A Blueprint for Success: Sensational Insights Revealed at SuperSummit 2024 - Tubblog: The Hub for MSPs

A Blueprint for Success: Sensational Insights Revealed at SuperSummit 2024

A Blueprint for Success: Sensational Insights Revealed at SuperSummit 2024 image

In defining what a blueprint for success looks like for managed service providers (MSPs), we can all agree that rarely are two MSPs the same. At the SuperOps SuperSummit 2024, we saw a wealth of experience in the room, and on the stage.

As part of the event’s line-up, both Richard Tubb and Stephen McCormick held panel sessions that showcased MSPs from both poles of the growth spectrum.

There were also some great speakers, tackling such topics as: the customer experience, creating an aligned technical team and ‘relationomics’.

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SuperSummit 2024: Blueprint for Success and Supergrowth

The event took place at The View, Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London on Friday 19th April, and opened with a rousing keynote from SuperOps CEO Arvind Parthiban.

The main message he gave was that we need to evolve as managed service providers and embrace AI before we get left behind. We can’t just ignore it. Soon it will become ‘table stakes’, just like ‘the cloud’ before it, and the internet before that.

 

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The Super MSPs of Europe – Sharing Their Blueprint

SuperSummit 2024 featured a number of interesting MSP panels, one of which was moderated by Richard Tubb. Here, he spoke to some of the most successful MSPs in Europe. About their journey to success, and how they keep their businesses running healthy and smart.

The MSPs were:

What Prompted You to Start Your Businesses?

Mark talked about what drove him to make the move from a managed service provider to a managed security service provider (MSSP). He said it was a logical leap for him. An evolution, really.

Luckily, he said, Microsoft, at the time, was heavily investing in more security-driven software. So he aimed at what he called, ‘a soft 24/7 approach’ to managed security.

Managed services are evolving all the time, and what it will look like in 6 months or three years will be different to what it is today.

Managed services in the Italian IT community was a very new concept when T Consulting started purchasing remote monitoring and management licences (RMM), Vera recalled.

It was seen as a maverick approach at the time in 2007, but trusting in that vision led to being better able to help her clients.

Scott shared his journey from his previous business: it was backed by a private equity firm when it was sold on, and it grew very quickly.

The backing firm were only interested in numbers, so although there was fast growth, no care was given to the customers. Customers were tied into long-term contracts, and when sales were slow, they cut costs by getting rid of people and assets.

Scott was adamant that when he started his own business, priorities would be different. “It’s our people first, then it’s the customers”, as he put it. The money would follow from treating customers well, which in turn would come from treating his employees well.

How Do You Keep Healthy and Happy in Running a Business at Such a High Level?

The IT industry suffers from up to five times the stress of other businesses. Vera often says to her team, “We don’t save lives …but we do save businesses”. Together they save their clients money, jobs and reputation.

She says, sometimes the stress of work can be relentless, and some days you don’t get a break from it. So you need to cherish those moments when you can centre yourself. Whether that’s going for a run with a podcast on, having a nice meal, or talking to her husband, who is also her business partner.

Vera said, it’s a privilege to be able to vent with someone who understands, but then it can be very difficult to distance yourself from work sometimes too.

Scott also shared his experience of financial anxiety when running his business.

He recalled a time in his second year, when it looked like poor cash flow had resulted in him not being able to pay salaries one month. He’s since learned that he needs to ask for payment in advance, especially when it comes to big projects that can months to complete.

Another way he fights off depression is ensuring that he does CrossFit every lunchtime, and he takes an hour each morning before his wife and kids wake up to enjoy a moment when he can be himself – not a dad, husband or boss.

We don't save lives, but we do save business - Vera Tucci, T Consulting Click to Tweet

The Importance of Communities

Joe Burns talked about the value you get from communities as a whole, particularly as he runs a local gathering of the Tech Tribe in the East Midlands.

He says they’re a great place for MSPs to get together and have conversations about the sort of challenges they’re having. Other members can then offer their advice, because sometimes we can’t always see the big picture and it’s nice to have other perspectives to draw on as well.

While the Tech Tribe online community is great for sharing ideas, there’s nothing better than having these conversations face-to-face, in the room.

Joe said, at last year’s SuperSummit, where someone came up to him and said, “I come to these things for therapy!”

They were referring to the fact that it can be a lonely and stressful business being an MSP sometimes. And having the opportunity to mix with other people going through similar experiences can take the weight of our shoulders a little bit.

Co-Managed IT: How Do You Strike The Right Balance?

“To start with, you have to get a clear understanding of what the internal IT team needs the most,” explains Vera.

