During his keynote presentation at the fall LogicNow (GFI Software’s newly restructured name, which combines GFI MAX, IASO cloud backup, and other cloud-based products) partner conference, Dave Sobel shared some great insights with attendees.
Sobel is the former CEO of Evolve Technologies, an IT service provider that earned several industry awards during his 15 years at the helm before becoming the director of partner community at Level Platforms and more recently fulfilling the same role at LogicNow.
Among the many insights Sobel shared at the event, the following three traits of successful MSPs stood out the most:
1. Develop operating process discipline. “The best MSPs are built on a foundation of repeatable processes,” says Sobel. That statement resonates with my experience talking with hundreds of service providers, too. I’ve observed that the best service providers don’t allow their bundled solutions to be sold in piecemeal fashion. Maintaining too many dissimilar products requires a larger investment in product training, and it makes troubleshooting problems more complex and time-consuming, which translates to lower profit margins.
2. Understand customers’ business requirements. “This isn’t just about technology,” Sobel pointed out at the event. “It’s about knowing how customers can use technology to achieve meaningful business outcomes.” I’ve seen this point illustrated numerous times in the healthcare arena where doctors are using the latest electronic health record software to be HIPAA-HITECH compliant, but they’re actually less productive than they were when they used pen and paper. Some IT service provider sold them the right IT stuff, but failed to help the practice understand how the new program could actually improve productivity and enable better patient care.
3. Maintain market awareness. There was a time when the most successful service providers made their biggest margins selling hardware. That, of course, is not the case today and those providers who are still enjoying healthy margins are the ones who kept in touch with the changes happening in their markets and adapted accordingly. “Leading MSPs keep in touch with developing trends and confirm that products do what they say they will,” says Sobel.
One other hot topic Sobel talked about at the event and Business Solutions Chief Editor Mike Monocello talks about in his latest blog is agility. Be sure to check out, “Why Agility Equates to Longevity in Managed Services.”