much shorter, they can we have set it up companies in two weeks to go live and start selling their products and solutions online.
Chris Templeton 7:39
And the other thing I imagine that's really important is in this processes that it makes it much easier to train. Because I'm using a unified system, I got people in the office who now have knowledge that they can share with new employees, it really must be a huge change in perspective. And in terms of a sorry, and in terms of a business owner, that's gonna help them to relax a lot more to doesn't it,
Ahmed Bedir 8:11
it helps them a lot. You know, as I mentioned to you in a previous lesson, the pain about the small business owner is that they don't press people doing tasks as it should be. So whenever they transform their business to cloud, they go on the joints, or the actual process where they want to check, they just set it up, and the process will go. So anytime he needs to be alerted, he doesn't need to know everything. He is only alerted whenever he's required.
Chris Templeton 8:42
Or there are a number of different systems that are out there that are this tightly integrated.
Ahmed Bedir 8:48
Everything knows about integration, everything about integration starting from telephone system, you can have it on the cloud faxing system on the cloud, all the application sales, marketing, grps HR, and this is actually the future, but it's, you know, this change the concept of things, you know, I want to go back a little bit. Whenever compute were when computers started, it started, people were depending on their personal computers, then started on networking and they have servers, then the that time they used to think about computer hardware and software, the operating system that operates and then virtualization came and change this concept. virtualization started thinking about the operating system, it's as a part of the hardware itself. So now we are changing this. Also, I need the service. I don't need to have everything or to have it set up here. I'm getting it on the cloud and getting the best practices from the top vendors. So that helps me a lot and processes and this helps a lot For small, medium business, you know, setting up a company, Chris, it's a lot of processes, a lot of policies and so on just getting a system, and the models are predefined, you just need somebody to help you and get the business going.
Chris Templeton 10:16
And with the right help, it can just dramatically smooth out the process of getting moving Canada.
Ahmed Bedir 10:24
Of course, other than that, you will be working a lot. And to be honest with you, I have seen two or three customers recently that were even paying more because of this. Okay, really. Now, you're not it a lot of business people think of it as a waste of money, or it's a support or a tool. No, it is a big part of the business. It works with business, towards the processes at work with marketing, for digital transformation, for marketing, digital marketing, I'm sorry, and so on. So it's all integrated, it is, is the future. And we have seen that at the current situation. Now.
Chris Templeton 11:10
One of the things that strikes me about you and how you work, though, is that you're way more than it you can see beyond it, and the value, not only of a well integrated system, but how it serves the business moving on.
Ahmed Bedir 11:30
I started my my career as a Microsoft teacher or trainer, then I worked as an end user for a couple of years in one of an international Construction Company, which that time 20 years ago, and IT infrastructure wasn't that big as now, I saw it evolving. After that, I managed my own IP business for 1516 years, where I helped a lot of customers. And I worked with a lot. I worked with the vendors, I worked with distributors, I work with a customer. I know what customers are looking for, you know, I have seen a lot of customers, customers, they have feel whenever they come to communicate with resellers or so on, I saw myself advising the customer to select the right solution. It's not about you know, spending more spending less, it's about taking with a strategy to develop the business. I think business, not only it.
Chris Templeton 12:36
So that brings up a couple of things that I want to talk about, first of all, we started to talk about employees. And, you know, if I'm in a business where I'm the owner, I've got a smaller business, I've got it that I haven't integrated yet. I've got employees, and I'm the one that kind of thinks that I know it all. Well, I've got some big challenges, don't I especially with you know, it's I understand that it's not a trust issue, but it's more I guess it's more an issue of a business owner feeling like I know how to do it best. Exactly. Talk about that, and how you kind of what what you do to help businesses with that, you know,
Ahmed Bedir 13:22
keeping the staff in small medium business, this is the second challenge. The first challenge is about getting new customers, their second challenge is keeping their employees or maintaining them. Because in small business, the employees, they don't have a specific job description like an enterprise. So you will see somebody doesn't have that specific job description everyday, they will have the task, they don't have a strategic system. So to help them doing this, if you have a good system implemented on hand like this, you will make their life much easier. And you fix it up. It's like you're arranging your office, and you're customizing everything so that everybody's happy. And they can do the job more efficiently. And this also will show them their performance. You know, Chris, I read it once. I read this once back, I don't remember the book. But it says there is around 60 or 70% of the SMB staff. They don't know what to do to have their business. So getting a system like this, showing them the performance, you're giving them guidance, you're giving them objectives. Okay, so this is where they will feel they're doing.
