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Inside the Halls of TruMethods

Gary Pica, Bob Penland and the TruMethods team have built one of the best-known executive leadership organizations for MSPs (managed services providers). But what really makes TruMethods tick? And why do successful MSPs keep coming back for more?

ChannelE2E went searching for answers today. We’re grabbing breakfast with Pica, then spending most of today over at TruMethods’ headquarters. Visit this blog regularly for ongoing updates, insights, chatter — and perhaps even some gossip — throughout Wednesday, Nov. 4.

Today’s TruMethods Agenda

Gary Pica

Gary Pica

8:00 a.m. — Breakfast with Gary: What did he order? And what’s on his mind?

Recap:

  • We both had omelets.
  • Most of our discussion focused on life rather than work, and dramatic inflection points that ultimately changed us (hopefully for the better). Sometimes amazingly great events — and amazingly terrible events — arrive at the same time in your life. Great “successes” aren’t all that great amid personal loss. But, you do feel stronger when you manage to walk again. And then run.

9:00 a.m. — Visit Apex IT Group: A look inside the IT service provider. Has today’s business model changed much since Pica, Penland and others built and sold MSPs in the mid-2000’s.

  • The IT service provider has about 20 employees, led by George Mach. (Pica and Penland also are co-owners.) The MSP was torn down and rebuilt in recent years (like a “frame-off restoration” of a car, Pica says). People, process, customers… everything.
  • Howard Borochaner, COO of Apex, also is a partner in the company and has worked with Pica since around 1996 on various businesses.
  • Pica points to three metrics MSPs like Apex need to leverage to ensure success: (1) Reactive Hours Per Endpoint Per Month, (2) Average All in Seat Price and (3) your Average Monthly Recurring Revenue per customer. I’ll explain more later.

10:00 a.m. — Visit TruMethods: A look at some of the math and science TruMethods uses to guide MSP members.

  • We’re talking about the expansion of TruMethods from executive leadership services toward software — particularly the MyITprocess platform.
  • The team sees five areas of focus for MSPs. They are (1) centralized services like RMM and remote backup; (2) support desk for reactive support; (3) consulting as a virtual CIO; (4) the super power and (5) professional services.
  • The missing link for most MSPs is the “super power” area, where a dedicated person actually builds a scorecard for the end-customers, and then measures the customers’ alignment with the scorecard. That’s where myITprocess fills the gap, Pica and Penland say. Roughly 400 MSPs are on the platform.

Noon — Lunch with the TruMethods team: Can Pica and Panettieri really be that hungry again after such a generous breakfast?

  • Checking out the private online community right now. Very rich.

12:50 p.m.: Panettieri politely excuses himself from a fourth helping of dessert, and heads off to secretly record a few podcasts…

  • Actually, I’m taking a tour of MyITprocess right now. Basically, MSPs go in and create ideal scorecards and then measure their customers against those scorecards. The ongoing work helps to drive down help desk tickets– otherwise known as driving down noise.
  • Side note: Apex spends 25 hours per week on employee recruitment and finding talent. It’s the No. 1 business challenge.
Bob Penland

Bob Penland

3:00 p.m. and Thereafter: The bonus round. Has Panettieri convinced Pica and Penland to let their guard down, and reveal IT industry secrets that nobody has heard before?

The Bottom Line

Kidding aside, most of the agenda above is locked and loaded. ChannelE2E looks forward to sharing the details with you hour by hour — maybe even minute by minute — throughout today.

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