IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

The 20 Gets Real

Don’t look now, channel pros, but the unconventional managed services co-op is slowly bringing its vision of managed services domination via mass buying power and shared processes to life. By Rich Freeman
Reader ROI: 
THE 20 IS A MANAGED SERVICES COOPERATIVE that consists of independently owned MSPs armed with common tools, processes, and resou
ITS VISION IS TO BUILD a nationwide managed services network that dominates the top 20 percent of the market.
IN PURSUIT OF THAT GOAL, The 20 is wielding its group buying power to negotiate steep discounts and customized functionality wit
IT’S ALSO BUILDING a national sales and marketing organization.
IF IT CONTINUES to turn its vision into reality, The 20 could pose a significant competitive threat to stand-alone MSPs.

“VISIONS TYPICALLY LEAD TO DREAMS,” Tim Conkle likes to say. And dreams, he likes to add, have never produced a dollar.

“The difference between dreaming and reality is execution,” observes Conkle, who is CEO of Plano, Texas-based managed services co-op The 20. An unconventional venture that resembles a franchise organization in some ways and a peer group in others, The 20 is a collection of independently owned MSP practices that share common tools, processes, and resources. As ChannelPro reported in its October 2016 issue, Conkle and company have bold ambitions to build a coast-to-coast managed services goliath that dominates the top 20 percent of the market.

Don’t look now, channel pros, but one year later that dream is taking steps toward reality.

“This has probably been the most change I’ve ever seen happen in a 12-month period in my entire life,” Conkle says.

The biggest of those changes became public in May, when The 20 announced plans to adopt PSA and RMM tools from Kaseya Ltd., the managed services software maker with dual headquarters in Miami and New York. That deal, which displaced incumbent products from ConnectWise, of Tampa, Fla., stemmed directly from a written contractual commitment on Kaseya’s part to equip its solutions with multitenant capabilities tailored precisely to The 20’s multimember business model.

And why would a vendor like Kaseya make such sweeping additions to its core offerings for one customer? Chris Traxler, CEO of Cirrus Technologies Inc., a member of The 20 based in Troy, Ohio, has a succinct, four-word answer.

“There’s power in numbers,” he says.

About the Author

Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

ChannelPro SMB Magazine

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.