MSP 501 Profile: Triton Networks on Staying a Step Ahead of Customer DemandsMSP 501 Profile: Triton Networks on Staying a Step Ahead of Customer Demands
CEO Robert House talks changing technology and business model pivots in the midst of a pandemic.
December 16, 2020
Company Name: Triton Networks
Company MSP 501 Rank: 221
CEO: Robert House
Headquartered: Dallas, Texas
Local and long-distance phone service
Hosted PBX solutions
2020 has been the year of reassessing and pivoting for a lot of MSPs. MSP 501 winner Triton Networks has made several significant pivots recently in its business model, involving a complete transformation from traditional services. The telecommunications provider also did a rather large overhaul of its operations in an effort to streamline and enhance all of its internal systems. In a time when the market demands the ability to adapt, Triton definitely is not phoning it in.
Triton Networks’ Robert House
We sat down with CEO Robert House to get his take on the current landscape. He also shares information about Triton’s shifts in its operational process, and the path forward.
Channel Futures: What do you love about the IT channel?
Robert House: What gets me up every morning is the fact that technology is ever-changing. Triton has to be one step ahead of the competition, and one step ahead of our evolving customer demands. The beauty of this Industry is that it is never boring — there are always new challenges and hurdles to overcome.
In today’s market, there are so many ways to accomplish the same solution. The challenge is designing the right solution for each individual business. No individual product or service fits into every situation or meets all of a customer’s needs. That is the exciting part about this industry — helping a customer or potential client by relieving pain points and showing different ways to effectuate a business solution. And, in most cases, for less cost.
It is very rewarding to facilitate a change in the way an enterprise does business, and helping them communicate for the better.
CF: What do you dislike about it?
RH: My biggest frustration with the channel is simply the distribution method that most suppliers use in marketing their products to MSPs. It seems like today, anyone who has a cellphone or car keys can be set up by a supplier. It seems that there is no vetting of capabilities or business stability anymore. This practice may result in more sales for the supplier, but the quality that customers expect is jeopardized. They expect to deal with someone who understands the end-user’s need, and can sufficiently train them on the product, capabilities and features most important to their business.
The biggest issue for Triton is when a supplier has difficulty standing behind what is promised. This could potentially put Triton in a bad situation with our clients, as Triton will always act on behalf of the customer and in the customer’s best interest.
I understand that everyone needs revenue. I have managed sales teams in the past and understand the pressures involved, but it seems that if everyone spent the same effort nurturing an established quality partner, they would get more bang for their buck.
Believe me, we thrive on and enjoy competition, but when you are going up against a group that doesn’t display honesty and aren’t truthful about a product’s features or abilities to a potential buyer, it can really muddy the waters in closing a potential customer.
CF: Tell us the story of the biggest pivot you’ve ever had to execute.
RH: We have actually had two significant pivots recently in our business model. The first is a complete transformation from traditional services, such as premises-based phone systems, equipment on site and private networks, to a converged cloud offering utilizing more flexible network options built around SD-WAN and 5G services. The second was a change operationally — a paradigm shift to …
… streamline and enhance all of our internal systems. We have a long-term focus on investing in our business by spending the funds to allow us to scale exponentially for the future.
This has significantly changed our own staff and customers’ experience and has created an even higher emphasis on the customer experience for us. We have a large ecosystem of partners with many complex, extensive and moving parts that we manage in order to provide our customers with a wide range of managed communication services. We essentially eliminate multiple provider and service issues for our customers with a single, easily managed invoice from Triton Networks.
Developing efficient internal systems means that we do not have to muscle everything through with all of the manual work that comparable MSPs struggle with today. Establishing an efficient operational process as well as industry best practice “checks and balances” enables our staff to be much more productive. At the same time, it provides a much higher level of the customer experience.
The old adage is true: “Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.”
CF: Why are you a business owner instead of working for someone else? What is the allure of entrepreneurship to you?
RH: In the past when I have worked with other groups, I was immensely frustrated with someone controlling decisions and efforts for their own personal or career gain. In my opinion, one of the biggest downfalls of a business is when senior managers hire or promote a weaker team member just so they are not threatened in their position or career. This approach is toxic and does more damage to an organization than most people think.
In order to be successful, you need to surround yourself with the most intelligent staff you can assemble. You also must utilize a collaborated effort in making monumental decisions together. Obviously one person usually will have the final say. But you will have a much more educated process by accessing all of the available information. In an organization, if the CEO or president is the smartest person in the room, especially considering today’s ever-changing technology landscape, you might be in trouble.
The allure of being an entrepreneur is a multifaceted concept. For most people, it would be running your own show and not having to answer to anyone. To me, it means no boundaries, and the ability to help others, employees and customers. There is nothing more rewarding than helping a business owner or a struggling enterprise straighten out their problems and make their day-to-day easier.
Believe me, being an entrepreneur has its trials and tribulations. Everything falls on you, and you will definitely work twice the hours that you would for any other group. But honestly, I would not have it any other way.
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