Continuum Partners with GAP to Help Fledgling MSPs
Remote monitoring and management platform and NOC provider Continuum is partnering with sales and consulting firm Growth Achievement Partners (GAP) to help fledgling managed service providers get a leg up into the market. The partnership takes GAP's expertise in helping office technology dealers and marries it to Continuum's experience in the managed services space to create a business and technology roadmap for office tech dealers who are targeting a move into managed services. MSPmentor spoke to Continuum's VP of Marketing Steve Ricketts about the partnership. Here are the details.
First, a look at office technology dealers. These are the organizations that have sold and serviced office equipment such as copiers, multi-function printers/scanners/copiers and similar equipment. And just as big copier vendors have been going through a transition, so have these dealers.
From Copiers to IT Services
“The office technology market is in transition, and dealers who accelerate through the turn will thrive,” said Chris Ryne, a principal at GAP, in a prepared statement, announcing the partnership with Continuum “Our model provides benchmarks similar to the traditional industry model that has been the standard for highly successful dealers.”
Ricketts described it to me this way: "They've sold document solutions which have gone from the traditional copier that is plugged into wall to multifunction devices that are now plugged into a network. Now you have someone with a tablet who wants to print to those devices. Or you have managed print. And when when ink and paper are low, you can manage these things automatically. SMBs are looking for someone to service and manage and maintain all that and more, and these technology dealers are already engaged."
That's probably why managed services is a major topic this week at the ITEX National Conference in Las Vegas. Both Continuum and GAP will be attending and participate in sessions designed to educate dealers on managed services. along with other companies that serve the managed services space.
Business Metrics Plus Technology
The Continuum, GAP partnership packages a Managed Services path for these businesses, designed to help them access the adjacent managed services opportunity with the dealers' customers. Continuum's Steve Ricketts told MSPmentor that moving into the space will help office dealers gain access recurring revenues and sell deeper into their customer bases. The roadmap this partnership creates for these fledgling MSPs relies on Continuum's technology infrastructure and GAP's business consulting.
The following list from the companies provides a peak into some of the business metrics and tools the partnership is providing:
- Revenue: The appropriate targets, mixes and types, and how those should change over time
- Contracts and Account Expansion: Seats under management, revenue per seat and growth expectations via additional products and services
- Activity and Pipeline: Sales cycle duration, pipeline metrics and activity targets to achieve business model revenue targets
- Head Count: Productivity measures for sales and vCIO personnel, target head-count levels based on seats managed and customers under contract, and the personnel mix between sales and operations
- Compensation: Who to pay, how to pay and when to pay, as well as target compensation levels as they relate to gross profit and revenue
- Profitability: Target contribution level and operational levers to enhance performance
But even with the new partnership's efforts to illuminate the path for new MSPs, there's still work involved for these office dealers. Many will not initially have the technology expertise on staff to move into providing broader managed services, and they will need to hire one to two technicians, Ricketts told me. These technicians will be required to provide a range of small office technology services from networking to PC and server management.
The Continuum, GAP partnership announcement this week follows the April 2 Continuum customer win of The Gordon Flesch Company, a large national independent provider of office technology solutions. The companies announced that Continuum would be the exclusive provider to Gordon Flesch of software and services for the company's managed IT services business which was established last year.