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Microsoft Partner Guardian Computer Invests In Security, Cloud Offerings

Wade Tyler Millward

‘We’re not predicting a bad year. But it’s going to be a flat year,’ Guardian Computer President Jean Prejean tells CRN in an interview.

Jean Prejean
Jean Prejean

Microsoft cloud and security offerings, upgrading customer license types and growing a practice with cybersecurity vendor Cynet are some of the areas where Guardian Computer is investing in 2023.

Jean Prejean, president of Metairie, La.-based Microsoft partner – a member of CRN’s 2022 Managed Service Provider 500 – told CRN in an interview that her company is still plenty busy despite feeling some of the effects of the economy.

“We had great growth from ’21 to ’22. But our forecast for ’23 is pretty flat,” Prejean said. “We hired three people in ’22. If we hire anybody, it’ll be at the end of the year. We just don’t see big growth this year. … We’re not predicting a bad year. But it’s going to be a flat year. … But we feel lucky. ’23, if we can get through just flat, we will take it. You’re never going to have all good years.”

[RELATED: 40,000 Tech Layoffs: Amazon Vs. Google Vs. Microsoft] 

Microsoft, Cynet Partner Guardian Computer On 2023 Investments

There are multiple signs of IT spending slowing in certain areas. A recent Wall Street Journal poll put the odds of a recession in the next 12 months at 61 percent. Gartner projects worldwide IT spending to increase 2.4 percent year over year – to $4.5 trillion – less than half of the growth forecasted the previous quarter. And the recent news of layoffs of more than 40,000 people from Amazon, Microsoft and Google looks like proof of a slowdown in technology demand.

Still, Prejean sees opportunity in speaking with customers about the value of using the entire Microsoft product suite. She still comes across customers paying for Zoom when they already pay for Microsoft’s Teams collaboration application, she said.

Upgrading customers to E3 license types from lower level licenses is an opportunity for Guardian, as is educating customers on where they need to invest more in their security posture, she said.

Prejean herself has invested in getting members of her 11-employee staff more Azure and security training.

“A company came to us, one of their doctors had left a laptop in the back of their car while they ran into the store,” Prejean said. “Well, the car got broken into, and the laptop was gone. And now they’re faced with (six digits) … in legal bills and stuff. And it’s like – how easy is that to prevent? I mean, just putting encryption on the hard drive, which is easy peasy. So many don’t have encryption.”

Here’s more of what Prejean had to say.

 
Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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