The Utility Company: Plugging In MSP Franchises

The Utility Company: Plugging In MSP Franchises

Mark ScottWhen the history of managed services is written, Mark Scott may earn two prominent mentions.

First, as co-founder of N-able, he helped shift VARs to managed services. Now, as president and founder of The Utility Company, Scott is striving to blend IT franchises with on-demand services. Here's a look at his latest efforts, and the potential implications for MSPs.

First, a little background. Numerous companies are striving to build managed services franchises. We mentioned TeamLogic IT as one example a few days ago. And we've also explored the emerging Master MSP model, where VARs pay a monthly fee to leverage MSP platforms hosted by third parties.

The Utility Company, meanwhile, has gained some traction with its own managed services business model. Since The Utility Company is privately held, it's difficult to measure the company's financial momentum. However, the firm has lined up IT franchises -- dubbed Utility Service Providers -- across major portions of North America (take a look).

The franchise program, known as BMS (Beyond Managed Services) is organized into three categories:

  • BMS Select: Partners gain an exclusive franchise territory with the training, back office support, marketing, sales and service delivery.
  • BMS Affiliate: This is positioned for office equipment dealers, VARs and telecommunications resellers that want to extend their existing businesses with new, standardized, branded services.
  • BMS Entrepreneur: For entrepreneurs, sales and service experts looking to start a new business.

New Hotline

The Utility Company's latest move involves a help-desk service (1-866-My-Utility) for small and mid-size businesses. The service is available across North America, with franchises providing local on-site support.The Utility Company, ultimately, hopes to blend the worlds of managed services and software as a service (SaaS) by specializing in:
  • IT administration for network, desktop, security and storage services
  • Copier and printer hardware as a service (HaaS)
  • Telecommunications and VoIP services
  • Website/ Internet services
  • Business application services
Is The Utility Company the real deal? We haven't had a chance to check in with the company's franchises just yet. But we'll be sure to do so in the weeks ahead.

When Scott left N-able in 2006, it wasn't exactly a storybook ending for the company co-founder. But the tech industry has proven over and over again that an IT executive's second act can be stronger than the first.
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