MSPmentor 250: Scott Anderson’s Three Keys to MSP Success
In speaking with members of this year’s MSPmentor 250, it’s becoming clear than managed services experts have a knack for reinventing themselves. For example, when Scott Anderson launched CORE Business Services in 2005, he positioned the company as an accounting software consulting firm. But as CORE began deeper customer interactions, Anderson realized it became easier to sell CORE’s IT services to potential customers.”
“It’s a lot easier to get in the door with new clients if you are talking about IT services than it is if you are talking about accounting,” said Anderson. “It’s hard to get them to talk about their private accounting status.” So six months after CORE was founded, the company’s focus shifted from accounting services to building the MSP side of the business. “We grew the business during the recession and have grown considerably every year. I can’t really say we felt the effect of the recession.”
Anderson points to three keys for CORE’s success:
- Recognize your model is not working, and quickly change to a new one;
- Find the right business partner(s); and
- Emphasize customer relationships.
First, Anderson recognized that accounting wasn’t the best route to success — at least not for his business — so he switched to managed IT services. Then he recognized the early stages of cloud adoption, so he embraced a strategic partner – TierPoint – to address that market opportunity. CORE has maintained strong customer relationships because customers are putting their infrastructure in CORE’s cloud environment — rather than third-party environments.
“It still comes back to customer relationships,” Anderson said. “They rely on us. They like not having all of their servers on-site. They’re putting whole or hybrid pieces of their networks in our cloud, so in a way our relationships with clients are getting even tighter.”
The result? CORE’s recurring revenue as grown 600 percent over the last two years. CORE recently became a Shore Tel partner, as Anderson recognized that unified communications (UC) is becoming a bigger part of the business. Next, CORE is developing a multi-tenant cloud environment to lower operation costs for some of its smaller customers.
“The cloud doesn’t make sense for everybody,” Anderson said. “But at the least you need a hybrid model will show customers that you’re flexible. There’s no reason to have an Exchange server on-site, and a hybrid model is a great way to ‘feel out’ the cloud.”