TruMethods Member Q&A: Peer Groups Help MSPs “Work Smarter, Not Harder”

MSPs are usually hesitant about joining peer groups. They question the value, the time commitment and the time requirements. We are at a pivotal time in the MSP industry. Things are changing fast, and business leaders need more knowledge and perspective. Now is a great time to consider joining an industry peer group.

“We joined TruPeer because of the benefits of having accountability partners that share ideas and concerns and utilize the knowledge TruMethods has acquired over the years,” said Adam M. Casgar, president of Coastal Computer Consulting, LLC, a Brunswick, Georgia-based MSP. “TruPeer has given our business the ability to learn better methods of delivering our services, communicating with our clients, and understanding how to run, manage and make our business profitable.”

During our interview, Adam shared why MSPs should join peer groups if they want to work smarter, not harder, and why peers are the furthest thing from multilevel marketing (MLM).

What’s your top takeaway from TruPeer?

My biggest takeaway is that any MSP running a business today needs to be a part of a community like TruPeer to learn how to scale their business on a different level. TruPeer allows you to communicate with peers across the country and globe to understand the landscape of our business and how quickly it changes by asking questions and getting valuable advice on what you may or may not be doing to the best of your company’s abilities.

Why should MSPs join TruPeer?

I would not have ever seen myself being a member of a peer group or organization like TruMethods. In fact, in the discussions we had internally about signing up, I was highly apprehensive; having been an IT consultant for over 27 years, I did not believe that any group or company could honestly understand the managed services business. Today, I tell my friends who run MSPs and anyone willing to listen that you need to join if you want to work smarter, not harder, grow your business and see actual results. TruPeer elevates your thinking, processes, and management and will help you keep working on your business, not in your business, which is a challenging concept for many to understand. I recently recommended TruPeer to a former boss and friend who started his MSP a few months after I began mine. He was amazed at the results and knew I could finally bring everything together and not work 15-hour days with staggering growth, thanks to TruPeer/TruMethods.

What’s the biggest misconception about peer groups?

In my opinion, there are many misconceptions about peer groups, and it is hard to narrow down the biggest. One, peer groups can be thought of as not being helpful, and I think they can be misconstrued as networking groups, feel like a scam or come off as MLM. I quickly let go of my apprehensiveness about peer groups after working with TruPeer. Unlike other peer groups, TruPeer requires commitment from its members. For it to work, you must take time out of your busy schedule to meet with peers, work with them to solve issues, overcome challenges and discuss possibilities to get insight, advice and intelligence needed to take your business to the next level.

How has TruPeer helped you with your business?

While the success of any program requires time and investment, having accountability meetings to ensure that you are doing those things, as shown above, clearly pays off quickly. Within 45 days of being a part of TruMethods, we used the steps provided, watched videos, attended meetings and completed the required work. We saw a tremendous financial change in our recurring revenue, leaving behind the break-fix model altogether. To date, our biggest win was converting a client that paid us $3,861.00 for the entire year of 2021 as a break-fix client to now paying us $3,125.00 per month, which is a staggering $33,639 per year in revenue.

Enhanced vCIO Workflow: Automated Roadmap Prioritization

Cut technology roadmap creation time by 50%

As a vCIO, creating client-facing roadmaps with prioritized technology gaps should be a breeze. It is the best way to show your clients how you are managing their IT infrastructure and what gets their buy-in on new services to ensure undisrupted operations.

We are thrilled to introduce a brand-new experience — Roadmap Prioritization — that cuts the time it takes to create roadmaps in myITprocess by 50%. It comes with an intuitive and simple workflow, and one of your client relationship-building tasks can now be completed faster and more efficiently to help you better serve your clients.

Automated roadmap prioritization

With roadmap prioritization, vCIO will only review the out-of-aligned technology gaps with the autocomplete logic. This means the vCIO will only be presented with a list of technology risks, automatically organized by priority. This allows you to easily add them to the IT roadmap by quarter.

This feature also automatically prioritizes your unaligned questions and keeps them ready for your review. You can then proceed to add them directly into the roadmap, all in the same window. With this improved workflow, you’ll be able to conduct more client reviews, ensure nothing falls through the cracks and increase revenue opportunities for your business.

