Marc Scarpelli is the director of sales at Nothing But NET, a managed service provider (MSP) of IT solutions and services. We cornered him this week to get his colorful take on MSP essentials.
Topics included, but were not limited to, the importance of not beating around the bush, being more agile than an aircraft carrier, and dingoes. That last one doesn't tie into any of this, at all.
Or does it …
1. Be specialized.
MSPs have gotten so commoditized, so numerous — “you swing a dead cat, you’ll hit one” numerous. It's because of this that you must differentiate yourself. Rise above the clowder, if you will.
Be realistic, though. You simply can't provide all services to all companies; you’ll overextend yourself. It would be more prudent, both fiscally and from a marketing-niche standpoint, to specialize in, say, cybersecurity. And then, focus only on the best-of-breed products and tools that you’re going to offer.
For everything else, you would be best-suited to partner with other vendors and create strong relationships so that you can leverage their expertise. Why? Simply put, it’s impossible to be an expert on everything. The coordination and management of resources – including human – would just be too daunting.
Plus, you know, it costs way too much money. Nobody wants that.
2. Stay small.
Being a small target is more future-proof because you can remain nimble. In this industry where technology changes faster than some people’s socks, it's vital to stay on top of things.
For example, if you’re an aircraft carrier, it takes longer to turn and/or change course that it does if you’re a PT boat. Don’t be an aircraft carrier. Stay a manageable size so that you can be nimble and change with the times when the newest, most attractive service becomes a demand.
3. Cut the bullsh*t.
Surround yourself with people who will not simply tell you what you want to hear. Not to put too fine a point on it, but folks who won’t bullsh*t you. Arm yourself with people like that. Surrounding yourself with quality colleagues who you trust is key — people who will help you push toward the same goals, but aren’t afraid to push back.
As long as you have similar philosophical goals, beliefs and work ethic, you’re most always going to end up in the same place together. As long as you make informed decisions and take strategic steps in the same direction, you’re golden. It’s just a matter of working out all the little wrinkles.
Born and raised in Chicago, Marc Scarpelli started working at age 11 for his father’s 30-person butcher shop. He continued to work in key verticals following college – at companies large and small – that allowed him to relate to specific industry pains, as well as the key stakeholders that run them — from technology to teaching, advertising to antique car restoration, financial institutions to family-owned companies that are the backbone of America.