If any of our customers have a difficult problem, a technical question, or need to pick up file boxes from two different locations, in two different states within 24 hours, chances are Jim Reed will be on the spot doing whatever has to be done.
Our director of customer support, Jim started with Imaging Office Systems 22 years ago after becoming familiar with us while on the job with Minolta. Many of our customers already know Jim well for his frequent, proactive reach-outs to ensure everything is working as it should. Now it’s your turn!
Q&A with Jim Reed, Director of Customer Support
Tell me about your responsibilities at Imaging Office Systems.
On a daily basis, I work with customers in a support environment, so anytime they have a software or hardware issue, they call into our dispatch center, and we arrange to solve their issue. I also work with our administrative and accounting departments to ensure all our support agreements are renewed, so when there is a problem, we can coordinate service appropriately. I’m also working with our cloud services team to migrate customers’ premise-based systems to the cloud.
Can you talk more about your role with the cloud services team?
There’s been quite a bit of interest among our customers in moving their systems to the cloud in order to relieve the daily maintenance of internal servers and such. My role, to date, has been coordinating the efforts between cloud services, customer service, and the customers themselves to ensure these migrations move along smoothly and everything is done according to how the customer wants it done.
What are some the questions and concerns customers have in moving from on-premise servers to cloud?
The biggest fear is that it’s new and that you’re relinquishing physical control of something that, in the past, you’ve been able to maintain internally on your servers and platforms. With the cloud, you’re giving up that physical access as you’re migrating to a platform that’s outside of your building. From an accounting standpoint, people have really accepted this new way of doing business. They understand that it’s more economical to do it this way...you don’t have to worry about repurchasing servers because your cloud services include all those things, which frees you to rededicate your resources to others areas of your company.
What have customers’ reactions been like after not having to worry about their IT equipment and being able to focus on their business a little more?
They like it. It almost gets to a point where it’s “out-of-sight, out-of-mind." It just becomes a link to a website, and it’s no longer a burden.
What was your background coming into your job?
Right before I came here, I worked at Minolta. On a fairly regular basis, I would run into someone from Imaging Office Systems in a competitive environment, and I was always impressed by their professionalism and how they got things done. Over the course of a couple years, I came to know some of them very well, and that led to an interview process, and I came to work here 22 years ago.
What are the most important factors in helping a customer solve an issue?
The most important thing is communication—making sure we’re letting the customer know what’s going on. That involves either providing them a formal update or just checking in with them informally. I’ve always tried to make sure we communicate on a regular basis with our customers, and it seems to help when serious issues do arise because everyone’s got the same story and knows what’s going on.
Talk about what you said was one of your most memorable moments on the job...picking up boxes in Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale? Then driving to the records center?
We had an opportunity to pick up some boxes for a customer in Fort Lauderdale and bring them to their other site in Atlanta, but the window to pick those boxes up was very small. We actually flew to Fort Lauderdale and rented a truck to pick up the boxes there, then by the next night, we had to be up in Atlanta to get all the boxes from that location. We had to do all of that non-stop, so it was like pulling an all-nighter. But we got everything out on time, the customer was very pleased, and we ended up getting a lot more business from them down the line because of our ability to adapt to their needs.
Talk about some of the things you’ve learned on the job that you never knew before.
Just keeping pace with the advances in technology has been very interesting. Tech has advanced and increased so much in importance, and it’s incredible how fast things are changing now. It really is interesting to keep up with it and witness how technology can change, even on month-to-month basis.
How do you see your role evolving in the years ahead as we move into being more of a cloud services company?
We’ve installed so many systems provided by vendors over the years, and what I see for the next few years is the bulk of my time being spent supporting platforms that we developed internally.
How has our expertise in solving information management and business process challenges, honed over 50 years, affected and informed the development of our own cloud services platform?
We’ve come up with a core product that can easily be adapted and changed as needed. We can make changes rapidly to meet customer needs, and to me, that’s really exciting. This capability makes us very unique amongst our competition. Taking good care of our customers is an important part of our company culture, and I’m excited that our product offering, moving forward, will be much more adaptable to unique situations.
What makes your job easy, and what makes it hard?
What makes it easy is the people I work with. We’re all headed in the same direction, and that makes it fun. Our customers are great, too. I’ve always felt our customer relationships are more like a partnership than a service relationship. And I honestly can’t think of anything that makes it difficult, bad, or hard.