Sometimes, family businesses do grow up. One prime example: Tigerpaw Software, founded and led by the Foxall family, is hosting its first user conference for VARs, MSPs and customers this week in Dallas. During a keynote by Tigerpaw President James Foxall (pictured), I'd estimate roughly 300 VARs, MSPs and customers were in the room. Here's a recap of where Tigerpaw has been... and where Tigerpaw is going.
First, a little background for first-time MSPmentor readers (we know you're out there...). Generally speaking, Tigerpaw competes in the PSA (professional services automation) software market vs. companies like Autotask and ConnectWise. But for the most part, Tigerpaw has been a silent competitor.
That seems to be changing under James Foxall. Among the keynote highlights:
1. Game On: During a keynote this morning, CEO Dave Foxall described his decision to transition day-to-day operations to son (and now company president) James Foxall. And he also had a message to the broader managed services market -- and potential rivals. Rather than bowing to rivals, Dave Foxall said it was "game on" and that Tigerpaw was prepared to raise its visibility.
2. Learn, Share, Succeed: Noted James Foxall, "I'm a big believer in karma; you get what you give. And it's through a collaborative effort that we will succeed."
3. More than Software: Software is the "core of Tigerpaw's being" but it's only a piece of the Tigerpaw solution, James Foxall said. Tigerpaw is unveiling webcasts, communities and other training initiatives. "Our focus is helping you build your business," said Foxall. "Notice I didn't say growth. It may be about an exit plan or a lifestyle business."
4. More than PSA and RMM: Going beyond software tools, Tigerpaw will assist attendees with "the four pillars of success," which are:
- Organizing Your Business: Getting invoices out in a timely manner, having numbers you can trust, capturing technician time, and more. Plus, Foxall sees opportunities to get organized around voice and data convergence. Tigerpaw got started in the telecom side of the house, helping customers service phone systems. "If you're not doing voice AND data, you're leaving money on the table," said James Foxall. Also, a number of attendees are doing managed services -- but James Foxall noted that a large number of attendees haven't made the move yet. Foxall offered up some of the basic tips -- quarterly face-to-face customer meetings, monthly customer reports, and so on. But he made a strong case for attendees to make the managed services move, pointing attendees to MSP sessions at the conference.
- Optimizing Your Customer Experience: Foxall told attendees to launch and manage customer surveys, social media and service level agreement (SLA) tracking.
- Fuel the Beast: Foxall is calling on attendees to "make some noise" through marketing and branding.
- Creating Excellence: Find a way to scale your business through the right talent and training. You need to create repeatable processes so that your business can be sold in case you feel like leaving, retiring or selling the company to a buyer.
Bottom LineWhen it comes to engaging a community, Tigerpaw is in catch-up mode. But customers are welcoming Tigerpaw's first steps. From the stage, James Foxall connected with roughly 300 conference attendees. That's a solid start for a company that has never hosted a user conference before.
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