Continuum Navigate: MSPs Search for Strategies to Help SMB Customers
CONTINUUM NAVIGATE — From searching for ways to convince SMB customers to increase their IT security defenses to better protect their businesses from cyberattacks to broadening their own service offerings to their customers, more than 300 IT professionals from MSPs across North America are gathering here in Las Vegas to look for answers to some of the biggest IT issues facing their operations today.
The Navigate 2019 conference, sponsored by Continuum, an IT platform built for MSPs that lets them serve their end-user SMB customers with a variety of managed services and support, outlined the company’s progress in adding managed security services to its offerings in 2017 and laid out its plans to help MSPs get their SMB customers to adopt deeper security protections.
Those goals were certainly on the minds of several MSPs who spoke with Channel Futures about their reasons for attending the conference and for finding out more about Continuum’s plans to help them grow their revenue while better protecting their SMB customers.
“The MSP and IT services spaces are moving faster now than ever,” said Peter Melby, CEO of Denver-based Greystone Technology, a 95-employee MSP business that has been serving SMBs as a longtime partner of Continuum. “Security is a critical issue now more than ever. And there’s a significant talent gap, which we face too, and which means we can’t do as much internally so we need partners to help us more.”
That’s where Continuum fits as a valued partner because the company provides a wide range of managed services from security to help desk to remote monitoring and management, as well as complete infrastructure and support, that allows MSPs to help customers without having to have their own huge infrastructure, said Melby.
“I’m here to connect with people in the industry who have a view of what’s coming,” he said. “From what we’ve seen, customers are willing to spend the money on security but IT hasn’t been influential on where to spend the money. The problem that we see is that MSPs are not convincing their clients to spend the money, even though the clients are willing to spend it.”
Also key to his visit to the conference was Melby’s desire to learn more about how his company can be more influential with its SMB customers by better educating them about the need for IT security, even when a business is small. Continuum’s new Certify certification program, which launched recently, provides a wide range of cybersecurity training for MSPs, as well as targeted training to provide best practices for selling IT security services to SMBs.
“That’s a huge benefit” to have such training from a partner, said Melby.
Melby said that by partnering with Continuum to provide services to its SMB customers that it reduces Greystone’s need to find workers with specific IT skills, such as security, RMM, incident response and backup.
“With the staff that we do have our focus is on making us the most desirable place to work in our area and industry. We are very deliberate about our company culture. We try to create a place where we’re focused on treating our employees like capable adults and letting them work with autonomy.”
“You get a lot more dedicated insights into the tools from Continuum,” said Bubeck. “Especially with the in-depth dive into the improvements they have made. More importantly for me, being so front-facing to corporate clients and prospects, I gained a lot of verbiage and stories to share about how to better relay the importance of IT security for customers.”
Bubeck said he expects that every business at some point will encounter and endure some sort of cyberbreach and that’s a key message he will try to communicate with customers.
“The things you do beforehand to reduce the impacts and expedite your recovery processes can largely be the difference between staying in business after an attack or finding a new career,” he said. “We keep seeing this in the small business realm.”
Another MSP attendee, Todd Petersen, a managed IT specialist for Arvig, which provides MSP and ISP services in Minnesota, said that working as a Continuum partner for the last six years has allowed his company to …