Become a trusted advisor with IT roadmaps 

A customer-facing IT roadmap shows your clients IT risks identified in an easy-consumable format that is organized by quarters and priorities. This way, during QBRs, you can easily have a conversation with your clients about timelines and budgets in a simplified and logical way.

This allows you to stay ahead of rising issues before they turn into serious problems. Most importantly, it helps avoid taking your customers by surprise with future technology spending by keeping them in the loop. As a result, you can maintain an engaged relationship with your clients.

With IT roadmaps, you can be proactive and act as a trusted advisor by tying it to your client’s business goals and initiatives.

Create IT roadmaps 50% faster

Client-facing technology roadmaps are powerful tools, but that doesn’t mean they have to be complicated. With the new Roadmap Prioritization feature, IT roadmaps are easy and intuitive, in turn allowing you to give your clients your full attention.

For more information on this feature, check out our Knowledge Base. For more information on myITprocess, click here.

Protect your Clients from Business Email Compromise Attacks

Business email compromise (BEC) attacks are some of the costliest cybercrimes companies face now. In BEC attacks, criminals impersonate a legitimate email account and use it to send messages that appear to come from a known source. For example, they may send an invoice with an updated mailing address, request that an employee with purchasing authority buy gift cards or transfer funds or ask clients to wire payments to a phony account.

These attacks can be challenging to detect and prevent because they appear to be from a trusted source and generally do not include malicious attachments. They rely on psychology to be effective – users will generally trust an email that looks like it came from a colleague or a vendor.

Stopping these types of attacks requires a high level of visibility into email traffic and the ability to respond rapidly to suspicious activity.

Why a Managed SOC Makes Sense

A 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) can play a crucial role in defending against these attacks, but most companies lack the staff, know-how and technology to create an effective SOC. Offering SOC as a service can help MSPs monitor and secure multiple client networks, in the cloud and on-premises from a central location, but SOCs are difficult to establish and expensive to operate.

A SOC is a 24/7 commitment, and given the shortage of cybersecurity professionals, even a large MSP would be hard pressed to establish these types of services from scratch. However, by partnering with a technology provider like Barracuda, MSPs can tap into a platform that provides automated monitoring across multiple clients and the ability to identify a wide variety of threats. For example, the Barracuda SKOUT Managed XDR solution includes wraparound SOC services without the headache and expense of cobbling together a DIY solution.

Barracuda acquired SKOUT cybersecurity in 2021, which added extended detection and response (XDR) capabilities to its product line, which it offers to MSPs as a managed solution. As a result, MSPs can access around-the-clock monitoring and response without the costs and headaches of setting up various security tools, threat intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and staffing and training security teams to stay ahead of ever-changing cyber landscape.

Barracuda SKOUT Managed XDR allows MSPs to offer wraparound SOC services to their clients. With a SOC, MSPs can help clients proactively detect malicious activity and adjust defenses in response to new threat alerts. The SOC can also identify vulnerabilities before an attack and conduct detailed analysis following a breach.

Leveraging a SOC also allows companies to benefit from software tools to help identify potential BEC attacks. For example, these solutions can automatically check inboxes for BEC keywords, deleted messages, and other tell-tale signs. They can also watch for new mailbox delegates or forwarding rules to external addresses, unusual geolocation data for logins, and other suspicious activities.

A well-run SOC partner will also stay up to date on new threats and utilize analysis tools to continuously improve the performance of the security infrastructure by analyzing daily usage data and information about previous attacks. This makes it easier to sort out suspicious email activity from normal communications.

Leveraging an outsourced SOC provides security benefits without requiring the client to dedicate IT resources to these daily security tasks. In addition, it helps the MSP provide 24/7 monitoring and response without bogging down their team with time-consuming mitigation and investigation tasks.

In the case of the Barracuda SKOUT Managed Email Protection offering, the SOC includes a team of security experts to detect and respond to email threats and a holistic global threat detection network consisting of a threat database and artificial intelligence-based software for analysis and resident security analysts and engineers. It also enables centralized security policy management and provides MSPs with a central dashboard for monitoring activity across the client base.