Chris Templeton 14:47
And my sense really is that you know, employees want that guidance. They want to do a good job. I think there's a there's a perception that employees You know, I've gotten employees, but they're not back. Great. And I feel like so much of that is a business owner not giving them the direction, the boundaries to help them to succeed. And and that's a huge shift from my employees are a problem.
Ahmed Bedir 15:17
Yes, yes, exactly. And I, you know, I want to tell you something about this, I believe that a CEO of a big organization doesn't work as much as the small medium business owner. Why? Because the CEO is dependent on people that does the job, he's managing them. And his responsibility is to get it done, while SMB, the mindset that said that they do the job themselves, they depend mostly on themselves. And this is the challenge, you need to develop, you need to develop your team. My belief is that SMB, number one, capital or assets are desktop, by having a good staff, and they're happy and they work as a team, they know what should happen, my business will grow.
Chris Templeton 16:05
And you knowing that, as a service provider to small businesses, I think is really critical. I think it's very easy to come in and say, Hey, we're gonna help you with your digital transformation, you come in and do your thing. And, and yet, what you're saying is, look, I've got a much more holistic view about business, being a business owner, and seeing what other business owners have done wrong and what they've done. Right. The other thing that you mentioned, is acquiring new business. Talk a little bit about how you see that, in today's day and age for a business owner, because if, if the new customers aren't coming in the door, boy, we have a problem, don't we?
Ahmed Bedir 16:48
Yes, we do, actually. And there when it comes to digital marketing, and you know, digital marketing, if you don't work with a strategy, and know what you want. Exactly. It's like gambling. You know, people are just spending too much money. They don't know what they want. They would ask for a business owner, are you doing marketing on social media? He says, Yes, I have 10,000 likes on my page. Are you selling through that? No. Why? Because people need to understand social media and digital marketing. This is something that's completely integrated, and it needs to have a strategy that I need to know, when I do campaigns, what I'm expecting out of that, how will I market my product? You know, when you're doing campaigns, you need to think about the product, who will buy it? How will I reach to the customer. So it's about strategic. Our value is that we work with you, or we build you a cloud system, or we can call it a business operating system. And we integrate it with your external sales. And working with a good strategy to get your business up and running. You know, selling a book online, it's not like selling a car, or selling a service. Everything has a different perspective. And everything has a different channel. So you need to work with the right person to guide you on these things.
Chris Templeton 18:24
I almost feel like you present yourself, to your customers to small and medium mid sized business owners as a partner, is that a fair statement?
Ahmed Bedir 18:38
Yes, as a partner, you know, especially this quiz, we don't sell products, to keep our like loyalty to the customers so that they know we're not getting anything out of this. Our main objective is to make sure that they're doing their business good at it, they have benefited from it.
Chris Templeton 18:59
What is some of the things that you found have really made a difference for for businesses, and especially business owners, when you're approaches as a partner versus just a vendor?
Ahmed Bedir 19:13
You know, when you go with them as a vendor, there's always a fear, you know, because there's a big transaction that happens. And you know, to be surprised, most of my customers, they are contacting me as a consultation perspective. So, I was myself providing it solution, and I decided, you know, what, I want to work help the customer to select the right solution. All vendors, they have products, and you cannot say a product is good or bad. You're saying about selecting is that product, good for me or not? For my business, you know, if me and you press we have different businesses and you use a certain CRM that can portfolio business, that doesn't mean, it should work for me. So I need to know how to do it. And also, you know, it will save money, Chris and a lot of businesses, I have a case which one of my customer, he was paying a certain amount for CRM. And once we evaluated it, we built a complete cloud infrastructure, and he's paying less for what he paid for his CRM. So that exactly what helps the customer. So you need to have somebody to look at it from all views, you need somebody tell you Be careful, you need to go with this, you will pay a bit expensive now, because in the future, you will learn from this in that integration. So this is the value add that we add.
Chris Templeton 20:53
I think the other thing that you add is that you're focused also, you know, you're focused on helping the business owner to be comfortable in what he's doing, to create an environment for his employees where they're as productive as they can be, to help save money. But the other thing is to help generate money through social media or other types of campaigns. And I think it's really unusual. And I think it's important to just point out that, you know, if anybody sees this and thinks, Oh, you know, embeds just just an IT guy. Oh, boy. Oh, boy, are you missing the boat on on what's out there for you using cloud converters?
