IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

LOGICnow Debuting Security Boot Camp

The three-day training seminar is designed to help MSPs move into the managed security space. By Michael Siggins

The pilot MSSP Security Boot Camp is a three-day training seminar being held October 26 to 28 in Durham, N.C. The boot camp will address the MSP’s role in the security and compliance industry. Attendees will be given in-depth training on the “Assess, Address, and Maintain” process, a comprehensive approach to performing and selling security and risk assessments. The boot camp curriculum was developed by LOGICnow in partnership with Choice Technologies Inc., Hunt Valley, Md. Ian Trump, security lead, LOGICnow, and Steve Rutkovitz, CEO and president, Choice Technologies, discussed the new boot camp as well as opportunities in the managed security space with ChannelPro-SMB Publisher Michael Siggins. This is an edited excerpt of that conversation.

ChannelPro-SMB: What is the opportunity you see for managed security? And what are you guys are doing in that space?

IAN TRUMP

Ian Trump: We went from being an awesome RMM tool to being a platform to deliver security solutions. The threat landscape was something that kept coming up in discussions. What are we doing to protect our customers’ customers? We’ve got 12,000 MSP partners worldwide. We have the opportunity to help them do the simple stuff by just using our product; that really is a security win. And then we started thinking about what else do MSPs really need? Well, they need some advice and mentorship. And how can we deliver that? Well, we thought traditional routes of education and training. So we have a certification program for our product. We’ve got My MSSP boot camp. We’ve got our university that’s going to teach you about being an MSP and selling. [And now with the new LOGICcards] we can help your business make better decisions around security, around growth and opportunities, about basically how [to] be a better MSP. 

ChannelPro-SMB: Talk about the MSSP boot camp.

Trump: Originally when we built the MAXfocus RMM tool, it was really centered around how can you develop into a managed service provider. But our MSP partners have matured. We needed a way to bring more value to the tool that they used to organize their business space. And we’re no longer a very easy platform, from the perspective of all the functionality that you can do with it. So we needed a program to start educating and training folks about how the tool actually works; what are the best practices that you can do using the tool because of all those extra features that we’ve been putting on as time goes by. But then it gets to: OK, how do I now develop my business and take it into a specific vertical, or a specific business opportunity?  So we had to talk about things like security and bring in one of our partners who’s been really successful at selling security, figure out what their secret sauce was, and partner up with them to develop that in the MSP community. Choice Technologies [is] our partner in the managed security boot camp. 

ChannelPro-SMB: How did you become a managed security provider? Where did you get your support and help to get there?

Steve Rutkovitz

Steve Rutkovitz: We took everything we learned in managed services—how to research products, what products, what makes a successful product—and we parlayed [that] into the managed security world.  … Our assessment is a seven-step process, and it’s a very tight and structured process. But it took a couple years to evolve.

ChannelPro-SMB: Can you tell me about the boot camp curriculum?

Rutkovitz: Ian and I together created the boot camp and the curriculum. We brought in some specialists in training [who] helped us build it. 

Trump: One of the points that I want to stress is that this is a healthy balance of both sales training and technical security. The audience we’re looking at are MSPs that want to get into security, are having a difficult time figuring out what package of services that they should enter, what compliances are required, and what tools are proven to work. We try to not just trumpet our own tools. We talk about the need for malware. We happen to be able to give you an anti-malware solution. That’s great for us, but there are other tools that you need that are not in our market. And then there’s the actual sales and administration side to security. That’s what Choice really brings to the table. They’ve tried almost every single way to sell this thing, and now found the magic sauce. And so we’re leveraging that experience from them. 

Rutkovitz: As a student of marketing, there’s something called the blue ocean strategy. On the left, you have the red ocean where the sharks swim. It’s bloody, it’s very commoditized, and it’s difficult to differentiate yourself. And because of that, the margins go down. On the right, you have the blue ocean, which is brand-new markets, huge opportunities. What we did for ourselves was help our company move into the blue oceans, into high-margin, new territory with security and compliance. And we’re now helping MSPs move into the blue ocean.

The MSP is being asked about security and compliance almost on a daily basis [by their customers] but they’re not sure how to do it. The boot camp gives them a step-by-step program on how to do it. 

ChannelPro-SMB: What’s the format?

Rutkovitz: The first day we start with the foundation of security. Then we get into compliance. We don’t always necessarily know what is coming next. We might get a referral from an accounting firm or a law firm or a medical firm. We don’t know what that next compliance or security need is going to be. So we have to have a pretty big set in our toolbox of compliance. Then we get into the “assess”—showing the gaps and then being able to provide overwhelming evidence that you have these gaps to move to the next step. So we do the “address,” then we teach how to sell the address. Selling security is much different than selling IT services. It’s about the asset, and their assets and the asset owner. We talk about a suite of a possible 30 products and services and when to use them based on what we find on the assessment to address the security gaps.

The third day is the “maintain,” which is kind of baked into the managed services, which is the add-on or the additional services that MSP can get with managed security. 

Trump: We also [demystify] some [security] language. … The MSP may not want to or be comfortable doing security awareness training, or it might not be in their business model. But there are many companies they could partner with. So all of a sudden you're now talking about partnerships, you're talking about growing revenue, you're talking about widening your circle of friends. And I know Steve has helped many other MSPs deal with things like Cryptolocker outbreaks or helping them figure out what bundle of services is really appropriate for a car dealership, for instance. And so we, as the tool provider for the MSPs, are looking very closely at what can we do, what are the quick wins and easy wins that we can provide through our services. So it’s a win-win.

Rutkovitz: Right. At the end of day three, the MSP is trained on how to look at their portfolio of clients and create up-sell opportunities. The main thing is the MSP really needs a differentiator. And not just a differentiator where you have better service than the guy down the street, but a substantial differentiator. And the security and compliance gives them that substantial differentiator. 

 

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