MSP Partnership Standards: What You Should Pursue
This is the time of year when we straddle reviewing a slew of history, while also looking into the future with the approaching New Year. We explore what worked, and research the reasons of “Why?” something didn’t, and oftentimes a popular theme presents itself… poor partnerships.
Much of what we do throughout the year relies on the Partnerships which create the foundation for our effectiveness. In the IT services landscape, these Partnerships just seem to matter more. Whether Peer Groups; a product that feels less “Pro” and more “duct(tape)”; or even failed marriages – an unstable partnership is usually one of the main culprits to those things needing better success.
Managed Service Providers have multiple ways to look at Partnerships, especially in the context of growing the business. The relationships they have with their Clients is a form of partnership which needs to be both healthy and profitable. And when I think about it, relationships with vendors exist in exactly the same fashion. An MSP needs a vendor partner who’s willing to truly work together, focused on success of the MSP, and understands the challenges as they strive to climb the ranks of operational maturity.
The variables of a vendor Partner directly impacts major decisions of an MSP business model. An IT Service Provider should have their own vendor partner standards, especially as standardization of the solution-stack becomes more of the norm. Vendors who have multiple solutions which can be utilized by MSP’s clients are critical to standardizing in the most profitable fashion possible. These types of partnerships allow for flexibility, uniqueness, and growth as the MSP business matures.
My Own MSP Journey
As someone who’s navigated a unique path through the IT Service Provider waters, I’ve seen partnerships built from every angle. Beginning when I founded my own MSP in Toledo, OH in 1999, to creating Labtech, through my time at ConnectWise, and now as CEO at eFolder – I’ve grown as a professional with each step, analyzed results from every endeavor, and created partnerships with only the best intentions. However, I’ve experienced most every type of partnership possible, and cataloged them all from the good, to the bad, to the downright regrettable. The latter of which I’m sure we’ve all experienced, and hope to never do so again.
Here at eFolder, we understand the critical nature of these partnerships with MSPs, as many of our own colleagues have been previous MSP owners. These unique perspectives, along with seasoned channel veterans, will be used as the compass for 2018. I’ve challenged our team to bring even more to the table next year in the form of an enhanced Customer Experience. Deliverables will center around Customer Service, Best Practices, and Content intended to help the MSP close business at an increased rate.
Partnerships ARE the foundation of everything we as business people do. And I encourage us all to build upon a foundation designed to exceed goals, and increase the positive impact we have on both our internal and external relationships.