All Covered Gaining Managed Application, Vertical Market Momentum

All Covered, the managed services division of Konica Minolta, is beginning to gain momentum focusing on specific applications -- such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to extend Windows and Office application access onto iPads, as well as Microsoft SharePoint application development. All Covered, which expects to buy about six more MSPs this year, also is pushing deeper into the legal and education markets, said President Todd Croteau. Here's how.

Long term, "I can see a world where we have solutions for 10 verticals," said Croteau. "It all centers around customer intimacy. You don't want to visit a customer and just unroll a long scroll of options." Instead, All Covered remains in listen mode -- much in the way a doctor offers managed care. And when customers express specific needs or goals, the All Covered team will align the most appropriate managed services.

Targeted Acquisitions

In some cases, that involves traditional infrastructure services. But Increasingly, All Covered's IT services focus on higher-margin opportunities, thanks to some of the recent acquisitions:
  • A recent MSP buyout in New England gave the company Citrix expertise -- perfect timing for the VDI-to-iPad trend.
  • Another buyout in the Chicago area gave All Covered deep Interactive Whiteboard expertise -- ideally suited for the education vertical.
  • Another MSP buyout in the Pennsylvania area involved SharePoint expertise. Just last week, Microsoft announced that SharePoint continues to experience double-digit growth in the market. All Covered is now riding that wave.
The key challenge (and opportunity): Making sure those various vertical market services are well-coordinated and built to scale -- over time -- across the All Covered business footprint.

More Than Size

Overall, All Covered is striving to become the largest IT service provider to small businesses in the U.S. In its most recent fiscal year, All Covered doubled in size. "But it's not just about being the biggest MSP," said Croteau. "We're driving intrinsic strategic value, industry knowledge and vertical knowledge."

That strategy will involve continued M&A deals. All Covered's new fiscal year started April 1, and the company expects to buy roughly six more MSPs and IT service providers this fiscal year.

Still, Croteau concedes that All Covered isn't looking to rush any deals. "In some cities we've been looking for 18 months and still haven't found the right company [for acquisition]," he said.

Do the Math

Plus, Croteau sees plenty of opportunity for organic growth. He notes that parent Konica Minolta has 100,000 customers. If the Konica Minolta sales team has a 1 percent hit rate for managed services leads, that's 1,000 new potential customers engaging with All Covered, Croteau said.

"The vision I had a long time ago about achieving scale," said Croteau. "We're finally seeing it happen. We're a big organization that's nimble, innovative and we have a lot of entrepreneurial resources."

What's next? MSPmentor will be checking in with executives who sold their companies to All Covered. Who stayed on, why, and what's it like to work in a larger, national MSP? Answers soon.
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