Schnizzfest 2015 Recap: Are You Doing All You Can to be a World Class MSP?

Looking for wisdom on boosting sales, pumping up margins, making your managed service business more efficient, and having fun at the same time? Then you probably spent last Friday at Schnizzfest in Philadelphia. MSPmentor was there and has this report from the event.

Jessica Davis

June 18, 2015

4 Min Read
TruMethods Founder and CEO Gary Pica center and Chief Awesome Officer Bob Penland right with a TruMethods member and Schnizzfest attendee left
TruMethods Founder and CEO, Gary Pica (center) and Chief Awesome Officer Bob Penland (right), with a TruMethods member and Schnizzfest attendee (left).

Looking for wisdom on boosting sales, pumping up margins, making your managed service business more efficient, and having fun at the same time? Then you probably spent last Friday at Schnizzfest in Philadelphia. I know I was there.

MSPmentor spent the whole day at this sixth annual conference, put on by MSP coaching firm and peer group coordinator TruMethods, a company founded by industry icon Gary Pica. And if you went to Schnizzfest you heard plenty of MSPs talk about following the method, the path and taking the journey.  What they are talking about is Pica’s approach to running a very successful managed services business.

Each year Pica and his team put on this conference in Philly designed to spread the word of the method and its successes to MSPs. The event features a number of presentations, and highlights include a keynote address by Pica, an update on the programs offered by TruMethods and then later on a panel discussion that features top MSPs talking about how they made big changes to their businesses for the better.

Here are some of this year’s highlights:

Pica’s Keynote

Pica touched on the state of the managed services market, noting that price has actually become a factor out there as the market has become more crowded. But while that may be true, the key metrics at successful MSPs following his method have not changed. Pica’s MSPs measure “leverage” – margin per tech employee. That number has not changed.

“The opportunity today is better than ever,” he told a packed ballroom. “The target market is wider and bigger. Customers are ready to buy. There is less (sales) work to do.”

That said, Pica again urged MSPs to continue developing their “Superpower,” a concept he introduced last year. He defines it as packaging your knowledge and experience in a way that showcases the unique result that you offer your customer, even though all other things are the same.

And then MSPs need to build on top of that. “World class is built on top of the MSP model,” Pica said. “It is time for us to move up the stack. What I’m talking about is the stack of value we offer every single one of our MSP customers.”

Specifically, Pica said, it’s about moving from the technology relationship to a business relationship and helping customers with their business goals.

TruMethods Updates

Pica and Chief Awesome Officer Bob Penland then provided TruMethods members with some program updates. They include the following:

  • An updated members’ portal that now has responsive design (so that it will be easy to read whether you are on your smartphone, tablet or PC.)

  • Reorganized content

  • One-click registration for webinars

  • A mobile app that lets members listen to TruMethods audio messages, among many other features.

TruMethods will also update its Starter Kit to version 3. The new version will include

  • Business planning tools

  • Smart numbers

  • Asessments

  • And gamification, awarding “Schnizzpoints” to members.

TruMethods has also updated MyITProcess, its business intelligence and best practices tool for MSPs. In April the company added Autotask integration (ConnectWise integration came last year), and other new features. TruMethods plans to add IT strategy and budgeting features to future versions.

Schnizzfest’s Friday afternoon session featured the panel of successful MSPs talking about turning points in their businesses and how they moved from struggling to thriving.

What else?

What else? I was lucky enough to sit with several MSPs during an informal lunch networking session. Three gentlemen from company called Premiere Technology Solutions had traveled all the way from Australia and were not only soaking up conference information during the day, but also shutting down the Hilton bar at 2 am every night. (They told me parties were ending at 9 pm! That’s not how they do things in Australia, they told me.)

Also at my lunch table were a couple of sales pros from an MSP with the best company name ever – MotherG, based in Chicago. And I had a long conversation with a gentleman from Bedrock Technology in Scranton, Pennsylvania about his sales goals, great books to read, Improv, and the guest keynote speaker for the year, Nicholas Boothman.

Convince Them in 90 Seconds

Boothman is the author of Convince Them in 90 Seconds and other books, and a hero of the guy from Bedrock Technology.  Boothman’s talk lasted 90 minutes, though, so there’s no way I can tell you all about it here.  But here’s one of the first things he said “The number one identifiable predictor of success is the ability to speak up. If you don’t speak up you are going nowhere,” he said.

So do you have thoughts on any of this? Speak up in the comments below.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis is the former Content Director for MSPmentor. She spent her career covering the intersection of business and technology.  She's also served as Editor in Chief at Channel Insider and held senior editorial roles at InfoWorld and Electronic News.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like