President James Lapointe stresses the need to constantly evolve and that leaders must be forward-thinking to survive.

Allison Francis

November 16, 2020

5 Min Read
MSP 501 'MSP of the Year' Finalist Colden Company On Staying Ahead of the Game

The winners of the 2020 MSP 501 Special Awards are certainly a cut above. These MSPs demonstrated a willingness to take risks and a deep familiarity with the MSP market, two characteristics that are critical to channel companies looking to stay ahead of the curve.

The awards are part of the 2020 MSP 501, the first, largest and most comprehensive ranking of MSPs worldwide. 

The award for MSP of the Year works a little differently from the other special 501 awards. We narrowed the field of contenders down to finalists that we feel represent the modern channel and display excellence in business efficiency and business model innovation.

What does that mean? For starters, the nimbleness to pivot to meet industry trends, the guts to make risky moves today to position the business for tomorrow and the discipline to structure operations to achieve maximum efficiency in service delivery. MSP of the Year finalist Colden Company exemplifies this ideal. 

Growth and Evolution

Colden Company’s business model over the last three to five years has grown and evolved amid some pretty unique industry dynamics, customer needs and emerging tech trends. President James Lapointe will be the first to tout staying ahead of the game.

The 2020 MSP 501 recognizes the top managed service providers in the world. See the full list. Then check out our brand-new Hot 101.


Colden Company’s James Lapointe

“We have a saying here at Colden Company,” said Lapointe. “If you are running your business the same way you were two or three years ago, you are not staying the same; you are falling behind.” That is because your competition is evolving and taking advantage of new technology and emerging markets. We knew we had to evolve too.”

Colden Company had to become more focused on cloud solutions and also delivering value from Microsoft 365 solutions. According to Lapointe, any IT vendor can set up a customer on Microsoft 365 for email. Colden Company developed best practices for Teams implementations, and started digging into some of the other value-adds like Power BI, Power Automate and Planner. 

“We wanted to be able to provide solutions to their customer’s business problems,” said Lapointe. “To do this, we needed to focus on educating ourselves, but also be in tune with what our customers’ issues were.”

Business Model Innovation

The need to evolve one’s business model can also be brought about by certain industry trends. These tend to fluctuate and shift so quickly, a company must keep their finger on the pulse of things. 

“We do business planning every year, so we try to evolve year to year,” said Lapointe. “We look at our service offerings and determine where we want to be as a company. At that point, we build that into our business plan and review it quarterly to make sure we are staying on track. Ten or 12 years ago, we were trying to beat the curve into the managed services space from break-fix. Five years ago we were looking to be ahead of the curve of data security offerings. Now it is cloud and IT consulting.”

What does this all boil down to? According to Lapointe, it’s really about the people leading an organization. If a company has forward-thinking leaders, regardless of their vertical, they can be early adopters.

Operational Shifts

To support this new, evolved business model, Colden Company had to make a few …

… operational shifts along the way. For example, the company made changes to its helpdesk schedules to allow for more training time. 

“There is a lot to know in our field and no one knows it all,” said Lapointe. “We set up training schedules so our team can have dedicated time to stay current. We also had to learn how to be better project managers; we now have a formal project management training program.  After all, IT projects are projects. Only those completing and passing our project management training can manage those consulting projects. It has made a difference in customer satisfaction. IT skills and project management skills are different skill sets that need to be taught.”

In order to be agile and carry out a successful pivot, Colden Company looks at their strategic partnerships. The company needs to make sure they have the right partners in place to make the shifts they want to make. In Colden’s case, the provider sought out new partners in the spaces where it wanted to make inroads.

Evolution in 2021 and Beyond

So, where and how does Colden Company hope to evolve in the next two to three years? What opportunities exist in the market now that they, and others already need to be preparing for?

“Obviously right now, remote working is an important area,” said Lapointe. “This really does go hand in hand with adoption of cloud services which we were already making the pivot toward. We see the writing on the wall from vendors like Microsoft that are telling us to get into cloud and business consulting services.”

Moving forward, Colden Company seems uniquely positioned to drive ahead and come out ahead of the game. The key is to keep one’s business-model innovation nose to the ground.

“Our ability to manage projects successfully has been a differentiator for us,” said Lapointe. “We don’t go over budget or miss deadlines, and we put a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction and also employee satisfaction. We aren’t looking to be the largest MSP, but we are looking to be the best. To do that, we need happy and productive employees and committing to our staff.  Rapid growth necessitates rapid hiring, and that is when you make mistakes. We are focused on bringing in the right people for the long term.”

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About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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