Ingram Micro GCIS: Getting MSPs to Rethink Their Growth Strategies

MSPs don't seem to get the growth they want.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 17, 2023

8 Slides

Ingram Micro’s Global Cloud and Innovation Summit (GCIS) is providing MSPs lessons on how to rethink their growth strategies.

Paul Hager, Ingram Micro’s vice president of services, will give a presentation titled, “Modern Mindset: Best Practices in Sales and Marketing for Today’s Modern Security MSP.” We sat down with Hager to discuss his advice for MSPs’ growth strategies.

Before joining Ingram Micro, Hager owned and operated an MSP and was an Ingram Micro customer for 10 years.

“I think Ingram is trying to continue to show up more relevant to the modern MSP, bringing one of the former MSP leaders that they knew in the community and putting them directly into executive staff where I sit today,” he said. “And one of the things we’re particularly going after is, every MSP that we talk to says that they want to grow their business. But a lot of MSP business owners, they don’t know how to go about doing that, or if they’re a large VAR and they have a small MSP business that they’re trying to grow.”

MSPs’ Growth Strategies Built Around Recurring Revenue

Overall, MSPs are built around growing recurring revenue, whether its monthly recurring revenue (MRR) or annual recurring revenue (ARR), Hager said.


Ingram Micro’s Paul Hager

“At the end of the day, everyone’s trying to grow that pile because that’s where you’re driving more value for the valuation of your business,” he said. “This is where higher margins are. If you’re a VAR getting into the MSP space, you probably did it because you looked at your margins on hardware and said that’s not sustainable long term or not as attractive as even a smaller revenue number. And it’s just another way for partners to make the shift away from transactional business to value-based recurring businesses. And Ingram is here to try to help with that a bunch of different ways, whether that be our Xvantage platform making things more consumable and as a service, our cloud marketplace bringing those things together, or just our MSP focus group.”

MSPs don’t seem to get the growth they intended to get, Hager said. They don’t seem to hit the ROI numbers they’re trying to hit.

“And I think it’s really my challenge to the community that they need to think differently and they need to become better stewards of their own business and the math that drives this business,” he said. “So when I was running what I’d like to think was a pretty operationally mature business, we knew that data around our business. We knew for every time we did a security assessment, one in four of those that we even talked to, those customers bought our security assessments. We charged for it because it established value. If you give things away, it has no established value. And you need to weed out the bad customers faster because you’re trying to sell to the top 25% of the top 25% of your market because that’s really where the MSP market space is. You need a very mature end customer that understands the risk to their business and believes in solving for that risk.”

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from Hager about MSP growth strategies and more from GCIS.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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