Our friends at AireSpring featured Frank Walsh, Computers Nationwide Sales Manager, in their January 2021 Partner Newsletter! Check out the interview…
To begin, please tell us a little about yourself, Computers Nationwide, and your professional background in Telecom.
Since its origination in 2010, I have had the privilege to watch Computers Nationwide grow into the company it is today. From the beginning, I knew it was going to be something special, and it has been a blast seeing it develop over the last 10 years. My first job in the industry was as Computers Nationwide’s first employee in 2010. There were only three of us then, and I was the low man on the totem pole. My day-today consisted of anything from cold calling for sales, to receptionist, to cable technician, all the way to garbage man and bathroom sanitizer. Mike R. Gilbert, Owner and President and Michael P. Gilbert (aka “Big Mike”), Partner, began Computers Nationwide with a vision to provide our customers with every service under the IT sun. A true “one stop shop” for all of your business IT needs. Our services include Managed IT, Phone Systems, Structured Cabling and Fiber Optics, Video Surveillance, and Door Access Control.
Our telecom experience began with selling, installing, and servicing on-premise Samsung phone systems. We quickly rose to become one of the top Samsung partners in the nation. As our telecom services grew, our other services followed. Our construction team developed to take on larger projects all over the country. This included large industrial buildings, entire neighborhoods, and data centers with miles and miles of fiber. With the PBX model dying, and a huge telecom customer base, Computers Nationwide made a transition into the channel and moved to the hosted VoIP model. The channel has done amazing things for us, giving us direct access to the top providers in the world. It allowed us to stack services alongside our own and provide our clientele with the ability to make one phone call for all of their needs.
In 2017, Computers Nationwide acquired KC Computers out of Whitewater, WI. The acquisition doubled the size of our MSP Department and expanded our reach throughout Wisconsin. We now have offices in Janesville, Madison, and Brookfield, Wisconsin. Our Illinois locations include New Lenox and our headquarters in Wheeling, Illinois. Our team has grown to over 30 IT Technicians with varieties of knowledge and experience. Our construction side has grown to 10 full teams of cable technicians who truly treat their jobs as an art form. Our sales team consists of over 10 extremely dedicated reps, including outside sales, estimators, and account managers. All backed by an incredible leadership team. Throughout our growth, it was most important to us to stick with our original core values. We treat every one of our clients as a partnership, and we owe our success to them. We look forward to the next decade of growth alongside our clients and our great partners like AireSpring.
What do you like about working with AireSpring?
Our experience working with AireSpring has been nothing but positive. Rick Komon, Mid-west Regional Channel Manager, AireSpring, has been one of the most responsive channel managers that I have worked with in the entire industry. AireSpring’s willingness and flexibility to assist us throughout the sales process using demos and joining calls has been extremely helpful. I am also a huge fan of the training that AireSpring offers to their agents. My personal favorite was the SD-WAN boot camp conducted by Mike Chase, SVP Solutions Engineering at AireSpring. It was a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone in the industry.
What is the “next big thing” you think trusted advisors/agents should be aware of or get involved in for 2021?
In 2020, we were all forced to make some major adjustments. One of the biggest and most obvious ones was the need to be able to work remotely. A lot of business owners who may have previously neglected the importance of their networks were forced to open their eyes and adapt with the times. Throughout that process, I think that those same business owners found cost savings and efficiencies in the remote workforce. I believe that trend is going to continue through 2021 and long after COVID-19. At Computers Nationwide, we strive to keep our clients educated and informed on these trends and guide them through the adjustments. I think to be a Trusted Advisor is a reputation that you earn with your clients, rather than a title… Trust is not only something that needs to be earned, but also something that needs to be maintained. Once you reach that level of trust with your clients, I guarantee they will be back for more.
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of telecom?
The majority of my free time is spent with my family and I wouldn’t change that for anything. I am an avid sports fan and I love the outdoors. I still try to stay active playing hockey, softball, and golf as much as I can. On weekends, you can find me out on the lake boating or up in the north woods snowmobiling.
Snowmobile outing with GM Rob Walsh (far left), owner Mike Gilbert (second from right), and Frank Walsh (second from left).
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