Steal This: 7 Great Ideas from MSP 501 Winners

Stealing idea

By T.C. Doyle

Want to get ahead in your market? Or simply differentiate yourself from your competition? Then consider the ways that some of your peers are advancing their businesses. From original intellectual property development to clever marketing, some channel companies are stepping up to stand out.

Develop Your Own IP

IBM Watson Apps. Cybersecurity software. Digital transformation blueprints. These are but a few of the solutions that companies like yours have developed. Make no mistake, home-grown intellectual property (IP) development has come to the channel. Developing IP is not something most partners set out to do. But scores have. Some have developed vertical market solutions. Others have invested in custom builds that connect different business apps or manage networks more seamlessly.

CrushBank, an offshoot of CHIPS Technology Group, a popular New York-area solution provider, has developed a help desk solution that is powered by IBM Watson Technology. It enables “internal help desks, managed service providers (MSP) and enterprises/corporations to create a faster time to resolution, improve customer satisfaction, maintain control of your intellectual property and increase profitability by spending less time searching for answers, and more time finding solutions,” according to the company. Not bad for what was once a regional MSP. In a world of always-on, hyper-connected, is it any surprise that partners are asked for more than before?

Build Your Own Channel

In addition to developing their own IP, many of your peers are developing their own channels. That’s right: They are building robust initiatives to sell their ideas, innovations and services through partners like you.

  • Take Netwise Resources, No. 194 on the 2018 MSP 501 list. The Indianapolis-based IT MSP provides support to businesses nationwide. It also provides mentoring to other members of its parent organization, Visual Edge Technologies, which oversees a number of office and IT technology companies.
  • Or Red Key Solutions, No. 365 on the 2018 MSP 501 list. The White Plains, New York, company not only acquires smaller MSP shops, it also provides guidance and mentoring to those interested in its virtual CIO strategies and best practices.
  • Then there’s Infinit Consulting, which has developed a three-stage approach to digital transformation complete with a unique road map that includes steps for embracing agile development methodologies and IT governance. Infinit’s Digital Transformation approach is packaged in a platform-based solution so that the company can enable other MSP/CSPs to transform themselves into true “Digital Transformation Providers.”

Develop Your Own Dashboard

All business owners think that they have their fingers on the metrics that matter most to their companies. But how true is that? Think about your own organization. Do you or one of your colleagues have a handle on profitability by vendor, customer or employee? The answer is, “probably not.” This means you might be ignoring key metrics that determine success among MSPs, VARs and IT consultants.

Among top providers today, a few key metrics stand out. This includes your Net Promoter score, EBITDA, monthly recurring revenue grow and multiple attach rate. It also includes your ticket close rate, open rate and more. What about standards? If your attach rate is below 1.3, then you’re underperforming. If your incident close rate is below 98 percent, then you’re falling behind. And if your churn rate, a measure of the number of customers that don’t re-up with your company after 12 months of service, is about 5 percent, you’re …

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