Usually they don’t have a massive budget, but have lots to get done. So the first thing to do is set up a budget for short term and long term goals. What skills are they missing in-house, and how can we help the business grow and become more resilient?

Vera said they begin mapping the competencies, skills and systems needed to achieve their goal. Then draw out clear lines of responsibility. Where things are shared, it’s important that every little change is logged carefully, to ensure things aren’t messy.

A Blueprint for Success Sensational Insights Revealed at SuperSummit 2024

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Starting Right – A Strategic Blueprint to Set Your MSP for Success Early On

Stephen McCormick also moderated a panel at SuperSummit 2024, this time for nimble MSPs, each sharing their growth journey so far.

The Nimble MSPs were:

Meeting Client Expectations

With so much to do in running an MSP, how do you manage your client’s expectations about the service you provide?

Alex said, as there’s so much to manage all at once, it’s good to break it all down into processes, and then either delegate them or outsource them out.

“Accounts is something I couldn’t get quite right at the start, so now I hire a bookkeeper and an accountant”, says Alex, “but you’ve got to learn the pain before you set things right sometimes.”

Gareth explains that he used to try and do it all himself, but is slowly learning you need to focus on the core things that you’re good at. Currently, he’s outsourcing the finance part of his business, but he’s also looking to outsource some of his marketing too.

“I think it’s important to have the idea of where you’re going and then get the team in to support you,” says Gareth.

Challenges in Customer Retention

Tony said he’d never lost a customer until recently. He had one customer who decided to hire internally, because they thought they’d be cheaper.

However, Tony knows the value he provides, in being available when his customers need him, and keeping ahead of the curve when it comes to new industry trends. However not every customer will appreciate that value, and try to cut corners to save money.

Alex knows he needs to up his game when it comes to marketing on LinkedIn, but also sees opportunities to impress his customers with an occasional visit with a box of doughnuts. If that results in a new contract signed, it’s £20 well spent!

Gareth recalled a time when he had to let a customer go. They were the sort of customer that kept him up at night, worrying about their servers, and how they were going to access them remotely. He would give them advice, which they would choose not to listen to, and then blame him for their problems.

So he set about start the process to give them notice of termination, including all the preparatory documentation they might need for hiring a new IT supplier. “The important thing is not to burn your bridges”, explained Gareth.

The Value in the Relationships You Build

Tony maintains that relationships of all kinds are incredibly important when you’re running a business by yourself. Whether that’s with the vendors you’re working with, or your clients, and even the peers in your network play a part.

Often customers will select their partners based on price. “For us, it more about the value we can get from our suppliers, not price,” explains Tony.

Being able to ask a simple question amongst other MSPs that you’ve met before, on LinkedIn, or in a community or accountability group that you’re part of, is essential. These are valuable relationships that offer a lot of value.

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SuperSummit 2024: Super Speaker Line-Up

Along with our panels, there was a great line-up of speakers, presenting on some insightful topics of thought leadership.

  • Juan Fernandez, SuperOps Channel Chief, talked about the value in optimizing profitability in your business
  • Ian Luckett, Co-Owner of The MSP Growth Hub, put together a presentation on how to put together a connected and aligned technical team
  • Mark Copeman, Director of Wingman Marketing, showed us ways you can raise your game when it comes to the customer experience
  • Andy Edwards, Behavioural Leadership Expert, explained all about different personality types and how they can change on our off-days

There was also a panel discussing how to build an AI-powered MSP: how the technology can improve operational efficiency and help MSPs stay ahead of the technological curve.

The general consensus was that AI is the next big boom. Many of the panel invest in it already, or looking to put it to use in the near future.

Also, there was another reason it was a momentous occasion. SuperOps unveiled their new magazine, MSP Bugle, containing feature columns from both Richard Tubb and Pascal Fintoni.

A Blueprint for Success Sensational Insights Revealed at SuperSummit 2024

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SuperSummit 2024 Conclusion

SuperSummit 2024 once again delivered some great discussions and takeaways for MSPs.

For a ‘no pitch’ event, it was true to its word, and there was nothing but insightful conversations happening during the day, both on stage and in the networking spaces.

Did you attend this year’s SuperSummit? If so, what did you take away from the event? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

A Blueprint for Success Sensational Insights Revealed at SuperSummit 2024

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STEPHEN MCCORMICK

I'm the MSP Community Manager for Tubblog. A small business owner, technical writer and blogger, with 15 years experience in corporate IT. I frequently attend MSP peer groups and create content relevant to IT service providers and business owners.

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