Cool thing to tell you about called the Frankly MSP Brain Trust.

We’ve pulled together 4 of the best business and MSP experts we know and asked them to each offer 2 hours of free consulting in their area of expertise—and we’re giving that away (8 hours of consulting total) to one MSP somewhere in world this month.

And wait until you here who the four experts are. We’ve got Nigel Moore, founder and leader of the Tech Tribe. He’s an MSP consultant and trainer. He’s been on the podcast before, on episode 008, talking about SOPs. Nigel will be consulting on operations, service delivery, back office admin & finance, process and SOPs.

Next is cybersecurity expert Nick Espinosa. Nicks has also been on this podcast before. He was my guest on episode 023 talking about how to build out a cybersecurity practice in your MSP. He’s consulting on anything to do with cybersecurity.

Third on the Brain Trust is Rob Rae, VP of Business Development at Datto. He’s consulting on sales and marketing: building a sales team, sales compensation, branding, packaging, pricing, and so on.

And last but not least, we’ve got Marc Morin, who’s Auvik’s CEO and a co-founder if the company. Auvik is Marc’s third big company. He’ll be consulting on executive leadership, high-level strategy, performance management, and related topics.

Frankly MSP Brain trust sweepstakes

So 4 folks with incredible experience and insights that they’re willing to put to work for you if you win the Frankly MSP Brain Trust sweepstakes. All you need to do is head over to the Frankly MSP Brain Trust page and enter your name.

And by the way, there’s only one sweepstakes winner who gets the 8 hours of consulting but we wanted to share some of the Brain Trust awesomeness with everyone so when you enter your name, you’ll automatically unlock a special private podcast episode featuring short interviews with Nigel, Nick, Rob, and Marc about the questions they get asked the most.

Listen here


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“Everything’s moving to the cloud.” You hear that a lot in this business. For the most part, that means moving your clients or supporting them in the public cloud. But there’s also private cloud to consider. Is this something your MSP could profitably offer?

Today on the podcast, I’m talking to John Watkins, VP and COO at InRsite IT Solutions in Florida. InRsite has about 90% of their clients on a private cloud offering. But as we discuss, private cloud is not for the faint of heart. John walks us through the many challenges and pitfalls of offering private cloud but also some of the big benefits.

1 Thing (#MSP1T)

That’s coming up. But first, our new 1 Thing segment, where we hear from an MSP about 1 thing that’s made a difference in their business. Today, we’ve got Corey Kirkendoll of 5K Technical Services. Here’s what he had to say.

[04:42] Corey’s father was a drill sergeant. Everything was about methodical approaches.

[04:56] The 1 Thing for Corey is proper documentation and checklist.

[05:15] Once his MSP started implementing documentation and following proper checklists, it ensured they were offering their customers a consistent, repeatable process.

What’s your 1 Thing? What idea, strategy, tool, book, process, thing made a real difference to your MSP career or business. Put another way, let’s say a new MSP walked up to you at conference and said, “I’m just getting started in this space. What advice can you give me? What’s worked for you?” and you can only tell them 1 thing. What would that 1 thing be?

Tell us in a voice memo and email the recording to [email protected] Not only could you be podcast-famous by being featured on the show, I’ll also send you a Frankly MSP t-shirt. They’re pretty cool and I want to give them away!

Interview with John Watkins – Could Your MSP Profitably Deliver a Private Cloud Service?

John Watkins, inRsite IT Solutions podcast interview

John Watkins, inRsite IT Solutions

[06:53] InRsite is based in Tampa, Florida. They offer standard managed services including remote monitoring and management and security services. They also offer hosted VoIP solutions and public and private cloud solutions.

[07:22] They’ve been offering private cloud for about 4 years. It started with a client who had an in-house legacy server that needed to be replaced.

[08:07] The private cloud offers better uptime. It’s also really appealing to clients with privacy and security requirements, like medical practices, to know exactly where their data sits.

[09:04] They started out pricing on usage, but now they charge a flat fee based on the number of users.

[09:40] They have two co-location facilities in the Tampa area, and then replicate backups to Atlanta and Dallas.

[10:17] They experienced a lot of challenges when they first set up their private cloud service. They had to make sure they’re hiring people with the right skill set and experience to support the enterprise side of the hardware. The environment is much more complex than a typical MSP offering.

[11:24] It can be a lot more complicated than you’d expect. If you’re going to set up a private cloud, expect to initially hit roadblock after roadblock. If they were starting all over again today, they’d probably go public cloud.

[12:04] It takes a lot more time to manage and maintain their private cloud.

[13:16] The private cloud costs more but they have much better uptime, quicker service time, and they can use the private cloud for other things like cost-effective data transfers and backups.

[14:24] About 90% of their current client base is on private cloud.

[15:42] Having private cloud is a draw for clients especially when it comes to data protection.

[16:25] It’s difficult to find good engineers who can support private cloud. You need security people, VMware / Citrix / HyperV experience, Cisco experience, and more. It took them 2 years to hire their most recent engineer.

[17:34] They currently have a team of nine engineers supporting 198 different locations.

[18:17] The tight labor pool has meant John and his partner haven’t been able to step away from the technical issues as much as they would like so that has limited their growth. But they always make sure they have the capacity to add clients when they get referrals and new business.

[18:41] Parting thoughts: Don’t underestimate the work required to deliver private cloud. But if you have the talent and the budget, you can definitely make a good profit with it.

What are your thoughts on private cloud as an MSP service offering. Head over to the Frankly MSP Community to continue the conversation.

Links from this episode