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MSP Summit/Channel Partners Leadership Summit: Pandemic Pushes MSPs to Rethink Business for the Long Term

Working from home is only part of a cultural shift that has occurred in the era of COVID.

Claudia Adrien

September 15, 2022

3 Min Read
MSP Summit, 501ers Panel
MSP Summit, 501ers Panel

MSP SUMMIT/CHANNEL PARTNERS LEADERSHIP SUMMIT — It may be an understatement to say that the pandemic radically reshaped the world of business. For four panelists at this year’s MSP Summit and Channel Partners Leadership Summit, it forced their companies to become more nimble. And it has substantially changed their businesses’ future.

Hybrid work is one example of that. Many organizations have accommodated workers and adopted remote working. For Tim Pabich, founder and CEO at Magnitech, this was tricky proposition for his MSP.

“Because our home location is also our main depot, all of our staging and all of our computers go through their servers. That made it very difficult. Who do we allow to work from home and who do we don’t?” he asked rhetorically. “I can’t ship a pallet of computers to somebody’s house.”

Pabich came up with hybrid work options and established dashboard metrics for performance when people did work from home.

Working from home is only part of a cultural shift that has occurred in the era of COVID. Many individuals re-evaluated their lives, including their careers, during the pandemic. It resulted in what has been coined as The Great Resignation. It’s part of the reason that Phil Wright, founder and CEO of Accent Consulting, is always recruiting. The Great Resignation, coupled with a lack of skilled tech workers, is why Wright said, “We’re constantly posting jobs and interviewing applicants. Obviously retaining workers is key.”

However, Wright said MSPs have to be strategic in their recruiting. They can’t just post information about the job. They must also project the culture of the organization to perspective job candidates.

“Is it a fun place to work?” is a question Wright said MSPs should ask themselves.

Training Out-of-the-Box Candidates

Krishna Rajagopal, CEO at Akati Sekurity, echoed those sentiments.

He said that people, especially millennials and Gen Z, aren’t looking for jobs solely based on salary. They want a full package of benefits and a sense of belonging from employers. And they have the leverage to ask for it, Rajagopal said.

Also, MSPs have to resort to other tactics to get the workforce they need and want. For Rajagopal, it wasn’t good enough anymore to look for candidates in this pandemic climate with the right skills.

So he conducted an experiment of sorts. Rajagopal hired graduates from cybersecurity and other relevant programs. But he also onboarded job candidates who came from completely different fields. This included people who had worked in the food service industry. His company invested in substantial training for these individuals looking for a career change.

What were the results of the experiment?

“We realized we that we had zero attrition from the second group,” he said.

Business Models

For some, the pandemic only validated how they always operated. Take Parasol Alliance as an example. The MSP provides technology solutions, IT support and consulting services for the senior living industry. Their employees have always operated virtually.

“Our clients were hit very hard by the pandemic,” said Amber Bardon, Parasol Alliance’s founder and CEO. “And because we were already signed up to work virtually and can deliver services virtually, we were able to do so throughout the pandemic in nursing homes. We were able to really focus on how can we help our clients through this time.”

The MSP also didn’t lose revenue during this period because they had locked in contracts at a flat rate. 98% of their business is long-term contracts.

“And that’s always been our focus. We have almost no consulting,” Bardon said.

However, Bardon isn’t singularly minded. She also told the audience she equally focuses on making sure her employees had purpose and meaning.

And that wasn’t inspired by any pandemic.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Claudia Adrien or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Claudia Adrien

Claudia Adrien is a reporter for Channel Futures where she covers breaking news. Prior to Informa, she wrote about biosecurity and infectious disease for a national publication. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Florida and resides in Tampa.

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