Ahmed Bedir 21:38
Well, Chris, as I mentioned, I don't consider myself as IP, by itself, because I have worked a lot of areas or I work in a lot of organization and a husband, they call it needs more than it skills, you get what I mean, you need to understand the business. You know, the thing about these that, I like to understand how things happen, you know, when whenever I go and any process, you would see me looking around seeing how is this process working or not? Okay. And for this, what we're doing is that we're giving a free consultation, free half an hour consultation to our customers, which is a they can do it through our website, where they have to fill that information. And we will contact them to to schedule the consultation on how we can help them in their province, we are problem solvers, we will give you, you will have a free initial consultation, which will give you guidelines but a solution for a problem that you can say, if you want to involve us with this, we are ready to go. We are looking forward to help organizations.
Chris Templeton 22:56
When you think about it, one of the things that occurs to me is that, you know, there are clients that you just don't want when you think about somebody that you wouldn't want as a client, what what would be some of their characteristics that you say, you know, this just really isn't a good fit.
Ahmed Bedir 23:16
Well, you know, IT projects, talking about PRP projects, EMP projects, this is the big part of the IT system, a lot of them fails, due to people or not due to people, not the technology, the management, they have to believe in this, they have to be convinced that this will help them they have to see the value. And they have to see that I am as a small owner, I can hold my cell phone. From my cell phone, I can see my performance, I can see what happened to my team and so on. This is about helping them.
Chris Templeton 24:00
And if they don't see that value, then they're probably not going to get what they want. They probably don't know that they want.
Ahmed Bedir 24:11
Chris Templeton 24:12
I'm just trying to save money and trying to get you in trying to get you out. Probably not the best fit in town is it? So talk a little bit about the other side of the coin. Talk about what you look for, in an ideal small to mid size business
Ahmed Bedir 24:29
as it Oh man. There's something that I really saw. And it really surprised me that a big percentage of small business owners are above 40s and 50s. You know, I feel that our youth need to start working on small business. You know, it's a new generation. I like working with younger people. They're more dynamics. My seven years old boy now, his mentality, his mindset. It's very different than mine, I can ask him for to do me some stuff. So I believe if these young people work and focus on small, medium business, I think it will push our community very much better. And I'm very much looking forward to help in that area.
Chris Templeton 25:20
So not only can you help a business owner, save money, have a unified, I love the term business operating system, help employees to be more productive and create a better relationship between the business owner and the employees help to generate all kinds of ways to generate new business, that money coming in the door. But you can help a business owner understand his kids.
Ahmed Bedir 25:49
Chris Templeton 25:52
Okay, we need to wrap up. But let's talk about when you think about what you do, and what a business owner can gain from you. What do you think that the number one thing is, you'd say that a business owner should think about using you in cloud converters?
Ahmed Bedir 26:12
Somebody who can help them to get their things better, give them the processes better. See if it's the right process, they are going give them a strategy to work if they want to go see how nations have their products, how, what's digital transformation for them. So as I mentioned, digital transformation has changed a lot of industries. Bottom line, I have a problem solver. I like challenges. I do what I do, because I like it, I'm not doing it as a business. I like solving business problems. This is something very challenging for me. And I enjoy doing that. And so far, I have never failed a project that I did not deliver. If I go if I cannot deliver from the beginning, I would say I cannot deliver. But I like the challenge for my customers are looking for somebody to be a strong partner, technically and advise them and help them grow their business. I'm the right person.
Chris Templeton 27:26
And with with all the right attributes in terms of being able to see beyond just the technical issues, the IT issues, but to see how it impacts the whole organization, how it reduces expenses, how it creates better relationships with employees, and how to generate additional income, which I think is is just as important as anything else. So you are available for so you're available for a complimentary 30 minute consultation with a business owner to talk about what the issues are that they're having, and how you can help them to solve those issues and become way more and to become more settled and more efficient in their business. Is
Ahmed Bedir 28:18
that a fair statement? Exactly. To be agile, because agility is something very important also, because the changes that are happening, especially now I believe after the covid 19 pandemic, everything will change, new businesses will go up new, old businesses will go down. It's something that will change.
Chris Templeton 28:42
So to reach Ahmed midair at Cloud converters, you can go to cloud dash converters.com. That's cloud dash converters.com. And you can also reach him at Eva dare a BD, a ir at Cloud converters.com. And finally, at 808 3320 Cloud.
Ahmed, thank you so much for being here and sharing what you do and I encourage any business owner that's in struggling with any of these types of issues to give you a call, take 30 minutes and find out how you can be of service.
Ahmed Bedir 29:20
Thank you very much, Chris. It was very nice talking to you.