As the number of BEC and other phishing attacks increases, a managed SOC offering will help MSPs and their clients consistently identify and block these increasingly clever cybercriminals.

Adam Khan is Vice President, Global Security Operations for Barracuda.

New Feature: Automate myITprocess Client Onboarding by Leveraging IT Glue Integrations

The close of a sale is a celebratory occasion. After signing the contract, most companies might open a bottle of champagne or give a round of high-fives to celebrate the glory new revenue brings. It’s a joyful moment.

However, this moment is often short-lived since the onus is then on your team to deliver the best client onboarding process possible. Plus, there are a million tasks your team must accomplish to ensure a successful and happy engagement.

Onboarding a client is no easy task but with our latest IT Glue integration, myITprocess, onboarding will be a breeze.

By leveraging the IT Glue Organization information pulled from their growing list of PSA and RMM integrations, clients are automatically created in myITprocess, making the client onboarding process seamless.

You can also leverage your IT Glue integration to give you even more time savings. 

You can save over 50% of your time by having your IT Glue Core and Flexible Assets information handy while you conduct your technology assessment. By attaching the IT Glue Core and Flexible Assets directly to the specific question under consideration during the assessment, you can see at a glance all the details that may bring to light any out-of-alignment issues. Then, you can quickly and easily turn these out-of-alignment issues into a prioritized technology roadmap for your clients.

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myITprocess Feature Release: Client Overview Report

In an era where we have so many initiatives, prioritizing the key activities that make the biggest impact on your bottom line is extremely important.

The new myITprocess Client Overview Report provides a holistic view of all clients managed over all areas of vCIO technology assessments, including security, compliance, hardware, and software. This enables myITprocess users to prioritize clients or services that will make the biggest impact on their business bottom line and allow them to successfully plan out short-term and long-term goals and plans.

The myITprocess Client Overview Report helps users identify in one single view:

  • Who is your biggest opportunity and priority?
  • What technology is your biggest opportunity and priority?
  • Where is the risk for you as an MSP?
  • Which piece of technology is not managed, or which client has more areas of risk?

The Client Overview Report illustrates this by showing you a list of vCIO technology assessments and how each client scores based on these assessments.

  • Red = Weakness identified in technologies assessed
  • Yellow = Improvements are needed in technologies assessed
  • Green = Technology is aligned, and no further actions are required

The Client Overview Report provides default percentages that correspond to the associated red, yellow, and green colors to help identify your focal points and priorities. MSPs also have the option to customize the percentages to fit their own unique business requirements.

To view the Client Overview Report in myITprocess, click on Reports > Client Overview Report. For more information on this feature, check out our Knowledge Base. For more information on myITprocess, click here. We are confident that this new feature will help our existing users have further success when utilizing the myITprocess software.

Kaseya’s Powered Services Pro Supercharges MSP Sales and Marketing Efforts

Platform enhancements include new product sales certifications and Done-4-U social media services that make it even easier for MSPs to grow profits and expand their customer base 

March 17, 2022—Miami, FLKaseya®, the leading provider of unified IT management and security software for managed service providers (MSPs) and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), today announced significant upgrades to Powered Services Pro. The sales and marketing enablement platform helps MSPs to better overcome sales objections and earn new business through new enhancements like product sales certifications, the Powered Services Supercharge Forum, Done-4-U social media services and the addition of the TruMethods framework to the platform. 

“As the former CEO of an MSP, I understand the challenge of creating effective sales and marketing campaigns while juggling technical troubleshooting and client needs,” said Dan Tomaszewski, SVP of Channel and Community at Kaseya. “These new features give MSPs the tools they need to sell and market more effectively and provide them with a support system to achieve their business goals. We’ve quadrupled the size of our team in the last two years to provide top-tier guidance for MSPs looking to take their business to the next level.” 

