MSP 501 Profile: Dresner Group Differentiates with Proactive IT MaintenanceMSP 501 Profile: Dresner Group Differentiates with Proactive IT Maintenance
Being out of sight means being out of mind — and out of consideration, says their CEO.
November 25, 2020
Company Name: Dresner Group
Company Hot 101 Rank: 50
CEO & Managing Partner: Michael Deskin
Headquartered: Columbia, Maryland
On-Site Support Services
Remote Help Desk
IT Security Services
Dresner Group keeps its business systems running smoothly with proactive IT maintenance. It’s a service they promote to other small businesses as well. The company sets itself apart from competitors with “the Dresner Group Difference: proactive maintenance to prevent downtime.”
You could describe Dresner’s approach as a symbiosis of success.
“As our clients grow, our business grows with them,” says its website. “It is in our company’s best interest to provide the best service possible.”
Dresner Group’s Michael Deskin
When it comes to maintaining long-term client relationships, Dresner Group knows that top-notch service is just one part of the equation. Ongoing contact and communications with clients are just as important says Michael Deskin, the company’s CEO and a managing partner.
“You must work to keep your company top-of-mind with your clients when they think of IT services,” he said. “Out of sight is out of mind. And in business, out of mind means out of consideration.”
Channel Futures: What is one thing you wish vendors would do that they don’t?
Michael Deskin: It would be great if vendors would offer some additional marketing assistance. While improved marketing materials would be a welcome addition, it would be mutually beneficial to both vendors and MSPs if some other support were also provided. I’m sure that many MSPs would welcome some help with their lead generation and customer acquisition processes.
After all, it just makes sense — the more business that an organization can generate, the greater the need for the vendor’s services will be. It’s a win-win.
While it isn’t that vendors don’t provide any marketing support, the materials they do supply are often too technical for the end user or decision-maker who really needs to receive the message. We’ve often found that our clients are less concerned about the specifications and are much more interested in the end result to their operations. How much faster, easier, etc. will the product or service make their workday? It’s great that the technical advantages are outlined for those who are more technically minded, like the people on our team that need to manage these solutions. But it just doesn’t translate easily for the client.
So, if there was one change I could make, I would have vendors produce materials that are written in the client’s language, in addition to the ones our technicians can understand.
CF: What new opportunities and challenges came with the global COVID-19 pandemic?
MD: The COVID-19 pandemic has been a reckoning for many businesses. And as much as I hate to say it, it really reinforced the …
… warnings and advice that Dresner Group has been giving for years.
Frankly, businesses in general were nowhere near prepared for circumstances like these. It’s hard to blame them, though. I don’t think anyone expected that a virus could effectively bring most of the world to a halt for so long. Unfortunately, it did, and most business owners just weren’t ready to deal with the ramifications, so they have had to improvise.
Of course, there have been a few silver linings, so to speak. While I don’t want to trivialize how serious the COVID-19 virus is, it has certainly highlighted the value of some business technologies. In particular, those that enable remote work and mobile productivity, like cloud computing and the requisite security it demands. Having many employees furloughed or working from home for so long also gave those businesses that could, the opportunity to make needed renovations and upgrades to their office infrastructure.
So, while there is no arguing that COVID-19 will go down in history as a thoroughly negative event, I feel that there’s bound to be a positive revolution in how businesses operate afterwards.
CF: What do you love about the IT channel? What do you hate about it?
MD: Honestly, there’s not much I could say that I really hate about the IT channel. While there are the occasional challenges to contend with, the same could be said for any industry.
What can’t be said for many industries is how collaborative the overall industry is. By its very nature, there’s a sort of camaraderie between IT service providers. We’ve all heard the same horror stories and have the same recurring issues that frustrate us. We can respect each other’s work when the work was done respectably.
You know that saying, that “a rising tide raises all ships?” That’s basically how the IT industry works. When a new discovery is made, there’s a lot of sharing that goes on. Sure, we’re still competing, but we’re also willing to toss one another a bone every now and then.
I guess it comes with the territory, being in a service-based industry. Our goal is ultimately to make sure that IT systems and business resources are operating properly for the businesses that rely on them. Would we all prefer that we were the ones ensuring that a business is productive, that we were the ones with the contract? Of course … but that doesn’t get in the way of the end goal.
What was the single biggest technology or business decision that drove your company’s growth in 2019? How did it do so?
MD: In 2019, we really benefited by focusing on our marketing endeavors. Let’s face it, you could offer the greatest service in the world, but that means nothing if you can’t get the word out about it. Plus, it isn’t as though signing on a client is a lifelong commitment. You must work to keep your company top-of-mind with your clients when they think of IT services.
Really, you don’t want them to think of “IT services.” You want them to think of your company. To accomplish this, you need to make sure that they’re seeing a lot of you. Marketing is the best way to do that. We’ve really been focused on pushing out content that touches upon real-life, practical challenges and problems that we can help address. And as we’ve done so, we’ve really leaned into search engine optimization. People go to Google for everything, so doing our best to get Google to pay attention to us has really helped.
We’ve also been very proactive in keeping the conversation going with our clients and prospects. Out of sight is out of mind, and in business, out of mind means …
… out of consideration. Using some basic social media marketing and direct mail have helped us to remain front and center with our prospects and clients.
CF: Is the influx of private equity and increase in M&A activity impacting your business? How?
MD: In our eyes, mergers and acquisitions are basically just the business equivalent of duck and cover. It’s a natural response to danger. When something’s about to happen, we curl up to protect the important parts and brace for impact. That way, all the important stuff makes it, with most of the damage happening to the things that can heal or that we can live without.
So when a company starts to aggressively take on other entities, we see it as a defense mechanism. They’re building themselves up so they have extra that can be sacrificed if necessary.
We’ve done our best to distance ourselves from that kind of thing. It just doesn’t seem to be a sustainable strategy. Not only is it a predatory way of doing business, it does little to prepare a company for future circumstances. What happens when a company bites off more than they can chew? Layoffs? No thank you.
Instead, we prefer to focus on naturally growing and expanding our abilities. Any growth we accomplish is the result of a legitimate demand or need. We know the growth is coming organically. While we aren’t opposed to acquiring other businesses, our strategy is to do so only when it benefits our operations, not simply for the sake of doing so.
If you could go back to one technological point in time, what would it be and why?
That’s an interesting question. There’s the obvious answer, of course — any point just before a new technology was invented, to make a few large investments!
However, if you look at it from a more philosophical stance, it’s hard to say.
Of course, we are living in the most technologically advanced time to date, but it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when some of the discoveries that led to us making it this far were made. Watching Ada Lovelace formulate her predictions of the capabilities of computers, meeting Grace Hopper in her prime or witnessing when the literal computer “bug” was removed would all be pretty interesting.
Honestly, I’m a little tempted to break the rules and say that I would love to get a sneak peek at what’s in computing’s future. There are so many fascinating technologies being developed and innovated, it would be incredible to see what comes next.
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