Reloaded: Shockey Monkey Reprise

Cloud, IT Business, Shockey Monkey
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It has taken us more than a year to get Shockey Monkey right. At this point, I would like to encourage you to read the following five posts about Shockey Monkey regardless of what you think of it, me or what you may be using to run your business.

Mostly because if I’m right.. it will fundamentally change your business.

Several years ago I wrote a series of articles called Lucy’s Sail. Go ahead and Google it, at the time it was not a popular topic but everyone could see bits and pieces of it made sense. I’ve made many of you millions of dollars in the cloud while many that argued against it now work for someone else and perennial powers of HP and Dell are scratching their head about what is next. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like they don’t know what’s next – they just have a hard time trying to figure out how to sell what they have into the future where people don’t want old technology.

We’ve undergone a massive consumerization of technology over the past few years, a movement that has taken decision making power away from IT departments/people and placed it in the hands of business people and end users.

Over the next few posts I would like to outline the goals behind the Shockey Monkey and why I’ve turned down millions of dollars to lose money pursue investing in it myself.

Please tune in each day for the following Shockey Monkey breakdowns:

1. No future without the past
2. unRMM – What’s managed?
3. unPSA – Whose business is it anyway?
4. Derrivatives – Who does the IT work?
5. Ultimately, who pays the bill?

The Past

Once upon a time I wrote Shockey Monkey as a combination of helpdesk, CRM and shopping cart for small business IT shops.

Step 1: In order for the cloud solutions to be profitable, they first had to be sold – so the IT Solution Provider needed to have a mechanism to efficiently take the credit card, accept an agreement and collect revenues each month (you’d be shocked to know that this is still not a baseline offering in any of the professional CRM / automation suites).

Step 2: Once you have the subscription and revenues rolling in each month, everything beyond the cost of service should be your profit. The only way that happens is if the end user is in control of their cloud services. If the IT Solution Provider has to pick up the phone, log the ticket, login to the control panel, find the user, etc just in order to reset the password or freeze a mailbox or add another user to the distribution group several horrible events are converging. First, you’re wasting time performing an automated task that the user should be empowered to do themselves – and time is money. Second, while you’re wasting your time talking to the end user about the weather as you try to find the passwords, etc – you aren’t doing anything that contributes to the growth of your business or the techie isn’t working on a more profitable project. Third, it’s not just your money that is going down the drain here, how can we say that the cloud saves people money if the users that leverage that cloud are spending time away from their jobs to deal with the outsourcing company for mundane tasks – how can we call it outsourcing if we’re still doing the job? Fourth, the one nobody wants to talk about: security; interjecting social inefficiencies of account management to override actual access credentials, logging and so on is a recipe for disaster – what would be your response to a subpoena for information that you helped someone destroy inadvertently because your tech got beaten up on the phone? The system needs to deliver efficiencies, security and ease of use in order to be used as a benefit instead of a deterrent.

Step 3: Once everything is covered in steps 1 and 2 the real business can begin. The days of living as a gatekeeper or an IT troll of necessity are over – you’re not a lawyer, you don’t get a paycheck just because we want to protect ourselves from the dangers that lurk around in the dark. These solutions need to be seamless and they need to reach into the everyday technology usage. They need to integrate together to deliver a real benefit. When they don’t you have billions of dollars burned in an effort to make people use a company whiteboard SharePoint that nobody can remember the location of.

Over the past few years we’ve helped thousands of Shockey Monkey users establish a process driven IT business and leverage cloud offerings to establish predictable revenue models.

When we launched Shockey Monkey we called it the unPSA. We don’t compete with the likes of Autotask or ConnectWise and have maintained a great working relationship with them because we have the same goals (taking IT staff and organizations from notepad and Excel into a process driven system). Any smart person that can look beyond the obvious similarities can tell that these are in fact great complementing solutions.

If you stick with Autotask and ConnectWise, you have a shot at becoming a great IT company. My goal with Shockey Monkey is to make sure the loyalty of your client base is sticky because it connects your company to the solutions you’ve sold them. You need a great tool to manage your business. You also need a tool to connect your clients business and technology back to yours. That is where your value is multiplied.

Here is something I want you to think about: Imagine if your tools (PSA, RMM, Backups) were not built for you but were designed for your customers… what would they look like?

If we are indeed in this massive consumerization of IT that everyone believes in and the IT becomes something that users do instead of IT staff, what do those applications look like? Who pays for them? How do they meet the regulatory compliance requirements? Who does the cleanup work when automation fails, what is the business continuity scenario and what level of data portability do we have?

Now, I do want to be mindful here and play the devils advocate for a moment: If those concerns are truly real, as they certainly would be in any real business that has to deal with them, how can that possibly ever spell the end of the IT as we know it? Making slight adjustments in course as we go along and as these technologies mature will keep us in place and evolving right along with it. Right?

In my opinion, there isn’t much difference between obscurity and failure. It could be that I’m just an extremely aggressive and competitive jerk but if you give me an option to earn a million dollars and I’m OK with taking home only $40,000 that doesn’t make me feel like much of a winner. We had these arguments before the cloud and some people bought it, some didn’t. Many that didn’t are unemployed and working somewhere while the lucky ones are maintaining the same levels or maybe growing a little. On the other hand, I have plenty of 1-3 man shops with thousands of Exchange mailboxes, massive amount of storage and other cloud services that they only sold and did the hard work once. How do you explain the discrepancy? Ultimately, is it really a discrepancy or is it the reality of the small business IT – there will be far fewer of us but we’ll be doing a lot more for our customers because we won’t be a part of a perpetual IT problem? This is something that Microsoft, Google and Amazon recognized early on and built massive cloud operations without an IT channel or staff involved in any major way.

But let’s not dwell over the past or sink ourselves in the problems of the present.

Let’s figure out a way to be a part of it and a massively profitable at that.

Shockey Monkey Reloaded

Thursday, December 1st, Noon EST (max 1000 seats; will be recorded)

Look forward to showing it off then. In the meantime, I’ll explain on this blog.