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Everyone is talking about the cloud. But the best MSPs are looking to do more than talk, said Gary Pica, CEO of TruMethods, a channel consulting organization that specializes in helping solution providers increase their services revenue.
"Everyone is trying to see how they approach the cloud and what it means to their business," Pica said. "What changes? What doesn't change? How does it impact margins? How do you keep competitive margins as everyone starts to have access to the same tools and resources?"
Those questions -- with some answers -- will be a hot topic at TruMethods' Schnizzfest conference in Philadelphia later this week.
Many service providers understand the technology behind the cloud but not necessarily how it integrates into their current offerings, Pica said.
Bringing together more than 200 MSP executives can help those companies stay ahead of the competition, Pica said.
"Everybody is trying to figure it out, the risks of buying it or building it and how it impacts customers. If we give them business principles around how to look at this, they can make the best decisions for themselves," Pica said.
The Schnizzfest conference was launched several years ago to bring together successful MSPs to share best practices and learn how to sell new services. Subjects at this year's event include how to improve your sales process, generating more profits and a look at hot trends in the MSP space.
The show has become a must-attend show for many channel executives. Shael Risman, CEO of PACE Technical Services, a Richmond Hill, Ont.-based MSP, said his monthly recurring revenue has increased from $50,000 to more than $130,000 in two years since joining TruMethods and attending Schnizzfest. The company was recently honored as one of the fastest-growing companies in Canada.
"The method itself has been a game changer for us, and the show is all like-minded individuals, not guys just doing managed services," Risman said. "They're actively engaged in providing the best and most profitable managed services they can. That's a very small percentage of [all] IT providers. At the end of the day, [TruMethods] is the most valuable resource we have for delivering managed services."
TruMethods aims to provide real-world examples to help MSPs improve their business, Pica said. At Schnizzfest, he is enlisting some members for a role-playing session to teach how to better sell to clients.
"It's all about perspective and expectations. We look to raise their expectations and believe that something better is possible," Pica said.