Profile: It's All About Trust and Efficiency
Having the right vendors has been critical to our company's success. And our managed services vendor is no exception. We have created a true partnership that enables us to streamline our operations, increase revenues, and earn our clients' trust.
By Brett Beveridge and Randy Knutson
It's actually kind of funny that we're both in managed services these days, since neither of us started out in IT. We both have backgrounds in the wireless communications business running big retail chains. One of the many things that experience taught us is that retail outlets--like all small businesses--have the same technology needs as big companies but a lot less money to spend.
Hiring a managed services provider, we discovered, is the most cost-effective solution to that conundrum. In fact, outsourced IT makes such good sense for SMBs that we soon came to see it as an even more exciting opportunity than the wireless business. After all, there are a whole lot of SMBs out there, all of which need help with technology. Moreover, compared with a wireless store, a managed services company has no inventory and higher margins. And since customers pay a flat monthly fee, revenues are comparatively steady too.
A Solid Toolset
We've been working together at Symbits for about a year now, and of the many lessons we've learned in that time, two stand out. First, neither of us fully appreciated how crucial a role trust would play in our success. One of the nice things about being an MSP is that your interests align closely with those of your clients, since a smoothly running network benefits everyone. But you can't keep a customer's network humming unless you really understand their business--and you'll never gain that kind of in-depth knowledge unless they trust you to do what's right for them.
The other critical lesson we've learned is the importance of developing repeatable, efficient work processes. Achieving operational excellence, we've found, is an essential part of serving clients well and keeping profits high.
And here's a third lesson we've learned: You'll never make much headway on the first two lessons without a solid managed services toolset. The right tools equip you to automate and scale your operations. And that, in turn, leaves your employees more time to build deep, trust-based relationships with customers.