MSP Top 501 Profile: Midnight Blue Focuses on Culture, Team BuildingMSP Top 501 Profile: Midnight Blue Focuses on Culture, Team Building
Larry Schwartz, president and chief executive officer of Midnight Blue Technology Services, said his company has focused on building a team-friendly environment. And as a result, Schwartz's company has been able to extend its reach and deliver consistent support to its customers.
May 14, 2014
Midnight Blue Technology Services, a Pittsburgh-based managed service provider (MSP) hit the MSPmentor Top 501 list this year at 499. The company has grown over the past few years thanks in part to the support it provides small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In fact, Midnight Blue President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Schwartz points out his company supports many businesses that have 10 to 100 employees or do not have an IT staff at all.
Founded in 2005, Midnight Blue offers outsourced and managed IT services to customers in Western Pennsylvania. In addition, Midnight Blue’s offerings include backup, help desk and network infrastructure services.
Schwartz told MSPmentor his company’s culture is one of the reasons it has been successful. By building a true team environment, Schwartz said, Midnight Blue has been able to provide dependable support to its customers.
“We are better able to take care of our clients profitably when there is a team mentality. It has allowed us to grow quickly while still maintaining quality service,” Schwartz added.
Midnight Blue Technology Services
Headquarters: Pittsburgh, PA
Geography served: Western Pennsylvania
Number of employees: 10
Key Technology Partners: Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Trend Micro
Helping customers in a changing cloud environment
Schwartz noted many MSPs have changed or eliminated their services over the past few years. However, Schwartz said his company has thrived because it understands the speed of change in the cloud.
“Our clients look to us for solid recommendations that we can stand behind and will be reliable,” Schwartz told MSPmentor. “We are constantly reviewing our current offerings and vetting new ones.”
But Schwartz said he realizes there’s a fine line between standardization and innovation.
“While we want to be flexible, the cost of supporting too many options is also a challenge in managed services,” Schwartz said.
Midnight Blue has shown it is willing to work with its customers to support their needs. For example, Midnight Blue offers Blue Central, an IT management solution with a fixed monthly price, to “provide continuous network monitoring and support to clients.”
Cloud growth is a major challenge for MSPs
Schwartz said the cloud’s growth is the biggest challenge for MSPs today. He noted Midnight Blue wants to help its customers understand how cloud systems work, even though these systems are not located right in front of them.
“We are seeing clients move their infrastructure to the cloud and need us more than ever, but many of them are expecting to need us less,” Schwartz added. “The reality is that there are many more technical layers to deal with, and while capital expenditure costs are going down, the complexity of going 100 percent cloud or into a hybrid cloud environment still exists.”
Midnight Blue said its Blue Central cloud services “provide all of the benefits of an in-house data center without the cost or headaches of maintenance.” Meanwhile, Schwartz said Midnight Blue wants its managed services to meet each customer’s unique needs.
Bundling cloud products is a top priority
Going forward, Schwartz said he sees many untapped opportunities for his company. In the short-term, Midnight Blue will look to add local customers to its MSP program, with one notable exception.
“The low entry cost for cloud products such as AV (antivirus) and backup means that we can bundle more into our offering and be able to offer more attractive solutions with low entry costs to our new clients,” Schwartz told MSPmentor.
Schwartz said his company wants to provide bundles that its customers can easily deploy. By doing so, Schwartz said he believes his company will be able to offer affordable cloud support to its customers.
“If we can offer [customers] a competitively-priced product that is reliable, then it can be a win-win for all,” Schwartz said.
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