Richard and Rick talk about how Zedsphere came about, how the company helps MSPs (managed service providers) and how they differ from the more traditional distributor model.
An Interview with Rick Yates
Rick Yates came from running a cybersecurity company and set up Zedsphere with his co-founder in 2015. Zedsphere are an MSP-focused, (managed service provider), value-added distributor. They have a specific set of criteria for the MSPs they work with, and it’s important for them that their service offerings are flexible – everything is chosen with the clients in mind, so they are selective with the vendors they work with.
How Zedsphere Differ from Traditional Distributors
Rick defines a distributor as: “Someone who represents a vendor, sells to resellers or MSPs but doesn’t sell to end users – a supply and procurement route for sellers of hardware and software.” In this traditional model, the distributor has a supply network of resellers, who ask what products are needed and then require a full, one-year subscription paid upfront at the point of ordering.
What Zedsphere do is to look for easy solutions for their MSP clients which are cloud-based, multi-tiered and with flexible billing options. They look for products of interest to customers, rather than signing up a number of their own choice of vendors.
They have a small team of dedicated product specialists and understand how important it is for MSPs to have quality services available to them and to trust the distributor they’re working with. They provide bespoke services so clients know they can have a range of high-quality products and any problems will be resolved quickly.
How Zedsphere Help MSPS
At the moment, Zedsphere offer six core products, with a plan to expand the range in the coming months. They identified remote monitoring and management PSA (professional services automation) as being important to MSPs (Managed Service Providers), which led them to build a relationship with Ninja RMM (remote monitoring and management).
Ninja was a new company which had had huge success selling their product in the USA, so seemed a perfect fit for Zedsphere. The product is easy to use and integrates services from vendors such as TeamViewer and Webroot seamlessly with the platform.
A key benefit is that each MSP client chooses what they have and can use only their preferred vendors, with a focus on ease of use, simple onboarding and a professional approach to billing. Zedsphere never adds new services to client accounts that they haven’t asked for.
The Kind of MSPs Zedsphere Work with
Typically, Zedsphere’s MSP clients are focused on rapid growth, and want to offer products which can make their businesses efficient. It’s important that they can demonstrate to their clients how these products will add value, and the MSPs want to pay a set monthly amount to Zedsphere and charge the clients a certain fee too.
Rick describes his clients as savvy and who recognise the Zedsphere model as one that works. They’re well engaged, understand how to work with customers and use techniques that his company recommends, and many of them see a growth of 100% or more after signing up for their services.
What’s Next for Zedsphere
While their current focus is on the UK, Rick explains that they are expanding into Europe, particularly Germany and Scandinavia, and then on into Africa. The company hopes to grow wherever their distribution agreements will let them.
In 2018, they’ll be offering MSPs bundled product sets, as they think that platform purchasing is the way forward – to have products on a single platform. They’ll also be moving away from selling single products to individual companies.
Zedsphere will also look at saving MSPs money by giving them more power and allowing them to combine all services into one bundle, and support them in standardising their own offerings. They’ll also be on the ‘vendor acquisition trail’ to provide MSPs with more of the vendors they want to work with.
Mentioned in this Episode
- Tool: Ninja RMM
- Tool: Webroot
- Tool: TeamViewer
- Tool: Untangle
- Book: Richard Templar – The Rules of People
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