Long-Time MSP eNerds Launches SaaS Product to ‘Supercharge the PSA’
Jamie Warner launched his managed services provider (MSP), eNerds, in 2000 at the age of 22.
“I’ve been living and breathing MSPs my entire life,” Warner told MSPmentor this week. “I’ve never had another job.”
Full disclosure: eNerds has appeared frequently on the MSPmentor 501 list of top IT services providers, and was No. 171 on this year’s installment of our Worldwide Company Rankings.
After nearly a decade running the Sydney, Australia-based MSP, Warner had one of those fabled epiphanies about how to solve a long-nagging problem that was sucking operational efficiency from his business – and dollars from his bottom line.
After onboarding a new customer, Warner was dissatisfied with his options for getting word to the incoming end users about the identity of their new IT services provider and how to best get support issues resolved.
“You’re now their IT department but other than the people who engaged you, it’s hard for end users to see who you are,” he explained.
In addition, he hoped to drive end users to the web portal to submit support tickets.
“We are getting a lot of phone calls,” he said of circumstances at the time. “If you get tickets over the Internet, you can kind of multitask and handle things more efficiently.”
It was a level of engagement impossible to achieve by the usual means of passing out branded sticky note pads or stress balls to employees of a customer.
“We decided to build some software,” he said. “We can now wrap our brands over all of the devices that we manage.”
They built ITSupportPanel, a SaaS-delivered technology that places a custom branded window on each device being managed.
The tool can be launched from a green desktop or dock icon marked with the letters “IT.”
Think one-click access with no username or password.
From the ITSupportPanel, end users can submit and monitor support tickets, review the MSP’s services guide and otherwise engage with the IT staff.
“Phone calls dropped 50 percent from people calling for support,” Warner said. “It was a huge productivity savings.”
For an MSP managing about 5,000 desktop and laptop endpoints, in a large market of 5 million people, the new software provided an instant competitive advantage, the CEO said.
“There are a lot of competitors,” he said. “Everyone is using the same RMM. Everyone is using the same PSA. We saw this as a wonderful opportunity to differentiate your business.”
After several years of successfully using the tool in house, Warner realized he was onto something and started weighing the pros and cons of commercializing the technology.
He considered whether there was more to be gained by maintaining eNerds’ competitive advantage versus marketing the ITSupportPanel product to the broader IT services provider community.
eNerds has long been committed to innovation and made early investments to enable in-house software development.
In 2014, Warner decided to sell the technology and spun off Invarosoft to develop a platform from which to distribute a commercial, white-label version.
Since then, the company has staffed a team dedicated to fine tuning the tool.
That iteration of ITSupportPanel hit the market in recent months.
“I thought one of the bigger companies out there would have built something like this, but they just didn’t,” Warner said.
Optional add-ons include ITNewsPanel – a module for delivering bulletins and other content to end users – and ITAppsPanel, for easy access to apps most commonly used by a customer organization.
Currently, the technology is compatible with ConnectWise Manage and Autotask, with plans to add other PSAs.
To deploy, service providers register on the Invarosoft website and access an installation wizard.
“Through the wizard you would set up an API link to your ConnectWise or Autotask,” Warner said. “It seeks all of the users, and that enables you to be able to roll it out to every device and identify all of the users.”
“The end user just logs a ticket and it goes right into your PSA,” he added. “We’re like the front-end system that supercharges the PSA.”
Invarosoft is inviting IT services providers to try the product free for a month.
After that, per-agent pricing ranges from $249 for 500, to $1,149 for 10,000 agents.
Above 10,000 agents is a negotiated contract.
The value proposition for MSPs is simple: Improve the efficiency of your support process by dramatically reducing phone calls, while leveraging a brand marketing multiplier that’s difficult to replicate.
“You can’t underestimate the power of having your brand in front of 2,000; 5,000; or 10,000 devices,” Warner said. “As an MSP, you have an opportunity to communicate with them every day.”
Some MSPs will opt to sell the additional convenience at a higher price, while other providers might choose to add a nominal fee for mobile device management – given the green “IT” bug is visible and accessible on every device.
MSPs can sell at a premium the convenience and engagement of IT support resources that are just a click away.
“(Often) the customer feels like they’re in the dark,” Warner said. “Part of the value proposition of this product is that you now have the visibility of the IT provider.”
Encouraging use of the web portal for support tickets also benefits the end-user customer.
“That increases productivity,” Warner explained. “If we’re not on the phone 50 percent of the time, they’re not on the phone all of that time.”
Warner predicts that – like eNerds – MSPs that use the product will see increased monthly recurring revenue and dramatically heightened brand awareness.
“What we’re saying is you should be getting at least a 10x ROI,” Warner said. “We’d like to see that IT button on every device that’s out there.”
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