LabTech Automation Nation continues with TruMethods CEO Gary Pica sharing 5 keys to MSP success, and Intel (INTC) educating MSPs about mobility and remote management.

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

June 5, 2013

4 Min Read
TruMethods CEO Gary Pica shares 5 tips for MSP success during LabTech Automation Nation 2013 conference
TruMethods CEO Gary Pica shares 5 tips for MSP success during LabTech Automation Nation 2013 conference.

LabTech Automation Nation has attracted roughly 350 managed services providers (MSPs) in Orlando, Fla. TruMethods CEO Gary Pica is describing five keys to MSP (managed services provider) success. Then, Intel's (INTC) Scott Schafer tackled the latest mobile, ultrabook and vPro trends for MSPs. Here's a minute-by-minute live blog keynote recap.

Recap: TruMethods CEO Gary Pica

  • Pica is about to share his five steps to MSP success.

  • A key day in his life — December 12, 1996: Pica decides to quit his job and invest in/build an IT services company.

  • At first, Pica worked 12 hours a day, seven days per week. But the company was losing money and having trouble paying staff. But he went on to build an MSP that managed 7,000 endpoints and got acquired by mindSHIFT (now owned by Best Buy).

  • Best in class MSPs add some MRR (monthly recurring revenue) per month; drive $100 to $110 per seat per month fees; and generate 14% to 16% net profits.

  • World class MSPs, by contrast, add new MRR at the right price EVERY month, charge $120 to $160 per seat, with 25% to 35% net profits.

Pica's 5 Secrets to MSP Success/5 Characteristics of World Class MSPs

  1. Business Planning Process: Transform from a brick layer and build cathedrals. Start with a shared vision for the future of the company. Have clear direction for the company and employees. Provide a sense of purpose and build culture. For your processes, focus on vision (10 years), target (3 years), plan (1 year) and action (1 quarter).

  2. Know What You Sell: Has what clients want to buy changed over the past five years? Pica says no. Everyone needs three things from technology — plumbing, support and strategy. Focus on the end result; make sure you have the right people and processes; utilize technology (don't sell it); limit choices and options; and bundle services. If you don't know what you sell — your support offering — then change.

  3. Become Sales Focused: This has to be a company philosophy. You can't be world-class if you're not bringing in new customers at a predictable rate. Know your math (how much MRR you want, average deal size, close ratio, etc.). You need to have a process to generate and manage leads. Become accountable by having regular sales meetings. And have dedicated resources. Be realistic about your starting point on sales and marketing. Focus on warm lead sources (referrals) if your marketing list is weak.

  4. Be Process Driven: LabTech CEO Matt Nachtrab said yesterday that great MSPs aren't born, they are engineered. Similarly, Pica believes you can focus on 5 delivery areas: Support, Centralized Services, Proactive Network Administration, Technology Consulting and Non-Recurring Service. For LabTech MSPs, Pica recommended that you review tickets, alerts and project plans at least once per month; build R&D alliances with peer MSPs that want to drive automation with you — do a call with them monthly to share best practices; leverage LabTech's training resources.

  5. Gain Command: Over your business, delivery areas and roles in your business. Until you have command you can't put a plan in place to get to your target destination. Know how to read a financial statement. Know the numbers that ConnectWise and LabTech deliver, which ultimately show you the health of your business. Know the gauges. To truly succeed: Make sure everyone has clear roles and responsibilities; attach metrics to each role; track results.

Recap: Intel's Scott Schafer, vPro Programs Manger

  • Intel vPro is now six years old, and the LabTech relationship is now in its third year.

  • Schafer stated tongue in cheek that the PC is dead. Again.

  • In reality, the PC is the ultimate Darwinian Device, Schafer asserted, quoting Andy Grove.

  • The true trend is all about mobile computing and end point devices blurring. Ultrabook convertable and detachable devices prove that.

  • In the business world, he asserted, current adopters say their ultrabook touch devices will replace tablets. 

  • There are 200 million business PCs running that are more than 4 years old, and 30 percent of SMBs are still running Windows XP. Those realities spell opportunity for MSPs.

  • He defined vPro as a great technology for hardware-assisted remote manageability.

  • vPro typically allows MSPs to repair PC hardware issues 88 percent faster.

  • Plus, vPro cuts on-premise PC visits for repair by about 50 percent.

Check back for continued updates.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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