Blog | May 28, 2013

Grow Your Cloud Services Practice The Smart Way


By Jay McCall, originally seen on Ingram CloudTalk

Datasmith Networks has been in the IT network infrastructure sales and services business for more than two decades, spanning two generations. The MSP specializes in working with companies in healthcare and retail verticals and was highlighted at last month’s Ingram Micro Cloud Summit for its work with, a fast-growing specialty e-tailer that operates six websites – each receiving about 30,000 unique visitors a day – and sales that can soar as high as 5,600 items a week.

I had an opportunity to talk with Paul Smith, a partner at Datasmith Networks. One of the things that took me by surprise during our interview was the fact that this MSP has only eight employees! How can a company with so few employees take on customers like What’s even more interesting is that a big part of Datasmith Networks’ growth strategy involves keeping its business lean and partnering with companies like NetEnrich for NOC and RIM (remote infrastructure management) support.

When I asked Smith about this business strategy, he had this to share:

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the false notion that the only way to properly take care of your customers is to do everything yourself. When you operate under that belief, you create a lot of unnecessary pressure. You end up settling for subpar profit margins and may compromise your customer service by having to address multiple IT emergencies at the same time.

Consider, for example, what it would cost to hire a Web expert, a virtualization expert, and a database expert — easily $300,000, right?  And, let’s say you actually do succeed in finding that talent; you’d be lucky to achieve a 70% utilization rate on their time.

I wonder how many VARs and MSPs could learn a valuable lesson from Datasmith Networks and stop believing that to be successful they have to troubleshoot every customer IT problem themselves? Not only can teaming up with a good business partner remove a lot of your stress, it can also allow you to start going after and landing larger deals that you’d otherwise have to walk away from.

Check out Smith’s article here for more details about why partnering is the smart way to grow your cloud services practice.