Pursuing a merger or acquisition can be a very effective way to grow revenue, acquire a customer base to cross sell into, add new product and service lines, acquire specific assets (or permits, licenses, etc.), expand into new geographic markets, acquire talent (“acqui-hire”), or acquire intellectual property. Some CEOs have M&A experience and some don’t. For those who don’t, this doesn’t mean M&A should be avoided, rather just pursued in a slower gear. The following are a few suggestions I have.
VARs and MSPs represent the channel’s eyes on the ground. There’s a weighty responsibility there that makes nearsightedness a very dangerous thing for the channel. Our VARs and MSPs need clarity of their customers’ vision, and the rest of the channel needs to stand ready to help that vision become the customer’s reality.
During a recent chat with ex-marine and current president of MSP Carolinas IT Mark Cavaliero, I made the mistake of asking him what keeps him up at night. “Nothing,” he said. “We’re running smoothly and I sleep great at night.”
And other misinformation observed by a managed services pioneer.
Jason Shirdon is VP of operations at Ease Technologies, a 53-employee managed services company in Baltimore. He’s been there since 1999, having joined the company when it was just seven years old and back when managed services wasn’t even a concept. Shirdon is in part responsible for the fact that managed services is far more than a concept today. Some five years before Karl Palachuk and company began advocating for the managed services business model in 2005, Shirdon was implementing it among Ease Technologies clientele. He and his colleagues at Ease just didn’t know what to call it back then.
Darek Hahn, president and CEO of Dynamic Strategies Inc. (DSI), details the challenges of his company's shift in customer focus, sales strategy, and corporate culture.
Russ Levanway, CEO of California-based MSP TekTegrity, recently let me pick his brain about how and why the company acquired four MSPs in the five-year period between 2010 to 2015. Like many solutions providers looking for ways to grow, TekTegrity used these acquisitions to expand its regional footprint and establish itself in new verticals. In the process, Levanway had to integrate differing cultures and a rapidly expanding headcount.
High Impact communication is essentially a dance that flows between participants. As in most dances, there might be awkward moments, as one develops a sense of their partner’s style, and more elegant graceful moments, when partners are in the flow of the dance. The inherent skills and mindsets of high impact communication are developed over time through intention, practice and embracing a three tier approach. This approach includes essential skills and mindsets to embody BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the communication.
Forrester analyst Jay McBain's life's work is analyzing the channel. When he recently told Channel Executive magazine that 40 percent of the channel is poised for retirement over the next seven years, it got us thinking about exit strategies (and acquisition targets, but that's a future story). Liz Harr, the subject of this Q&A on, Business Sustainability Planning, orchestrated an exit strategy of her own. Today, Harr is a partner at professional services marketing firm Hinge and a frequent contributor to VARinsights.com, but not long ago she was a reseller of Microsoft CRM and ERP software. Here, Harr shares some wisdom on knowing when it's time to exit, optimizing the valuation of your company, and minimizing collateral damage in the process.
Who really wants to take the long, slow, arduous journey to success when you have the option to take a more thoughtful, deliberate approach? The time to praise the journey is when it’s in your rear-view mirror not when you’re facing it head-on through the windshield. Life may be about the journey, but business is all about the destination.
Technology is essential to mitigate the risk of exposure to cyberattack. Note that mitigate means to reduce or lessen in severity, not preclude. It’s often difficult for IT service providers (ITSPs) to convince business owners that no one can guarantee complete elimination of cyberattack risk. Anyone with a computer connected to the internet is under attack. Your best option is preparation for the inevitable.
Studies have shown that businesses are starting to increasingly rely on social media to help build brand awareness and drive the sale of their products and solutions. For example, according to a recent Forrester report, 98 percent of sales and marketing leaders see value in social selling in the short and long term, and 49 percent have already developed a formal social selling program. Many Channel companies would agree with the potential benefits of social media marketing, but they also acknowledge they’re a long way from realizing its full potential.
One of the hottest debates in IT service management at the moment is whether or not to pursue “Managed Security Service Provider” (MSSP) status. This is largely caused by a lack of clarity over what the name means, whether it is beneficial to use it, or whether customers are even concerned about the distinction between MSPs and MSSPs. This report defines exactly what an MSSP is and identifies the existing opportunity for those who reach this standard. It also highlights the shortcomings of current service providers and how to overcome them.
The last several years have seen a dramatic evolution in the sophistication of phishing attacks. While antiquated phishing tactics consisted of crudely constructed mass emails trying to snare as many victims as possible, today’s attacks are highly targeted, difficult to detect, and just as difficult to evade. Even more important, they’re pervasive.
New research by VIPRE Security reveals some serious gaps in the ability of organizations to defend against and respond to cyberattacks. The gaps threaten their survival in some cases, causing most IT managers (66%) to live in fear that a cyberattack would cause their business to shut down temporarily (44%) or even permanently (22%).
When the disaster phone call comes, how will you respond? Whether it comes from a technology failure, a natural disaster, or just user error, SolarWinds® Backup restores business continuity fast.
VIPRE is the highest-rated, award-winning internet security product for channel partners and businesses worldwide. It consistently earns 100% block rates and zero false positives from AV-Comparatives, the world’s most widely-trusted independent antivirus testing authority.
SolarWinds® MSP delivers comprehensive, scalable IT service management solutions to empower MSPs of every size and scale worldwide to create highly efficient and profitable businesses that drive a measurable competitive advantage.
CompTIA is the voice of the world's information technology (IT) industry.
|ConnectWise is the leading business management solution designed exclusively for technology organizations, such as IT solution providers, MSPs, software companies, hardware/software resellers, and System Integrators.|
It appears the recent WannaCry ransomware attack was only the beginning. Despite a UK researcher creating a kill switch that slowed the infection rate, we may be due for WannaCry 2.0.
Your customers want clear insight into the most important issues impacting their IT environments, and for MSPs, reporting offers a way to provide that critical information. But with today’s overflowing inboxes, not to mention text messages and other distractions, MSPs need to avoid adding to the noise and instead focus on providing the kind of reporting that creates business value.
“What are our cybersecurity protocols?” This question is one that has, undoubtedly, been top of mind for CTOs at numerous corporations and government agencies around the world in the wake of recent ransomware attacks. Given the hundreds of thousands of endpoint devices in more than 150 countries that were infected in the latest global attack, WannaCry, can you blame them? Hal Lonas, chief technology officer at Webroot, takes us beyond the sobering wake-up call that attacks like WannaCry bring, and discusses actionable advice companies should consider when fortifying systems against cybercriminals.
According to the employment firm Manpower, Inc., sales representatives were ranked in the top three of the hardest to hire positions in the U.S. in 2016. This is especially true in the managed IT services business. During the hiring process, the challenge is looking beyond a standout personality to see what lies beneath. How do you break through the surface to assess an applicant’s ability to close sales and help your business grow?
We asked the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), an IT analyst research and strategy company, to examine the challenges your business customers are facing as they take on malware and other cyber threats at network perimeters.