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How to Become a Master of Managed Services

Managed services

If you’re a managed service provider, you know all too well the difficulties of running a successful practice. If you find you could use a boost, make sure to sit in on the Masters of Managed Services panel at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo and MSP Summit, March 11-14, at the Venetian Las Vegas.

Top-performing MSPs who have received Channel Futures’ MSP 501 award will join Omdia’s Debbie Kane for a lively discussion around handling challenges and crafting successful strategies. (Omdia and Channel Futures are both part of Informa.) These partners will share how they’re adding new services, upgrading skills, teaming with new vendor partners and more.

'Have a Strategy Session'

For Ron Lovern, executive vice president of Triton Networks, one of the most important aspects of the panel will lie in getting peers to think about their own trajectories.

“Most operators are so heads-down, nose to the business, that they do not always stop to take the time to do an evaluation of their business,” Lovern said. 

To address that, yes, focus on long-term goals, but also set shorter-term ones that pave the way to that future success, Lovern advised.

“You should have a strategy session at the end of every year to plan on the direction of where your business is headed for the next year." Then,” he added, “re-assess at the end of every quarter throughout the year to adjust as needed.”

That way, Lovern said, “you will create a winning culture and success will come.”

Triton sees the evidence of that in its own growth. For example, the MSP has built its own SD-WAN/SASE platform for remote work and business continuity. That has delivered even more opportunities.

“We continue to expand our depth into the customer’s network as well as the breadth of those service offerings related to the core part of our business,” Lovern said. 

Think Differently

Jason Rincker, chief revenue officer of Stronghold Data, said his company is experiencing similar traction. He’ll use that experience as a foundation for some of the panel discussion.

As one example, Stronghold Data has launched sessions that show customers how to align IT with business objectives. Meanwhile, Stronghold sees promise in its Microsoft partnership, too, especially as a means for providing “top-tier consulting services,” Rincker said. Stronghold also is integrating AI capabilities into its platforms, as many MSPs are doing or seeking to do.

'Make the Change'

Finally, Sam Ruggeri, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships at Lincoln IT, wants to encourage peers to actually implement the ideas they encounter at Masters of Managed Services.

“We go back to the office and never make a change,” he said.

But resist the temptation not to try something new, Ruggeri said.

“Make the change. You can always go back to the way you were doing it. I know firsthand change is difficult … but it always works out for the better.”

And, he noted, it’s imperative to act on other MSPs’ lessons learned so you don’t have to make the same missteps.

“We made mistakes so some of you don’t have to. Just ask us. … I’ve learned that listening to peers on what they got right and what went wrong has been a tremendous asset. Our industry as a whole is very forthcoming and everyone for the most part is willing to share success stories, as well as those not so successful. Listen, learn and ask. This can save you a lot of time, money and aggravation.”

In terms of new approaches proving most powerful for Lincoln IT in 2024, Ruggeri cited the need to control tool set sprawl.

“Control these investments — know what you have and use, as well as their costs,” he advised. “Some auto-renew even though we don’t use them anymore or the counts may have changed. We have found almost $100,000 in overages that we are paying for but the clients have not been billed or we don’t use anymore. We are making sure our change process management is fine tuned. While this isn’t anything new from a go-to-market perspective, it certainly is something that adds to our … operational efficiency, which is adding to the bottom line.” 

Join Lovern, Rincker and Ruggeri, along with moderator Kane, on Tuesday, March 12, at 2:15 p.m., in Marco Polo 705.

Channel Partners Conference & Expo, MSP Summit