Overcoming the Latest Hurdles in Managed Services
Through the research he conducted prior to writing the best-selling book, “Good to Great,” Jim Collins discovered a common thread among all the businesses that transformed into successful organizations. “There was no miracle moment. Instead, a down-to-earth, pragmatic, committed-to-excellence process — a framework — kept each company, its leaders, and its people on track for the long haul.”
The traditional methods for building a successful business often are compared with constructing a house, beginning with a solid foundation before adding the floors, walls, roof and finishing touches. While those steps remain true for traditional businesses, assembling a managed services organization with the ability to adapt and flourish requires a lot more planning and continued effort. The evaluation and improvement process never stops; from training employees and implementing the latest technologies to performing SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis and targeting new vertical markets. The “status quo” isn’t good enough to ensure long-term success.
Whether a managed services business is thriving, or challenged with significant obstacles, the organization must transform to meet the changing needs of its clients. Advancements in the technology may aid MSPs in that process, but many of the business operations aspects require an expertise that many vendors can’t provide. Those who’ve overcome similar challenges are better equipped to help their peers avoid common pitfalls and take advantage of the opportunities that occur in the business. They can share best practices and collaborate on new solutions, and act as a sounding board when the management team is faced with major organizational decisions.
While some MSPs feel they have the knowledge and skills depth they need to adapt their business model in-house, connecting with a network of industry experts never hurts. No matter how big a company is or how long it’s been around, strategic complacency can set in when business is booming and cash is flowing. That’s why peer groups are of such value, helping successful providers get from good to great.
That’s what led to formation of the MSP Partners Community. Created through an initiative of the CompTIA IT Services and Support Community, it was designed to create education and business development tools for traditional IT service providers moving to a managed services model. Its members discuss and address a variety of MSP-related issues and operational challenges, designing the tools and educational programs needed to be successful in this thriving segment of the IT channel. The next MSP Partners Community meeting takes place July 30 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. during CompTIA Breakaway in Las Vegas.
The community is the driving force behind the MSP Partners Trustmark, a business accreditation that helps MSPs validate their commitment and skills in managed services. The endorsement is an effective marketing and sales tool, allowing holders to promote their expertise to prospective and current clients.
For those interested in taking their managed services business from good to great, the community is hosting an MSP Partners Trustmark Workshop at CompTIA Breakaway. All conference attendees have the opportunity to earn the business credential onsite (for just $99, a savings of $100), with a thorough review of the process, standards and benefits.
Interested in joining the MSP Partners Community or learning more about their activities? Just send a message of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the group meeting at Breakaway.
Kelly Ricker (Twitter: @kellyricker) is senior VP of events and education at CompTIA, the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. As a non-profit trade association advancing the global interests of IT professionals and companies, CompTIA focuses programs on four main areas: education, certification, advocacy and philanthropy.