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A Love Letter to the Channel

February 13, 2018

8 months ago, I had never heard the terms MSP, MRR, or even Managed Service Provider… and now I can’t image my life outside of this space. This is my story and love letter to the MSP space and the people who make up the community, and the channel we are committed to serve.

For the first 13 years of my professional life, I sold to enterprise customers; mostly large law firms. Even ID Agent, for our first 2 years, was focused on enterprise companies – successfully selling to some of the largest law firms, sports leagues, financial institutions, state and federal agencies.

My introduction into the MSP space feels like it happened overnight. We started getting some inquiries about selling to small and medium-sized companies, known as “SMBs” but didn’t have a fully fleshed out plan for entering that marketplace. Jim Kehres, you took a chance on us early on! After seeing enough inbound interest, I started doing research about MSP events and inquired with MSPMentor. Our Dark Web monitoring service caught the attention of Aldrin Brown, and he wrote an article about us. Within 48 hours we began receiving rapid-fire inbound inquiries.

One of those first inquiries was Dave Watts, who played an integral part educating me about how MSPs think about their business. He also introduced me to some heavy-hitters like Eric Rockwell and the rest of their group at TruMethods.

Soon after, we were contacted by Robin Yost of Robin Robins group, to see if we were interested in attending their Boot Camp. I had never heard of Robin Robins and had no idea what to expect. I planned to go for 1 day but ended up staying for the full conference – what an experience!

I was totally blown away by how welcomed I felt by this community of business owners. At breakfast the first day, I joined Scott Beck and Kevin Gray and Scott immediately gave me advice on selling to Canadian MSPs. “Do you have a break for Canadian MSPs?” he asked. “If you want traction in that community, it will go a long way!” I’m paraphrasing here, but our Canadian partners can thank Scott for that tip!

We were also greeted warmly by other vendors. Jay Ryerse of CARVIR, whose advice and friendship on the road has been invaluable, he has provided so much insight both as a vendor and a former MSP. Mark Winter of Rapid Fire Tools, and Rob Rae of Datto, two of the bigger companies in this industry, have both graciously taken the time to answer any questions we’ve thrown at them, with nothing in return.

Our MSP Partners have been amazing to work with, and I can now call many of them friends. I’ve never been in a position where I can participate in the success of Partners like this. Meeting all of you in person and hearing your success directly, is a big part of what I love about the MSP community.

Ryan Markel, we had many conversations about how to make ID Agent a better partner to our MSPs early on and your passion for this industry and coaching other business owners is amazing! Dan Tomaszewski and Josh Wilmoth, early on we shared a couple of beers discussing strategies for monetizing ID Agent, and just a few months later learned that Dan turned 3 golfing events into around $12k in MRR. I always enjoy seeing you guys on the road.

Charles Henson, we watched you win a Tesla at Boot Camp and I’ve since discovered you’re one of the most unselfish people around, giving so much of your time helping other MSPs succeed. Bob Knoerzer, one day we were spit-balling ideas at the airport and 2 days later you emailed us that you signed the first 12 clients you pitched on Dark Web ID.

Leia Shilobod and Peter Verlezza, you’ll take time out of your busy days to participate in webinars and brainstorming ideas with us. Steve Gaharan, the first partner to sell two clients within 1 hour via text message before you’d officially signed on with us. Paul Tomlinson, our first overseas partner, the fact that you even mention us or our services at your speaking events has been of tremendous help!

Tom Denney, your quote from a previous event sticks with me all the time, “we’re getting more 1st time meetings from your Live Data Search than anything else.” Joy Beland, your name couldn’t match more perfectly with your personality.

Jason Marilla, one of our earliest Canadian Partners, we thank you for your generous sharing of insight. Terry Rossi, your podcast “IT Provider Network” has been a great resource and we hope we can help many more MSPs to discover this gem.

There are so many more and I can’t begin to name them all but suffice to say, it’s a great feeling to love my job, love the Partners we serve, and the vendors with whom we work side-by-side.

From all of us at ID Agent, we can’t wait to see what 2018 holds!