What's the overall mood of managed services providers, and where are MSPs heading next? We'll get a managed services and cloud services reality check at Schnizzfest, a gathering of highly successful MSPs hosted by TruMethods' CEO Gary Pica and CTO Bob Penland next week in Philadelphia. Among the guest speakers: All Covered's Director of Corporate Development Bruce Teichman, an MSP M&A expert. Here's a preview, based on an interview with Pica.
MSPmentor: What's the overall mood of the TruMethods members this year? How did their businesses perform in 1H 2012 overall. Any clear trends?
Pica: In general the mood is very good. We ask attendees how much new recurring revenue they have added and this year was the strongest response by far. There is still strong demand in general for IT services.
MSPmentor: mindSHIFT and White Glove quietly kicked around M&A ideas at last year's event behind the curtains. Is M&A a big discussion point for your members or really more of a niche discussion for only a handful of players?
Pica: Our members continue to be interested in what is happening in the M&A world. Not just what their company may be worth but what the impact of larger players may have on the market place. I will be interviewing All Covered’s Director of Corporate Development Bruce Teichman on this topic at Schnizzfest.
MSPmentor: You often talk about a "cake" business model for MSPs, prompting to sell total solutions and customer experience (a great chocolate cake) rather than the ingredients (egg, flour, patch management, anti-spam, etc.). What comes after "cake" or how is the "cake sales model" evolving?
Pica: TruMethods members continue to evolve their chocolate with new ingredients but remain focused on the end result they deliver to clients. At Schnizzfest, TruMethods will unveil a “first of its kind” tool to help our member design, implement and manage their chocolate cake. Stay tuned!
MSPmentor: Has fear about the cloud ended? Any of your members doing particularly well with the cloud?
Pica: I think that fear continues but we are also seeing more success stories. This year over 90% of attendees reported that they have cloud components as part of their support offering. Those companies delivering the best chocolate cake are the ones having the most success in the cloud.
MSPmentor: Any other key trends you'll cover?
Pica: I think the most interesting trend is people and companies with pure business backgrounds entering the market. To stay competitive more business owners are spending more time developing new skill sets.
MSPmentor: And of course: TruMethods — how are you guys evolving?
Pica: At our core we are the same; we help businesses be more awesome. Over the past few years we have learned a lot about how to support the success of our members. We continue to invest in technology. Here is some of things we have developed or are currently developing:
- We continue to invest in our member portal. Our member portal delivers content and builds community in new ways.
- I mentioned our secret project which is the most ambitious initiative we have undertaken.
- Because generating new qualified leads is a big need for MSP’s we have recently launched a new service that supports inside sales people called Inside Sales Champions. This new program delivers new content, community and monthly coaching to inside sales people.
- We have built our peer, accountability and mentoring community called The Winner Circle. These are business owners that are highly engaged in the TruMethods process and wanted a higher level of accountability
- Every initiative and investment we make is focused on helping out members achieve their goals.