A Year in Review: The 2019 MSP Industry 

A Year in Review: The 2019 MSP Industry 

Between victories, pain points, changes and trends, 2019 has been quite a year. A lot has gone on in the IT industry and managed service provider channel – especially in matters dealing with cybersecurity and hacking. In this blog, we’ll take a look back at all things 2019, including industry news, channel headlines, Marketopia highlights and take a peek at what 2020 will bring.


2019 Industry News & What’s to Come in 2020


Email Phishing

Email phishing attacks have been a mainstay of cybersecurity threats for decades now, and this metric didn’t change for 2019. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, 32 percent of confirmed data breaches were due to phishing, with a further 78 percent from cyber-espionage attacks. A trend growing in popularity with cybercriminals is the use of deceit to trick their intended victims into giving up personal information, login credentials or even the transfer of currency. These attacks are not just confined to email, either. SMS and direct messages on LinkedIn have grown in popularity due to their effectiveness.


Data Privacy, Sovereignty & Compliance

The European Union has started a revolution in data protection, and their move to return full control of data back to citizens has been noticed around the world. The introduction of their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May of last year has caused countries, states and industries alike to more closely examine their data privacy regulations into 2019. The push is to let internet users know how their information will be shared and give them the option to opt out of sharing at any time. Failure by the visited entity to remain in this compliance would result in severe penalties. This will also help user’s personal data to stay more secure from hackers as it will not be spread about in as many locations. Entities that do receive opt-in data are required to encrypt it as well.


Cyber Security Spend Will Increase

Considering upping your cybersecurity budget? You aren’t alone. According to IDC, global spend on cybersecurity solutions like hardware, software and services is anticipated to top $103 billion in 2019 alone – an estimated increase of 9.4 percent over 2018. This rate of spend growth isn’t expected to stop in the next decade, either. Entities in banking, federal/central governments and discrete manufacturing are expected to be the three largest investors in bolstering their cybersecurity with more than $30 billion combined. Also, this year, process manufacturers, professional service providers and telecommunication companies will each see spending greater than $6 billion this year to protect their data.


Danger in the Cloud

Virtually everything businesses do today is in the cloud – this is why it’s a major target for cyber-attacks. It takes something as simple as intercepting a password, sensitive emails or credit card information, and cybercriminals can gain access to one, many or all the files in cloud storage. Implementing two-factor authentication and VPN security is the best defense against these sorts of attacks moving forward. Both have gained popularity with businesses, especially ones that use or provide infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It helps them mitigate issues from spam email, cybercriminals and other malicious attacks.


Company Highlights

  • Between October 9 – 11, Marketopia hosted our annual 4U2GROW conference at the Opal Sands Resort on Clearwater Beach, FL. Here, several industry leaders, including our CEO Terry Hedden, spoke about all things growth in the IT and MSP industry.
  • This year we again celebrated being named one of INC 5000’s fastest-growing businesses in the country, placing 875th overall.
  • The Tampa Bay Business Journal listed Marketopia as one of its best places to work for 2019, and our leadership team couldn’t be prouder to make this list. We’re honored to be recognized locally as a sought-after place of employment. Listees are selected based on anonymous employee feedback that looks at everything from work-life balance to professional growth opportunities and employee benefits.


How Marketopia Can Help

It has been a year full of exciting changes – but have you made the right ones for your MSP to flourish in the next decade? Resolve to start your 2020 the right way with Marketopia. We have the knowledge and tools to help you succeed in the ever-changing MSP landscape. We have roots in this channel, and our team of experts will help you increase customer demand for your services. Contact us today to get started.


Top 10 Ways to Differentiate Your Products as an MSP

Top 10 Ways to Differentiate Your Products as an MSP

Look across the IT channel. What do you see? A lot of the same, most likely. If you removed the logo from your brand and services, would your MSP look or read any differently from your competitors? These days, there is an increasing amount of parity across products. You can invest so much in enhancements just to have competitors copy it. As a product or industry matures, parity increases exponentially over time. In this blog, we’ll explore 10 ways you can differentiate your MSP product offerings from the rest.


