… in the cloud and there’s on the cloud.
On the cloud is a function of where your workload goes onto a public, private or hybrid stack. In the cloud is what you are running on that stack, [for example], the application. For us, what we do tactically, very, very well, never loses focus, the big macro-evolution, which is that all things, in our opinion, are going to software.
Everything is going to the application. The evolution, and what keeps us relevant, and why we keep doing certain acquisitions where our business keeps growing so nicely, is because we understand when we talk to our customers, we have to make sure they realize we can bring them great value around applications — moving apps, migrating apps, managing that process, running their Amazon instance, running their Azure instance, making sure that we are securing that on the cloud and in the cloud.
CP: Let’s switch gears right now and talk about the unprecedented level of consolidation happening in the IT channel right now. Sirius just completed a massive acquisition of Forsythe. What advice would you give to MSPs looking to be acquired, either for an influx of cash or because they’re looking for an exit strategy?
MC: There [are] a couple of things I always look for. 1) long-term contracts. Forsythe had a lot of long-term contracts. The long-term contract gives you the ability, as the acquirer, to jump in and have a fixed amount of time – two, three, five years – to bring your value, to cross-sell like we talked about earlier, and to absolutely establish yourself as something different than other resellers.
What made [Forsythe] great, and so desirable by folks, was the fact that what we did, we did really well — we were services, we were security, and we could wrap long-term contracts around our value, as a managed-services contract. It wasn’t commodity-based managed services. It was complicated stuff, security-based. It always had a wrapper around it of something that was of greater value to the customer.
Somebody has to be behind the scenes, bringing that greater value than, “Hey, I sold you a firewall. Thanks.” It’s got to be, “Hey, I sold you a firewall, and by the way, Mr. Customer, I can manage this firewall for you, and all of your firewalls: this one, your virtual ones, and the ones you buy out of the native Amazon stack. I’ll manage the journey of data all the way across [its life cycle].”
That’s different than just reselling a firewall, and saying, “See ya later.” There’s a million people doing that.
MSPs have got to focus. I’m telling you, there’s so much need out there for good, focused managed-services people. We’re looking. We always look at the guys that are really good, really focused on the areas we want. It’s easier to find than try to grow all that stuff.