Infinit Consulting Receives MSP 501 Vanguard Award
If you want to make your customers more digital, you need to look in the mirror first.
So says CEO Darrin Swan of Infinit Consulting, whose ongoing self-evolution distinguished it among its peers.
The Campbell, California-based company placed 228th in the MSP 501 this year, and it’s earned the 2018 Vanguard Award for thought leadership in digital transformation.
As its name suggests, Infinit Consulting has come a long way. Jerod Powell founded the business in 2006 to advise companies through mergers and acquisitions, but the company made multiple pivots over the years. Swan, who joined Infinit in 2016, tells us that the firm was working in large chunks, tackling million-dollar contracts at a time.
But the tech landscape changed when Microsoft made its hosted Exchange Server widely available as a service in 2008. The rise of Office 365 in 2011 helped standardize the “MSP model,” according to Swan. It was during those years that Infinit adopted managed services, including help desk and engineering services.
The company transformed from consultant to recurring-revenue-earning managed service provider. It examines its customer’s IT budgets, finds efficiencies and then gives them a single invoice.
“They don’t have sales reps calling them all the time,” Swan said. “We are their technology enabler for the business, and we give them one invoice for everything.”
But the evolution wasn’t over.
The company coined itself a cloud services provider, creating services for Microsoft Azure and adding offerings like unified communications and data protection. When Swan joined Infinit, it was with the goal of building its digital transformation play. After its latest pivot, the organization self-styles as a digital transformation provider (DXP).
“We do the managed services. We do all the IT components, provide circuits through engineering, infrastructure, cloud structures and what have you,” Swan said. “But now we’re centralizing the data and then building solutions on top of it, helping the customer build their own intellectual property into their own unique set of capabilities that help make an impact in their business.”
Clients undertake an 18-month road map for this overall transition.
Infinit first focuses on its clients’ digital foundation by examining their IT budget to see which technological assets are core to “keep the lights on.” During the intelligence-gathering stage, the consultancy leverages the customer’s data and creates a system for its workflow and intellectual property. Ultimately, Infinit works to better visualize the experience of the customer’s employees and clients. That includes a mobile experience with more data available that users can view through a “single pane of glass.”
Digital transformation is a hot topic, and we asked Swan if customers feel the same excitement that vendors and analysts are projecting. He says clients don’t use phrases like “digital transformation.” They talk in terms of business opportunities and challenges.
“Customers are conditioned to accept the way technology is or has been,” he said. “You’re operating in Excel, you’re operating in Word, you’re operating in PowerPoint and Outlook, and then you have legacy reporting systems that are very cumbersome.”
Swan said his company’s No. 1 use case may come as a surprise to some.
“We’re transforming our own business,” he said. “And in kind, we have the right and ability to transform our clients. What that means is, we’re changing the perspective of IT as a cost center to a business enabler that should be invested in. It takes things from the traditional business terms that executives understand, and we technically enable it.”
The company has been developing its Infinit.One offering for this purpose; the solution is first and foremost a tool for the company that designed it.
“We’re building it for ourselves first, but what we found is every other service provider needs it, and clients need this too,” Swan said.
His advice for MSPs that want to be on top of the trends is to look inward. That, after all, is how Infinit Consulting changed itself so that it could in turn change its customers.
“They need to look at how they’re operating, and they need to begin transforming themselves,” he said. “They need to look at the friction and the experience they create for their client and how can they make it easier, faster, more effective, more data driven. And then run a data-driven business.”