December 14, 2020
Company Name: Managed IT Asia
Company MSP 501 Rank: 155
Principal Consultant: Roy Ong
Managed IT Asia enhanced its go-to-market strategy in 2019 and reaped the benefits.
The Singapore-based MSP sped up its sales process by acquiring customer contracts from other providers. This approach led Managed IT Asia to find customers that fit better with its processes, rather than those that didn’t understand the modern MSP model.
Managed IT Asia’s Roy Ong
“Previously, we had always relied on typical lead-generation activities to bring in leads before converting them into clients,” said principal consultant Roy Ong. “However, as we conducted our reviews, we noted that the overall conversion process was time- and effort-consuming.”
The firm recently landed in our MSP 501 list, which honors the top managed service providers in the world. Ong spoke to Channel Futures about how his company has grown throughout the last two years.
Channel Futures: What new opportunities and challenges came with the COVID-19 pandemic?
Roy Ong: With the pandemic, clients have been forced to work from home. This has quickened the pace in which clients require remote access to their data and line-of-business apps. As a stopgap measure, many resorted to remote-access facilities, but these tend to be unproductive and sometimes unreliable. As work-from-home requirements persist, this has allowed us to educate and in some cases coax clients into understanding that their stopgap measures are not feasible for the long run. They need to establish a strategic direction for their business and embrace the new business normal.
Working away from the office will become a norm, regardless of how we exit this pandemic. Clients need to understand that while we might find a vaccine for COVID-19, we might not be so lucky with the next virus. As such, it is imperative to be able to conduct business transactions remotely, securely and in a reliable, productive fashion.
Our turn-to solution has been a mixture of cloud and on-premises solutions. This has allowed us to maintain a fine balance between technological usage and to satisfy the incessant need for clients to have some control of their data and business processes. We have been actively migrating clients successfully to this model and we hope to be able to do the same for the others.
CF: What was the single biggest technology or business decision that drove your company’s growth in 2019? How did it do so?
RO: The single biggest business decision that drove our growth in 2019 was to focus on taking over existing client MSP contracts. From the start of the year, we were actively pursuing this by going to smaller competitors and offering to buy their existing client MSP contracts. We were successful with a number and we were able to quickly establish a rapport with the client and this allowed us to quickly upsell our stack offerings.
In our history, this was the first time we conducted an active pursuit and buyout of client contracts. Previously, we had always relied on typical lead-generation activities to bring in leads before converting them
into clients. However, as we conducted our reviews, we noted that the overall conversion process was …
… time- and effort-consuming. The biggest issue identified was time taken to educate the client, to let them
understand that break-fix support or prepaid token support isn’t healthy and isn’t strategically aligned to the well-being of their business. This frustration lead to us to try the option of buying out existing client MSP contracts from smaller competitors. These clients would already understand the advantages of a MSP contract, and the education process would be less tedious. Overall, it was a fruitful exercise, and we do not rule out revisiting and using the same strategy again.
CF: Why are you a business owner instead of working for someone else? What is the allure of entrepreneurship to you?
RO: I love to be in control and being able to have an overview of the entire business process — the ability to handhold a lead, turn them into a client, nurture them to establish a trusted business relationship and then move onto building a more personal friendship. That has been the highlight my MSP entrepreneurship journey. In my experience of working for someone else, there has always been the issue of being boxed into a role that perhaps you excel in, or one that was born out of necessity. Rarely do you have the ability and opportunity to be involved in the entire process.
In addition, the entrepreneurship journey has allowed me to develop skills and mindsets that I never thought were possible. It forces one out of the comfort zone on a daily basis, pushing one to grow, make decisions and to stand by its consequences.
While many fear pursuing the entrepreneurship journey, my advice to them, as always: If you are content, work for others. If you like pushing boundaries, learning something new every day and living the
consequences of your decision making, there is nothing like being an entrepreneur. It is never too late to start.
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