Sensational Takeaways from The MSP Show 2024 - Tubblog: The Hub for MSPs

Sensational Takeaways from The MSP Show 2024

Sensational Takeaways from The MSP Show 2024 image

The MSP Show 2024 brought together an impressive number of vendors and speakers to the London ExCel in May 2024… and excel it did!

The expo-sized event, aimed at managed service providers (MSPs), featured a large number of software vendors, and an impressive list of speakers across the two days.

And with such a crowded events calendar, it can difficult to choose which ones you should give up your time for.

Team Tubb went along for the inaugural event to report on what was a very busy and engaging couple of days.

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The MSP Show 2024

The MSP Show was an idea that began as an extension of the Service Desk and IT Support Show, also known as SITS. Show organisers David Maguire and Alexandra Harris saw an opportunity to expand into the growing MSP sector by putting together the MSP Show as a co-event.

We know from experience that when it comes to events for MSPs, very few of the larger expos get the balance right.

On the one hand, you want to give the crowds opportunities to meet existing and potentially new vendor partners, but you also want to give them something of value in terms of advice they can take home and implement.

However, it can be difficult to use these large halls effectively to deliver keynotes and speaker panels because of the ambient noise of hundreds of visitors having their conversations elsewhere in the hall. Though, due to a great sound team, this was not an issue.

As well as that, there were plenty of break out areas to regroup in, and some surprises too, including a massive singing robot!

What was nice about it being a co-branded event was that they put both events on in the same space, so it was easy to move across to meet vendors in the enterprise space (some of whom also serve the MSP industry too!)

Sensational Takeaways from The MSP Show 2024

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MSP Show Highlight 2: MSP Show Event Speaker Highlights

Normally at Expo events, the conference agenda can be full of vendor pitches, and very little thought leadership.

This was not the case at the MSP Show. There were a great deal of impressive topics covering everything from selling cybersecurity to service improvement. Adopting AI in your service desk and using management accounts to demonstrate value in your MSP business.

Here are some of our highlights from a few of the speakers and talks that we saw:

Growth: It’s More Than Sales – Retaining Clients Through Amazing Service

Michelle Coombs, Director of The Tech Leader Network gave a powerful presentation on how delivering great service helps you to better retain clients.

She proposed that it’s possible to maximise your revenue potential for you MSP if you focus on exceptional service delivery, regardless of where you are in your maturity journey.

Customers or clients generally leave if they’re feeling undervalued, and they may not always be vocal about why they’re unhappy.

They might also feel unhappy or undervalued if:

  • Their expectations aren’t met according to your contractual promises
  • Inconsistent ticket descriptions which result in a varied service outcome
  • Sudden growth for either the client or the MSP leading to operational inefficiencies or resource gaps

The Service Advantage

By prioritising operational efficiency and effectiveness, MSPs can significantly improve customer retention, profitability, and growth.

  • Operational Efficiency: Optimizing resources to deliver cost-effective services and reduce rework
  • Operational Effectiveness: Aligning strategic objectives with exceeding customer expectations to build reputation and loyalty
  • Operational Excellence: Delivering consistent improvement to exceed expectations across all service areas while minimizing costs
  • Operational Maturity: Using your experience to adapt to changes in the landscape, as well as challenges to scalability and growth

The Art of Communication

You can avoid many service delivery pitfalls by taking the time to understand the customer’s needs and setting expectations early.

This means going beyond technical requirements and understanding their business goals and operational rhythms.

Helping them understand the service level agreements and escalation procedures at the onboarding stage. And also, being able to take control and reset expectations if processes are regularly bypassed or if service levels drop.

Understand your audience and tailor your communication to suit who is in the room. A finance director is going to want different assurances to a project manager, so ensure your words resonate with those you hold meetings with.

Start With These ‘Quick Wins’

Michelle finished her presentation with some excellent ‘quick win’ advice!

Under-promise and over-deliver to build in a buffer to handle any unexpected occurrences in your service delivery. This builds trust, and customers are often happier when things are completed sooner than expected, rather than later.

Seek feedback, and act upon it. Whether that’s from a complete service ticket, or from your regular service meetings.

Sensational Takeaways from The MSP Show 2024

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MSP Show Highlight 2: Helpdesk Horizons: The Four Pillars to AI Implementation

From Uptime, CEO Bradley Munday and Director Jason Kemsley, established their take on how AI automation can help raise your helpdesk game!

Uptime has over 15 years’ experience in delivering service desk solutions. They deliver up to 20,000 service tickets a month, through a mix of human engineers, automations and AI.