1. Learn to Get Leads

As a managed service provider, each decision you make is geared towards the improvement, growth and success of your business. We want you to learn how to obtain and retain your leads. There is a precise combination of things you must do to be successful. It’s a fine balance of learning to sell your services in a unique way and combining it with competitive pricing. But most importantly, you need to specialize in the services you offer so you can provide the most efficient services.


2. Invest in Marketing Collateral

Spread the word about your services to your leads. Marketing collateral is essentially all the media you will use to bolster and promote the sales of your product. Marketing collateral can be brochures, sell sheets or any kind of informational medium that serves as a sales support tool. It provides leads with a comprehensive outline of what you’re about and what you offer, plus it makes the sales effort easier and more effective.


3. Mind Your Mentor

Leverage the knowledge you need from someone who has dealt with product differentiating issues before. Having a mentor is a great way to give your MSP an edge over your competition. A good mentor will be familiar with the tactics used in your geographic area, as well as the ones in use nationally. This way, you can both bounce ideas off of each other and devise the best way to package what your MSP offers.


4. Sales Training is in Session

Now that you’re well informed about your services and you know how to present them, it’s time to learn how to make a deal. With sales training sessions, you can gather the tools you need to capture the interest of your prospective clients. There are many nuanced tips and tricks you will gain in these trainings. They’ll culminate for you to make your prospects feel well informed and reassured that you’ll continually deliver them value as a trusted business partner.


5. Close Better

You’ve gotten your prospects’ attention; now it’s time to have them sign the dotted line. Closing the deal may seem like it’s the final step in the process, but in reality, there is still work to do. The art of closing a deal is affirming in your client’s mind that you will meet or exceed expectations regarding the deal you both have agreed on. A closed deal should be thought of as an investment that must be tended to regularly.


6. Post-Sales Support

The deal has closed, the funds are flowing in and your team is hard at work to fulfill contractual requirements. But your work isn’t over. You need to remain in contact with your client and ensure that they’re happy with the current progress. See if improvements can be made and diversify your efforts in aspects that aren’t panning out in the most optimized way. This also provides you the opportunity to sell other solutions to better client results.


7. Best Practices

As a savvy MSP, you can provide the best experience to your clients by not only continuing to invest in the product but also in the partnership you have with your clients. Our experience has shown time and time again that even if a competitor offers a greater range of services at a higher price, you can still compete with less if the partnerships you establish are strong and beneficial to their bottom line.


8. Get Templates for Your Documents

Having an established and uniformed assortment of paperwork like proposal templates, service-level agreements (SLAs) and other contracts will expedite all business transactions and give your MSP a sense of established professionalism. You can use templates and modify them to precisely suit your needs over time.


9. Make Doing Business Easier

You may have a very challenging partner program with a lot of certifications and requirements, but over time they get bloated and are overwhelming for smaller resellers. Make it easier for smaller partners to do business with your MSP. Do regular audits of your processes and make sure each step is absolutely necessary and straight-forward.


10. Conferences

Put everything you know, all that you can offer and what you have already done on display for the world to see. Conferences are your all-in-one tool to teach current and potential clients how they can better run their business with your MSP by their side. This is your opportunity to gain a lot of new business. Give presentations that focus on the biggest concerns in the channel and how your solutions are perfectly dialed-in to handle them. Invite industry professionals to speak in support of the points you wish to make and have clients who have had great success from your services speak on your behalf.


How Marketopia Can Help

Whether you need assistance becoming a better partner to your own clients, defining your brand or bringing on new ideas from outside the MSP world to grow your business, Marketopia has the unique skill set to help you stand out from the competition and grow. Contact one of our success coaches today and find out how we can be your partner in success.