For as long as I’ve been in the IT business (which at this point is roughly more than half of it’s existence, since the rise of commercial Internet) our jobs have been those of implementing change. Implementing networks, servers, devices, mobile networks, security of everything involved, cloud, compliance and regulatory reporting, whatever is next. In a sense, we were lucky to have huge barriers to entry with huge costs and skill requirements that perpetuated $100/hr+ billable rates and allowed many to build highly sophisticated, highly profitable businesses.
But somewhere along the way people forgot how they got there. I remember traveling the country, speaking to conferences and groups about the cloud and the higher up I went the message more often missed than hit. I spoke to pretty much all the HTG groups and one illogical and insurmountable objection was always: “I make $2,000 immediate profit selling this Cisco switch, why would I ever want to kill that with the cloud?” – though to be fair to HTG, I also got a lot of calls after their clients got taken over by Microsoft and they got shown the door: The reason you talk to your clients about technology, regardless of whether you believe in it or not, is because that is your single most important value: expertise. You don’t have to profit from it, or sell it, or endorse it – but ignoring it doesn’t mean your clients will not hear about it from someone else. Honestly, many conversations on this same topic to this day go like this as I talk to more and more MSPs dealing with despair and cloud defeat:
Marginalized business is still a business. A business that generates less revenue and more profits beats unemployment – every day. The sooner you change, the more profits you get. It’s pretty simple and far easier than banging your head against the wall.
Change is not for everyone.
Business ownership and management is not for everyone.
But people who don’t like their business, don’t like the direction of technical change, don’t like managing technology and people.. this is not an industry for you. The name of my company is Own Web Now Corp. Our biggest product a few years ago was a SPAM filter. If your sole business today was SPAM filtering you’d probably be sitting at your desk trying to figure out how to throw yourself out of the window and land on a VC manager or a Bellini brother because that’s the only way you’re going to make money in the IT world dealing with obscure and dated technology. So believe me, I understand what some of you are going through – but I absolutely do not understand why you’d continue: technology business requires innovation and constant pursuit of what the clients are asking for.
The Good News
The good news for the army of Robin Robbins Clipart Marketing Lemmings is that the last inch of “customer service” when it comes to technology is not going to be taken over completely by Apple, Microsoft, etc (maybe by Comcast or Brighthouse or Cox) because big boys have no intention of going into a business to provide technical solutions – they just want to sell their junk.
This will remain the strongest piece of the SMB IT just because of the nature of SMB: Things don’t just get thrown out in a month because Apple came out with a new iPad. People don’t just start running their business on Surface just because of stupid commercials with clicking sounds. The prospect of integrating new technology with old technology is something that likely has at least half a decade in the bottle.
On August 28th we’ll be announcing something that will give our partners a huge advantage in the marketplace. Make sure you are there. Make sure you act on it as fast as humanly possible.
Now anyone who has read this blog for more than a month can read through this and see that we’ll offer branded support. So yeah, you’ll be able to offer solutions and have someone else take care of the client but that’s not really a big deal. It’s the other stuff that I’ll explain – that will give those of you with some marketing skills and willingness to grow – a way to grow very rapidly and do so without a huge investment up front.
P.S. Of course, if you don’t work with us or haven’t worked with us in the past please don’t even bother registering – they’ll just kick you out…
Folks, here we are – we’ve built the networks, we’ve built the cloud, we’ve established the key relationships and for the most part worked out all the kinks and issues in the delivery chain. Now is the time to grow and talk to your clients and your community about the technology solutions they will be using. Good luck trying to sell them on SBS 2014 or Office 365 – they don’t need you for that and that’s the conversation you’ve already lost.
But… if you think about what is actually holding many of you back from growing your business, and where ExchangeDefender can provide scale, it’s actually pretty simple.