In this episode, Richard talks to Bradley Munday and Jason Kemsley, Managing Director and Technical Director for Uptime Solutions, a Network Operations Centre (NOC), Security Operations Centre (SOC) and helpdesk provider based in the UK and New Zealand.
They talk about how Uptime Solutions moved from being an MSP and into focusing on their three core offerings, who their typical clients are and how the company works.
They also discuss objection handling, Uptime’s commitment to security and how their services can be customisable. They look at how their white-label services compare to a full-time technician and their pod system for helpdesk support.
An Interview with Bradley Munday and Jason Kemsley
Who are Bradley Munday and Jason Kemsley?
Bradley Munday and Jason Kemsley both have tech backgrounds, and started Uptime Solutions as an MSP (managed service provider) in 2009. Brad is now the Managing Director of the company and Jason is the Technical Director.
Jason believes that it’s important to develop good partner relationships that will last long-term, and delivering value is the way to do that, for both existing and potential customers. From experience in a previous organisation, Brad was keen to ensure service delivery levels in Uptime remained consistent.
What Uptime Solutions Do
In 2012, Uptime Solutions moved away from being an MSP to focusing on NOC, SOC and helpdesk with the customer at the heart of everything they do.
Brad describes their role as managing the back office, non-customer-facing tasks with their NOC offering, ensuring that networks and infrastructure are working properly and securely and dealing with issues 24 hours a day. And the helpdesk is white-labelled for each MSP.
The Kinds of MSPs who Choose Uptime to outsource to
Uptime tends to attract MSPs who are focused on account management, allowing them to concentrate on day to day business so they’re not over-stretching themselves.
The COVID pandemic has allowed Uptime to be flexible and agile, and their MSP partners are the same. MSPs who focus on adding value are the ones who’ve flourished in recent months, and are more likely to work with Uptime.
(See my article on How to Choose an MSP NOC Provider to see if a service like Uptime Solutions is right for your business).
How Uptime Operates
The Uptime team has been predominantly UK-based for many years, along with most of its customers. Most of their staff are based in their headquarters in West Sussex, although they have engineers around the country, and this has been part of their USP.
They also have a team covering 7pm to 7am which is based in New Zealand. As the industry has such a low unemployment level, it was difficult to find techs willing to work overnight, so putting together a team of great techs on the other side of the world was the obvious answer.
Uptime’s Helpdesk Offering
The work at the Uptime helpdesk is split into pods, or a team of engineers, with up to six techs per pod. Each new employee is aligned to the pod which best suits the technology stack they’re most familiar with, and which their customers also use.
The end-user is guaranteed a relationship with the same pod engineer, and their contract is flexible, allowing them to add more support as their MSP grows. They also have a ‘ticket block’ or ‘instance bundle’, which gives them extra help during times of increased ticketing, such as at the start of lockdown.
How MSPs Can Overcome Client Objections
Uptime offers all new customers a 30-day contract, so they can test out their services with their customers. Many end clients are concerned that by outsourcing helpdesks, they lose the personal element of having their MSP on hand.
Uptime gets round this by working alongside the MSP for the duration of the trial, at the end of which the client will see how good the techs are. At the end of the day, the user’s priority is to get their problem solved quickly, and who does that is less important than they think.
How Uptime’s Offerings Compare to Employing a Technician
For MSPs thinking about recruiting a technician to help them with customer issues, Uptime’s solution can save them money. Having worked in the industry for a decade, they fully understand the market and have developed processes to meet its needs.
While their 30-day contracts aren’t as competitive as a 12-month option, Uptime is focused on being agile and flexible, and helping their MSP partners to add value to their services. They know what does and doesn’t work, and don’t think the price should be the only consideration.
Uptime’s Commitment to Security
As they offer SOC, Uptime takes security very seriously. They hold the appropriate ISO standards, and these are baked into all of their internal processes, so they can demonstrate their own internal commitment to security as well as that of their clients.
They review everything they have in place and what they offer to MSPs and act on feedback regularly. They also carefully choose their new security solutions, so if the end-user doesn’t find it practical, they don’t implement it. They provide the MSP with what their clients want in terms of security.
Mentioned in this episode
Richard, Brad and Jason mentioned the following during their conversation:
- Helpdesk Habits: Become a helpdesk superhero and make yourself indispensable.
- MSP Secrets Revealed: 101 gems of inspiration, stories & practical advice for managed service provider owners
- The Tech Tribe
Connect with Brad and Jason
- Uptime Solutions
- Connect with Jason Kemsley on LinkedIn
- Connect with Bradley Munday on LinkedIn
- Email [email protected]
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