New Empath Exec: We’re Building Business Model ‘Around MSPs Learning And Growing’
‘I’m most excited about building a platform that is for MSPs, that’s going to be influenced by MSPs, that is about growing and educating MSPs and that isn’t just an add-on to a global vendor to reduce churn,’ says Kyle Christensen, who joined Empath Monday and is tasked with delivering content to MSPs.
Empath, a one-stop training and education shop for MSPs, is bringing on what it says is its third co-founder, Kyle Christensen, to help with operations, coaching and finance of the business.
Empath is a community as well as a platform that provides MSPs, across any role type, with education and training in cybersecurity and how to sell it.
“I’m most excited about building a platform that is for MSPs, that’s going to be influenced by MSPs, that is about growing and educating MSPs and that isn’t just an add-on to a global vendor to reduce churn,” Christensen told CRN in an exclusive interview. “If we build an entire business model around MSPs learning and growing, then we can drastically help these MSPs grow and change.”
Tampa, Fla.-based Empath did a soft launch earlier this year as Empath Cyber. But after many discussions, co-founders Alex Farling and Wes Spencer decided to drop the “Cyber” as they said the company encompasses so much more than that.
“When Wes and I started talking about this, we realized that between the two of us we covered a large chunk of the skill set at an MSP, including sales and account management, and obviously Wes has skills in cybersecurity,” Farling told CRN. “Kyle was a logical fit to fill in all the stuff like finance, coaching and operations and all of those things.”
Christensen will be tasked with getting out content that’s “enjoyable, adaptable and digestible.”
“Not by just the cybersecurity experts, but also the ownership, the operations teams and the leaders,” Christensen said. “That’s the new management teams that are coming in to MSPs that are going to be expected to carry out a lot of these services and practices. It’s going to be geared towards building education, which I’ve been developing over the last 18 years.”
The goal is to create a platform that can have MSPs give feedback and engage with each other, he said.
“Rather than doing the old model which is, ‘Here’s an operating system. Here’s a best practice, go do it as we tell you how to do it.’ It’s about making it flexible and dynamic enough so we can build content around the current issues that they’re having,” he said.
A lot of older MSPs are starting to retire or take earn-outs, “and a lot of them are starting to become detached from the current challenges MSPs have.”
“They’re not doing a lot to improve or change these practices,” Christensen added. “So can we build a model that grows beyond us? Can we build feedback mechanisms that grow beyond us? Can we build accountability mechanisms that benefit the MSPs, not us?”
In early 2024, Empath will be launching a platform that will hold all of the training and education models with built-in knowledge and performance measurements to see how the attendees are doing in the course. Some trainings are being offered now on a thirty-party platform as a litmus test.
And it’s because MSPs are struggling and “in the weeds,” Christensen said.
“They just don’t have the time or wherewithal to sit down with an employee and teach them some fundamentals,” he said. “No one teaches them basic fundamentals. Everyone wants accountability, but no one has expectations for that accountability. Being able to help create a foundation of expectations that allows an employee to succeed. .. .that is what excites me.”