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MSP 501 winner Iuvo Technologies talks about valuable vendors, shiny new solutions and shifting business models.
August 2, 2019
Scaling a service business while increasing the value to the customer is a huge and consistent challenge. There are many ways to try scale and be a customer-centric company, and it’s important to ensure that the quality of service increases over time — which means no compromising on people you hire and making it a priority to constantly work with customers to assess what’s important to them.
Iuvo Technologies’ Bryon Beilman
“We have even hired an entire team dedicated to client success to meet this goal,” says Bryon Beilman, president and CEO of Iuvo Technologies. “We have also spent significant effort on our automation platform to make sure that steps and processes that are repeatable and happen across our customers are automated so that we can spend more time creating value for them.”
This is difficult to do, confesses Beilman, most likely because of their business model.
“If you apply a cookie-cutter approach to technology across your customers, it makes it a bit easier to provision, manage, update and automate,” he continues. “However, if you provide a customized approach that aligns with your customer’s needs, that’s a game-changer.”
Not coloring inside the lines can be challenging, but the payoff is adding that much more value to customers.
Here, Beilman talks about how Iuvo defines a true vendor partnership, taking the leap to cloud and SaaS solutions, and shifting business models.
Channel Futures: In your opinion, what is it that good vendors do that is most valuable to you as a partner?
Bryon Beilman: We look for, and value vendors who want to develop a genuine relationship with us where our mutual success is as much in their minds as it is in ours. That is, after all, what a true partnership is. It’s not simply making money off the presence of the other — it’s working together to achieve a common goal of success for both organizations.
This is powerful. This is paramount. A vendor who is a partner exhibits many characteristics, but some of the most significant to me are spending time to develop an understanding of the unique elements of our business, acting flexibly and creatively, being direct and honest with us while looking for creative opportunities to provide resources for us to make successful sales to prospective clients. And, since we value these characteristics, we make a point to adhere to them ourselves, which means that a vendor must also be receptive to feedback and be able to work with us to improve their own business. After all, the collective experience at Iuvo Technologies is significant — an average of 18 years of experience in the industry for each of our consultants.
Go here for access to the 2019 MSP 501, the world’s most comprehensive ranking of managed service providers.
Needless to say, in all that time, they’ve learned quite a few things about how successful businesses are run. And because we’re all about helping, and mutual success, they are more than happy to share it. What’s more is that we demand no less of our vendors than we do of ourselves, so these very same principles that we apply to our partnerships with our vendors are also wholeheartedly applied to our partnerships with our clients. In the end, all we want is for everyone to be a success.
CF: On the wings of these successful partnerships, there must be areas of growth you see Iuvo pursuing. Where do you see the company headed in the next 12-24 months?
BB: It’s hard to not be aware that cloud and SaaS solutions, such as Microsoft 365 or Azure, are becoming more and more accepted, to the point where even the more conservative and change-averse industries are embracing them. No shock there, really. Companies like Microsoft and Amazon, for example, have taken amazing strides in providing compute and application power that once would take an entire team of people to establish and support, or would simply be unattainable for most businesses, and have dialed it in to a point where it is accessible and affordable by even the smallest of businesses.
That said, there are many organizations that are still unsure about taking the leap. Of those that have decided that this move makes sense, many are daunted by the endless string of technical terms, options and dizzying pace of change in this space. Of course, while proper setup and support of these systems takes less time and has been simplified, it is still far from the mythical “turnkey solutions” we have heard about over the years, and still needs qualified and experienced IT professionals to …
… establish the technology in a way that properly meets the needs of a business.
We see this as our biggest growth area in the next year or two — to do whatever we can to help organizations take logical steps toward better, more robust and more secure technologies and platforms that will allow them to take their business beyond the limitations and burdens of traditional IT infrastructures, and into the modern, enabling robust infrastructures that are available today.
CF: What sort of competition do you see yourself facing? With so much upheaval and shifting in the industry, are there companies you find yourself competing with that you did not two years ago?
BB: The industry is indeed shifting. I would say “once again,” but the reality is that it never stops. For some years now we have been competing with what has been called the “managed service provider” or “MSP.” These are low-cost, cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all providers that require you to run entirely within the confines of what they define as a technology stack, and, when you need services, you are forced into a traditional “tiered” support model. This means junior people triage your request and, when they are unable to address your need, they escalate to progressively smaller groups of nominally more qualified individuals.
We never thought that model made sense. We don’t like dealing with support models like that, so why would anyone else? People want to know and trust the individuals on their support team, they want those people to understand them and their business, and when they pick up the phone to get help, they want a friendly response from someone who will fix their issue, fix it well, and not need to “escalate” to another person to get the job done.
It appears that customers are starting to demand something better. Some businesses are realizing the quality of support they’re receiving from a body of MSPs that are trying to be the lowest bidder. They’re getting frustrated and they’re leaving their existing providers. I hear from these companies every day, and they’re desperate for something better.
Now, like every industry, there are some smart CEOs out there who are shifting their business models away from the old paradigm — and we’ll be seeing more companies that boast a better model. We’ll be up against more companies that are not quite what we are but will sound a lot like us. Most of these companies will fall well short of their promises. One might think that is great for us, but throughout our existence, we have always said that our worst competition is “bad IT.” This is because no one ever sells anything but “great IT,” and very few companies deliver on that. That makes it much harder to sell greatness when you truly have it, because it tarnishes the reputation of the entire industry, regardless of what these providers happen to be calling themselves on any given day.
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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