A Closer Look: How A Dell Partner Mastered Managed ServicesA Closer Look: How A Dell Partner Mastered Managed Services
It’s great to hear the success stories of how our partners are leading the pack in the MSP industry. Dell is lucky to partner with so many well-respected and knowledgeable VARs who are growing their businesses year-
March 14, 2012
By Dell Guest Blog
qandaIt’s great to hear the success stories of how our partners are leading the pack in the MSP industry. Dell is lucky to partner with so many well-respected and knowledgeable VARs who are growing their businesses year-over-year because of the value that they provide to their customers. We had a number of partners recognized this year in the MSPmentor 200 North America Edition, identifying North America’s top 200 managed service providers. I wanted to talk to one of these partners to see how they are continuing to build on their business and gain the loyalty of their clients.
So I spoke with Lloyd Wolf, president and CEO of Wolf Consulting Inc. out of Pittsburgh, who is one of only seven Pennsylvania-based companies to achieve this honor to find out some of the ingredients to his “secret sauce.”
Sarah Mercer: “Hello Mr. Wolf, thanks for your time. First, congratulations on your recent recognition. It’s great to hear that even though the last year North America has seen some challenges with sluggish economic growth and the impact of the floods in Thailand’s floods on the production of HDD, we still have partners that are leading the pack in business growth and customer satisfaction. Mr. Wolf, can you tell us a little about Wolf Consulting?”
Lloyd Wolf: “I started Wolf Consulting, Inc. in, just over 23 years ago. We have 18 employees. We provide computer networking, custom software development, and IT consulting services to small and mid-size businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh area.”
Sarah Mercer: “Why do you think your customers keep coming back and refer other businesses to Wolf Consulting?”
Lloyd Wolf: “I suppose every MSP would say that they care about their clients and provide great service. I would say that about Wolf Consulting too. But I would also say that our people, our network management tools and our processes allow our clients to get better results with their computer networks and Information Technology. Because they get better results, our clients stay with us, and they refer other businesses to us.”
Sarah Mercer: “We met at the Orlando HTG Peer Group event last year. There were many VARs and MSPs there sharing their stories and helping each other grow in HTG. How and why did you get involved with the group, and are you a member of any other outside organization or group that helps make you a better business? Is there a secret sauce to the way you invest your time and resources to keep Wolf Consulting a growing business year after year?”
Lloyd Wolf: “I got involved with HTG in early 2010, it was a referral from one of my colleagues who also uses Kaseya for the remote monitoring and management (RMM) too. Wolf Consulting is a member of CompTIA, the Pittsburgh Technology Council and our local Chamber of Commerce. We also maintain strong relationships with our hardware and software vendors and partners – such as Microsoft, DELL, SonicWALL, VMware, Kaseya and ConnectWise.
We invest in our people, we invest in our tools, and we invest in our processes. All of those contribute to keeping our firm thriving. But if I had to pick one thing, I would say being a member of HTG Peer Groups over the past few years has been a huge benefit to me personally, to our business, and to our clients. HTG Peer Groups is a national and worldwide network of IT solution provider executives formed to collaborate and share business best practices, successes, challenges, etc. My HTG group meets quarterly in person, and we communicate via telephone and email every week.”
Sarah Mercer: “I’m going to change gears here and ask you a question that I have heard from a number of our partners. You have been a partner in our PartnerDirect program a while so I’m hoping you can shed some light on this question since you deal with it firsthand. As an MSP, your bread and butter is derived from the services that you provide to your customers. Many of your Partners (such as Dell) also offer services directly to end-users. How do you feel about working with a Partner who could technically be your competition in the market?”
Lloyd Wolf: “I’ll be honest Sarah, it can be challenging at times. I have screamed on more than a few occasions when a Dell quote came with a services brochure as an email attachment. But we have been very satisfied with the hardware from Dell, so we recommend Dell hardware products to our clients. Bottom line, in order for us to be able to provide the very best service and support to our clients, it is important for us to have our clients standardized on their desktops, laptops, servers, firewalls, backup appliances, software, etc. If every client had totally different hardware and equipment, we couldn’t possibly be as good at providing service and support.
In terms of MSP services, I firmly believe that the locally owned and operated Managed Services Provider has a unique advantage to providing better services to clients. It’s the classic local boutique versus the national big box store comparison. We provide a lot of service remotely, but we are also face-to-face with our clients on a regular basis. We are at their office, and they often visit our office. And I also find that local companies like to keep the business local, and prefer working with a locally owned and operated Managed Services Provider.”
Sarah Mercer: “Thanks for that insight Lloyd, it’s nice to hear this straight from an MSP. I don’t want to take up too much of your time today. Any parting words for other MSPs and VARs out there how they can also see the growth and success that you have been able to achieve?”
Lloyd Wolf: “As I mentioned above – it’s about your people, your tools and your processes. Keep working on those three things, making a little progress every month, and growth and success should follow. At least that’s what I continue to count on!”
Sarah Mercer: “Thanks Mr. Wolf, I appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. I hope to hear about your continuing great work and see you again on next year’s list.”
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