While MSPs are experts on the technical aspects of their solutions, they often struggle to communicate their value proposition to end users due to a lack of sales and marketing training and constraints on their time. MSPs can better navigate the sales process with Powered Services Pro’s 14 new sales certifications designed to help close more deals—with more to come over the next few months. Additionally, the platform now offers Semel Systems compliance training from industry expert Mike Semel to help organizations build a profitable compliance-as-a-service business.  

The industry-leading TruMethods framework has also been added to Powered Services Pro to help MSPs with operational efficiency, pricing and packaging, business planning and more. Gary Pica’s time-tested framework has allowed thousands of MSPs to thrive and will continue to be enhanced with new content and resources through the Powered Services Pro platform.

Additionally, Powered Services Pro has enhanced its one-on-one coaching program Goal Assist with new Partner Plans that allow MSPs to set an overarching sales and marketing strategy with guidance from a dedicated Channel Enablement Manager. The platform also now offers Done-4-U social media capabilities that simplify social media management for time-stretched MSPs—ensuring they can focus on other priorities while taking advantage of new leads generated through social channels. To help further support users, Kaseya created the Powered Services Supercharge Forum as a resource for MSPs to share their best practices and challenges with thousands of like-minded business owners around the globe while interacting with coaches on the Powered Services Pro team. 

For more information on Powered Services Pro, visit https://www.kaseya.com/managed-service-providers/powered-services/. 

About Kaseya

Kaseya is the leading provider of unified IT management and security software for managed service providers (MSPs) and small to medium sized businesses (SMBS). Through its open platform and customer-centric approach, Kaseya delivers best in breed technologies that allow organizations to efficiently manage, secure, and backup IT. Kaseya IT Complete is the most comprehensive, integrated IT management platform comprised of industry-leading solutions from Kaseya, Unitrends, RapidFire Tools, Spanning Cloud Apps, IT Glue, ID Agent, Graphus, RocketCyber and TruMethods. The platform empowers businesses to command all of IT centrally; easily manage remote and distributed environments; simplify backup and disaster recovery; safeguard against cybersecurity attacks; effectively manage compliance and network assets; streamline IT documentation, and automate across IT management functions. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Kaseya is privately held with a presence in over 20 countries. To learn more, visit www.kaseya.com.

3 Ways for MSPs to Build Business Acumen

Many MSP owners lack business acumen skills, but that’s not entirely their fault.

MSP owners typically start off as technicians before becoming business owners. The skillset required to succeed for each role is vastly different. Once they come to this realization, they oftentimes look to hone their business acumen skills through a variety of means.

There are three ways for you to begin building your business acumen.

Figure out how your customers make money

Remember: You’re not in the technology business as an MSP. You’re in the business of helping your customers with achieving their business objectives. That’s how you generate monthly recurring revenue (MRR) at the right price (and become a World Class MSP). But how exactly do you help your customers with overcoming their business challenges? You must first understand how they themselves generate revenue. In other words, how do they make money? Who are their customers primarily? Are their customers consumers or other businesses? By finding out how your customers generate revenue, you can better position yourself as not only a trusted IT advisor but also a business consultant to them.

Find a mentor or peer group

If you’re not a business expert, you’re not alone. Like many MSP owners, you probably started as a technician. At some point, you decided to open up your own shop. Eventually you realized the importance of implementing processes and looked for some outside guidance, as many MSP owners do. Turning to a mentor or joining a peer group is one of the easiest ways to help you with overcoming business challenges you’re unfamiliar with. There are MSP owners who’ve already gone through what you’re going through today. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when there are other MSP owners with the answers to your business problems.

Educate yourself on your verticals

Again, technology is your business, not the customer’s. If you specialize in verticals, educate yourself on what’s going on in them. Attend industry conferences, read industry publications, skim industry blogs, speak to industry thought leaders and listen to industry podcasts to learn more about what’s being discussed, day-to-day challenge and top trends. If you don’t know where to begin, reach out to your customers. They know their industries better than you.

While you may feel like you don’t have the time to build business acumen, you do. There’s time in your schedule; you just need to find it. If you need to hire someone, do it. If you can automate manual tasks, hire a vendor to help you. Without a strong business acumen, your business will never reach its full potential.