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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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May 31, 2024 | Pedro Pereira

How an MSP Can Become a Tech Industry Disruptor

Fortune tends to reward the bold. For MSPs, that means adopting a game-changer mindset.

Bogged down with day-to-day obligations, the typical MSP hardly has time to think about how to shake things up. But fortune tends to reward the bold and, for services providers, that means adopting a disruptor mindset.

Disruptors possess a keen understanding of the market what it is, what it’s likely to become, and how it can be different. Disruptors see underserved segments and figure out how to reach them. They look at the status quo and resolve to redefine it.

“It’s a necessity,” said Paco Lebron, founder and CEO of MSP ProdigyTeks. “Any MSP should be working to put themselves out of business in creating new plans, strategies, and technologies they are going to adopt. If they do not do this, they will fall into the commodity game and run into saturated markets.”

To be disruptors, Lebron said MSPs must understand their current position, anticipate where they will be in three to five years, and pay attention to the market. “We are in an era where technology adoption is happening faster and faster. Having a pulse on this allows you to make good bets on the future.”

Christopher Barber of Cheaper Than A Geek reveals what it takes to be a disruptor.

Christopher Barber

As emerging technologies such as generative AI, blockchain, augmented reality and quantum computing stoke fears and imaginations, disruptors look at them and see possibilities that others likely miss.

“In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, standing still means falling behind,” said Christopher Barber, chief nerd at IT services provider Cheaper Than A Geek. “By constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation, MSPs can stay ahead of the curve, differentiate themselves from competitors, and create new value propositions that resonate with clients.”

Assembling the Crew

Disruptive companies need someone with the right mindset at the helm a Magellan who looks at the available charts and says, “Nah, there’s got to be a better route.”

Barber cultivates the disruptive mindset in his organization by handpicking people who bring a special something to his team. He employs a “radical approach to talent acquisition.”

“Instead of solely relying on traditional recruitment channels, we’ve established partnerships with unconventional sources of talent, such as coding boot camps, workforce development organizations, and entrepreneurial incubators,” he said. “By tapping into diverse talent pools outside the typical IT background, we’ve infused our team with fresh perspectives, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.”

The approach aligns with the company’s mission of wrapping everything it does around customer service. It’s a philosophy that has guided Barber since he took a homebuilt computer to an IT shop years ago, before he launched his own IT business. The staff there belittled him and charged him too much. He left the shop wanting to fill a “void in the IT services industry  an IT company that centers on customer service first.”

Knowing and Not Knowing

Lebron believes MSPs spend half their time just catching up. That’s because they ignore a simple truism: know what you don’t know. Instead, they act now and ask questions later.

Paco Lebron of ProdigyTeks reveals what it takes to be a disruptor.

Paco Lebron

But things would be simpler if they asked questions first. For instance, he said, MSPs should ask: “How does AI become something we can truly use as an MSP, no matter your size or revenue, for your end clients? Or are there ways of using cloud that we didn’t think of before?”

Keep an eye on emerging vendors, he said, and figure out what demand is being created and what trends are being set. Pay attention to sudden shifts in the market. For instance, during the pandemic, ProdigyTeks quickly identified an opportunity for consolidating UCaaS offerings with Microsoft. Now, said Lebron, the company is evaluating how to replace Windows 10 with cloud PCs to accelerate deployment and save money for clients.

Possible Pitfalls

To maintain disruptor status, MSPs need to be bold by investing in emerging technologies and unconventional, according to Barber. Too often, he added, providers hesitate to make these investments because of cost, risk, and compatibility with existing systems, preferring instead to prioritize investments with more immediate returns.

Lebron cautioned against acting on bad information. “When you go into a situation half informed, it becomes an expensive liability. Whether it’s planning the new metaverse business without any proof of concept or going to market too early or too late, it takes thoughtful planning,” he said.

“There’s an inherent risk in going against the grain, but the most successful people will tell you that the risk is worth it.”


Image: DALL-E


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