They gave a talk full of real-world examples, but we’ve summarised some of the key points from each of the four pillars below:

Pillar 1: Leverage Automation Within Existing Tools

By using automated workflows within your professional services automation (PSA) tool, you can cut down the time engineers spend on repetitive tickets.

It’s important to provide clear communication to keep customers notified of progress and escalations using canned responses.

If you can, configure your ticketing system to pre-approve authorisation for chargeable work. This will prevent lost revenue and wasted time.

Pillar 2: Prevent Lost Time Between Tickets

Implement a system to ‘nudge email’ customers who have not responded to their tickets within the acceptable timeframe. This will reduce the lag for open tickets.

Create a library of professional, yet human-sounding email templates that your team can use to respond to customer enquiries.

Consider filtering out those tickets that require an action from the customer to give your technicians a clearer view of their active workload.

Pillar 3: Track Escalations to Improve Employee Skills and Retention

Employ hidden user-defined fields to track which technicians are escalating tickets. This will allow you to identify areas for training without discouraging them from seeking additional help when resolving tickets.

By providing targeted training to your technicians, you’ll improve your team knowledge base and bolster confidence within your team.

Pillar 4: Identify, Build and Measure AI Solutions

Remember, before you deploy any AI solution, it’s crucial to clearly define your business goals and objectives. And make sure the solution aligns with them.

High quality data is essential for a success AI implementation. AI is only as good as the data it’s built on: “Garbage in, is garbage out”.

Start small, focusing on those common repetitive that occupy a lot of your technicians’ time and free them up to work on more complex issues.

Key Takeaways About Automation for Your Helpdesk

  • Build a solid foundation of automation and data hygiene before implementing AI
  • Start by automating the simple repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time
  • Tailor AI solutions to fit your business goals
  • Remember that high quality data is essential for effective AI automation
Both a solid foundation of automation, business goal alignment and high quality data is needed for an effective AI implementation in your Helpdesk. Click to Tweet

Sensational Takeaways from The MSP Show 2024

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MSP Show Highlight 3: MSP Valuation and the Importance of Management Accounts

Have you ever considered the true value of your MSP business? That’s the question The MSP Finance Team’s Daniel Welling and Adam Morris posed during their keynote presentation.

The key to putting an accurate figure on that valuation is held, for the most part, in your management accounts. With an up-to-date monthly profit and loss, and balance sheet, you gain actionable insights as an MSP. And these are essential for strategic planning.

Adam and Daniel went through an assortment of different valuation methods, which included tangible figures such as turnover and labour costs, as well as value derived from staying in the business after the sale.

They also explained the difference between adjusted and normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), which can affect the overall valuation we put on our business.

Of course, this valuation is what we would expect if another business was looking to acquire it, so getting this right is very important for an MSP looking to sell up.

Other Factors When Valuing Your MSP

The length, strength and health of any contracts you have with your clients is also an important factor to consider.

The ‘Switzerland Structure’ is where you business is reliant on a particular vendor or client. If that entity was to move on or go bankrupt, it would be a massive risk to your business. Therefore it could affect your valuation.

The bottom line, when it comes to valuations, is that a business is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. However, having a calculated idea of your businesses worth is prudent before any negotiations take place.

Sensational Takeaways from The MSP Show 2024Divider

Some of the Other Highlights on Offer at the MSP Show

There was so much to see and experience over the two days, it was impossible to enjoy it all.

At the end of the first day, vendors Huntress, Halo PSA and Ninja One held an afterparty for MSPs at the Formula 1 Arcade Bar in Central London. It was a great chance for attendees to relax, chat and of course, race!

SuperOps had one of the biggest stands at the event, and were offering free ice cream to attendees over both days.

Plus, as one of the speakers had an emergency on the day and couldn’t make the event. Some of the other speakers pulled together a quick panel session to fill the space in the conference agenda. This included Jason Kemsley and Bradley Munday of Uptime, plus Greg Jones from Kaseya/Datto.

Representatives from CompTIA, The Tech Tribe and Network Group were also in attendance.

There really was a lot on offer for MSPs and IT service managers. And with plenty of space, it didn’t at all feel overwhelming.

There was even a visit from Titan the Robot, who gave us a rendition of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now!

Sensational Takeaways from The MSP Show 2024

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Team Tubb’s MSP Show 2024 Event Recap Reel and Guest Videos

We spoke to a lot of people at the MSP Show! Here’s our compiled interviews and event recap from the day!

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The MSP Show Plans to Return in 2025

The date has already been set for next year’s MSP Show. It will take place on 14-15 May 2025!

Do you plan to be there? Did you attend this year’s event? If you did, what did you enjoy most about it?

We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
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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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