MSPmentor 250: Steve Bender’s Cross-Vertical Philosophy
Fifteen years ago Steve Bender and two partners turned a Mac-centric support company into a business community service provider. The result of the switch was inhouseIT — and later Spam Soap — two companies that have helped inhouseIT President Steve Bender catapult into the MSPmentor 250, our annual look at the top executives, entrepreneurs and experts in managed services.
“The first thing we did to become an MSP was start selling recurring block time,” Bender recalled.”From that we began to adopt Kaseya and Connectwise and we dove into real time management and monitoring of PCs.” Bender’s strategy is to stay general and not align the company with any single vertical. His philosophy is a product of the southern California market in which inhouseIT operates — a market that Bender says has so many different types of businesses whose technology is “90 percent ubiquitous.”
Bender explained how the idea of Spam Soap came to fruition: “We were originally working with an inhouseIT client that had an IT manager on their staff who we were supplementing services for. He had this crazy idea that he was going to make the world unsafe for spammers.” Spam Soap has carved out its own industry niche over the last decade, and the company has added continuity, an extra layer of antivirus, encryption and several archiving services over that time period.
More recently, Spam Soap gained some former Do IT Smarter customers after Do IT Smarter exited the Master MSP market, MSPmentor has reported. (As part of the planned transition, Do IT Smarter helped its partners to engage with Spam Soap.)
The evolution of Spam Soap has made inhouseIT as a whole more attractive to several different markets.”Doing business with different types of companies is one of our fundamental business strategies, and we are always looking for more clients,” said Bender, who noted that there is no shortage of competition around inhouseIT’s Orange County, Calif., market space. “The burden is on the MSP to offer more services to the same clients,” he said. “That got us started on offering VoIP and carrier services.” inhouseIT is now focused on offering virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to mid-market companies.