Vendasta Makes ‘MSP of the Year’ and ‘CIX Top 10 Growth Companies’ Lists
Vendasta has been busy lately. The digital solutions provider has two reasons to celebrate, having been named as a runner-up in the competitive ranking for Channel Futures’ 2019 Managed Service Provider (MSP) of the Year, and among the CIX Top 10 Growth companies, an impressive list reserved for the most promising growth stage companies in Canada, both in the span of two weeks.
The MSP of the Year award was announced at the MSP 501 Awards Gala Tuesday evening as part of Channel Partners Evolution in Washington, D.C. The event honors the 501 top MSPs as determined by Channel Futures.
The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) delivered its “Top 20 Early” and “Top 10 Growth” lists on BNN Bloomberg last week. Companies are chosen by a selection committee of technology industry experts and investors from across Canada.
“It’s exciting to see the emphasis on ‘scaling’ companies’, says Vendasta CEO Brendan King. “Very few Canadian technology companies are reaching that stage. There is a lot of support for startups, but not a lot for those who get past that checkpoint in their success. It’s great to see CIX recognizing companies that are reaching this milestone.”
We sat down with King to talk about Vendasta’s plans and pitfalls, the company’s evolution and goals for the future.
Channel Futures: How have you evolved since your first years of operation?
Brendan King: When we started, we were building foundational digital marketing products for small businesses like reputation management, listings and social media management. Some 10 years ago, this was a newer concept. Small businesses hadn’t considered their digital reputation, and we were able to prove the value by showing them how they stacked up against the industry leaders in their space.
CF: When did you begin seeing a need to evolve your business model? What trends prompted and supported this decision?
BK: When we started, we were a point solutions provider and had a very high growth rate. From our experience in the space, we knew that the cost of acquiring SMBs was high and that SMB churn is generally high too. This led us to distribute as white-labeled products through partners — resellers who already had a relationship with the SMBs. Originally, those partners were in the media space, such as newspaper, yellow pages, radio, TV. They were undergoing a huge transition from selling traditional print-based products to digital products, and they needed our foundational solutions.
CF: You’ve evolved a lot. Try to address each major pivot and expansion so we know not just the how, but the why of your operational decisions.
BK: Vendasta’s early success was dramatic because advertising was changing. In the past, all you needed was a newspaper ad, a yellow page listing, broadcast commercials, and maybe a board at the bus stop. All customers would do was either come see you or call you to get more information.
Around 2008, the landscape started to change. The iPhone came out, Google was everywhere, the internet was everywhere and people were searching…