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Continuum Navigate 2015: Day 2 Recap

Continuum CEO Michael George is addressing several hundred managed services providers (MSPs) this morning at the Continuum Navigate 2015 conference in Las Vegas. Plus, the company is updating its product roadmap for RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management), NOC (Network Operations Center) and BDR (backup and disaster recovery) services. Here’s the keynote recap along with ongoing updates from throughout the day.

Recap of George’s Keynote

Continuum NavigateGeorge’s theme involves space, explorers and the journeys we take to pursue progress — creating exchanges and standards that drive commerce and drive down cost. He recapped Columbus’s voyages, trade routes, conquests and colonization — and the ultimate exchange of information through the Columbian Exchange. That, in turn, triggered the industrial revolution.

“All Columbus was looking to do was find a shorter route to China.”

Fast forward to ARPANET’s creation in 1969, and the rise of HTTP with TCP/IP in 1989. That foundation provided a big bang that triggered a killer application dubbed… email — a modern day digital exchange. Soon came outsourcing and the rise of eBay, Red Hat, Juniper and many others — Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. George called them the early explorers that embraced outsourcing.

Then, he transitioned the conversation to MSPs — which are responsible for extending enterprise-class outsourcing to the small business market. “It’s not just outsourcing. We call it smart sourcing.”

Then came the case study: G2 Tech Group, an MSP that has been in business for about seven years. Over the past three years, George said, G2 has grown roughly 150 percent through smart sourcing — a complete managed services model that also plugs into Continuum’s NOC (network operations center) services.

Biggest MSP Challenges: Talent and Sales

The biggest two challenges facing MSPs, George said, involve finding and recruiting talent and finding customers, pointing to 2112 Group research. The world’s top 501 MSPs grew about 26 percent last year. But Continuum’s top partners — leveraging all of Continuum services — grew 46 percent, George asserted.

Next, George pointed to international transports and ships that now carry standardized containers — driving down transportation prices and growing the world economy. He tied that back to Continuum’s help desk. ‘The two most critical things we could do for customer satisfaction was speed to answer and first-call resolution.”

The company doubled its help desk staff in the past year, answering 112,000 calls in under 48 seconds over the past year (I need to double-check stats).

In another example, George pointed to a CMIT Solutions branch that grew from zero to more than $2 million in five years — employing only about seven staff members while plugging into Continuum’s outsourced services.

Onramp to the Cloud

So where are the opportunities ahead? George pointed to three realities:

  • Small businesses won’t go to big clouds arbitrarily.
  • SMBs will not hire a CIO.
  • IT is local and SMBs need a trusted partner.

He conceded that certain segments of the IT business will be in the cloud — storage and compute infrastructure, for instance.

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