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News & Articles

January 9, 2018 |

eFolder Introduces MSP Best Practices Education Program

Called MSP Ignition! and available free of charge to both eFolder partners and anyone else interested in participating, the new offering will provide instruction in launching, growing, and selling a managed services practice.

Business continuity and file sync and share vendor eFolder Inc. has launched a best practices education program for managed service providers.

Called MSP Ignition! and available free of charge to both the Denver-based company’s partners and any other channel pro interested in participating, the new offering seeks to provide concrete advice on launching, growing, and selling a managed services business. That’s guidance MSPs all too often have no access to, according to eFolder CEO Matt Nachtrab.

“They have to build their own processes, product sets, pricing, contracts, best practices, job positions, and everything in the organization,” he observes. “My thought is why should everybody have to solve these problems on their own?”

Resources available through MSP Ignition! will include webinars featuring eFolder employees, experienced MSPs, and guest experts, as well as a variety of tools, documents, and reference materials. Informally launched late last year, the program has already hosted three online events and distributed both a free, white-labelled managed services rate calculator and a free, 52-page managed services agreement template.

The latter document essentially duplicates the contract that Nachtrab used at Nemsys LLC, the managed services business in Toledo, Ohio, that he founded and formerly led.

“[It] has tons of things that we’ve learned over the years, little clauses that we’ve added as we made mistakes,” Nachtrab says.

It was at Nemsys that Nachtrab and his team began developing the in-house RMM solution that eventually became LabTech. Managed services software maker ConnectWise ultimately acquired the LabTech business and renamed its product ConnectWise Automate in 2016. Nachtrab stepped away from his role as president and COO of ConnectWise in April of that year before joining eFolder in 2017, first as chief strategy officer and then as CEO.

Nachtrab’s experiences in the managed services trade have left him longing for years to create a program offering proven tips for getting a practice off the ground and maximizing its profitability.

“I’ve thought about this for a while,” he says.

The new venture is led by Tom Watson, a 20-year industry veteran and former MSP who sold his practice in 2014. Watson became eFolder’s director of MSP best practices last October.

“I had been thinking about going back into IT, but I didn’t want to go and start another managed service provider,” he says. Running MSP Ignition! enables him to share some of the lessons he’s learned over the years with other tech entrepreneurs.

“I’m not coming in here to sell anything,” Watson says. “This is simply a resource to help you grow and develop your managed services offerings.”

MSP Ignition! will deliver two main streams of content this year. The first, focused on service delivery best practices, will feature a series of webinars culminating in the publication of a free book on the topic.

“Each month, I’m going to work with either someone here or one of our partners and write a chapter,” Watson says. He’ll then present the content of that chapter in a webcast before distributing the document to MSP Ignition! participants, who will also receive a free copy of the complete service delivery book when the last of those chapters is complete. Program members will have an opportunity to influence the book’s table of contents during a forthcoming kickoff webinar.

“We’re going to invite the partners to talk to us and tell us what they want, to make sure they see it in the book,” Watson says.

The second focus area for 2018 will be a detailed 10-part webcast series on sales enablement, based on content from both eFolder and K1 Operations LLC. The El Segundo, Calif.-based consultancy is an affiliate of K1 Investment Management LLC, the private equity firm that helped finance eFolder’s July 2017 merger with disaster recovery-as-a-service vendor Axcient Inc.

Future plans for MSP Ignition!, which have yet to be finalized, include the introduction of certifications that members will qualify for by attending in-person “boot camps” at eFolder headquarters.

“Some of that is likely to be paid,” Nachtrab says, adding that some program resources will be available only to eFolder resellers in the future as well.

“There will be, at some point, a differentiation between content you get being someone that just attends one of our webinars versus being a partner,” he states.

eFolder is not the only managed services vendor eager to share best practices these days. Avast Software‘s Avast Business unit, which makes security and RMM software for MSPs, made education a central component of the new partner program it launched last September.

Nachtrab’s previous employer ConnectWise, meanwhile, announced just last week that it has acquired consulting, coaching, and peer group provider HTG for an undisclosed sum in a bid to help MSPs master the operational processes they need to be successful.

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