Amica Technology is the Select Partner of pfSense® in the UK. As of this writing, Netgate and pfSense is working closely with Amica to facilitate official_ pfSense training in the UK in April. We recently sat down with Chris Howard and his team to talk about the product and other opportunities to work together in 2016 and beyond.
You are the Managing Director of Amica Technology. Tell us a little bit about your company.
Amica Technology is primarily a Managed Service Provider, based near Bournemouth on the South Coast on England. We have two remote offices, one in London and one in Yorkshire. We are passionate about customer service and never talk jargon to our clients unless they ask us to. We are also an ethical company. Because of these things we have achieved a very fast growth rate. We are still a fairly small company with just 17 staff, but we operate very efficiently so we are able to support a lot of clients.
What made you want to become an official pfSense partner in the UK?
To put it simply, we love the product. When we come across a product that we love, we immediately try to get on board with it because there is nothing easier to sell or support than a product that you are passionate about. Our clients are delighted because we’re saving them money with their firewall solutions. It’s a win-win situation.
Since becoming an official partner, how has your business performed?
Fantastically! 20% of our business is providing leased lines to businesses. Using pfSense as the gateway helps us to lower the monthly cost because our initial firewall investment has been smaller. We pass these savings straight onto the client and there are smiles all round.
How has the pfSense team enabled your business to succeed?
The partner support is great. Ingrid is so amazing to deal with and helps us to get things done and move forward. Chad’s marketing skills are superb and we see each other as an extension of each other’s team. Scott and the rest of the team are so knowledgeable about the product that it gives us the confidence to work with them.
What benefits does a customer realize by purchasing official pfSense products?
Initially it’s cost. Because the initial outlay and total cost of ownership are so low, it’s a no-brainer for most companies. Then people realize how easy the pfSense is to work with and they are pleased that they made the decision. We find that most people can do basic changes to the firewall with no support from us at all, and our clients that have attended the pfSense training suddenly become firewall experts. Once you’ve used pfSense, you very quickly forget about Cisco, Juniper, Sophos, etc.
What are the benefits of purchasing an official pfSense product from Amica?
Amica not only sell the products, but we also have a full design and implementation service. Many of our clients are able to install the products themselves, but for the ones that can’t we usually have an initial conversation over the telephone or face-to-face where we chat through what is required. Then we provide a quotation for the number of hours required for configuration and/or implementation. We’re straight-talking, honest and transparent. We love what we do and we want our clients to enjoy IT.
Explain your “service after the sale” approach.
Our support team are always there waiting to help with any problem you may face. We also offer maintenance contracts with 24x7 service level agreements for companies that require extra peace of mind. Our network architects can design and implement any custom configuration changes either remotely or on-site.