Welcome to another Atlas Professional Services Team Member Spotlight! Here, you get to know more about our staff – from their career backgrounds and business advice, to their favorite hobbies, music and more – in their own words. This Spotlight is on Pre-Sales Engineer Paul Porterfield.
- Tell us a little bit about your career background.
I forced my way into the IT industry back in 1999, when the industry wanted degrees and certifications for entry-level jobs. I charmed my way into an industry I didn’t fully understand but had a deep nerdy passion for. I worked through the ranks of Tier 1 support to Sr. Systems Administration. Then I jumped ship and worked in the data center world and got my first taste of IT as a service. From there I started working with MSPs and was able to rekindle my passion for IT. I now use all the years of experience in IT to help design solutions for the younger more gifted IT nerds to configure, deploy and manage.
- What do you like most about working in the IT industry?
I like that it is shrouded in mystery to those who do not work in it, and we all look like geniuses when we fix things. I really do enjoy putting on the superhero cape and saving the day.
- What do you like most about working at Atlas?
I love puzzles and figuring out solutions for clients, and this role allows me to focus on that love of mine, and to top it all off, I get to do that for a great company. It has been a lifetime since I worked for a company that has great leadership. I believe I have found a home at Atlas, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this team!
- What’s the biggest work-related challenge you’ve ever faced and how did you overcome it?
Designing an MSP business model. I was hired by a company years ago that wanted to get into the MSP arena. They had a business and residential break-fix team already. My qualifications were that I had worked at a couple MSPs and knew how I wished things were done.
So, I jumped at the opportunity and soon began researching and studying. I worked at this like it was my own company I had started. It took me 4-6 months of 12- to 16-hour days before I was finally ready to present my plan to the COO of the company. He (to my surprise) loved it. I then found myself in front of the board of directors pitching my business plan. Soon after, the MSP division of the company was started, and it is still going today. I had the privilege of managing the team there until I left that role to pursue another passion.
- What are some of your personal hobbies outside of work?
All kinds of games: video, card, and board games alike. I was a nerd before being a nerd was cool.
- Tell us about your family and where you’re from.
I met my wife back in 2012. We got married at the end of 2013. Together we are raising our three kids Caleb (19), Leila (18) and Aidric (5). Caleb and Leila are my two kids from my first marriage. I am from all over the place, though I claim Arkansas as home. My wife is from Kansas. We moved to Tampa in 2018 on our quest to be warm and avoid snow (my wife does not think we have moved far enough south yet).
- Who’s your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
Either Tool or Alice in Chains. I never grew out of the ‘90s alternative music and will listen to that whenever I am given the chance.
- What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Poison Arrow (dart) frogs. Long story, but I know a LOT about raising, caring for and breeding dart frogs.
Lightning Round with Paul Porterfield:
- One word to describe you: Sarcastic
- Your Spirit Animal: Monkey
- Favorite Movie: Silverado
- Favorite Holiday: Christmas
- Favorite Place: The Beach… Any Beach