The Secret To Identifying Your Next Best Managed Security Customer
By Jay McCall, Business Solutions Magazine
A year of persistence and patience leads to a major networking install with a recruiting firm.
Dyrand Systems is a 15-employee VAR-turned-MSP (managed services provider) that made the difficult decision a few years ago that it was not going to sell or service any company that wasn’t on a managed services contract. “When you try to be a break-fix VAR and an MSP, you end up harming your business relationships with your customers that were willing to sign a three-year contract with monthly recurring revenue in the hopes of making one-time sales from customers that view you as a necessary evil,” says Ed Anderson, managing director at Dyrand Systems.
Vowing to never again put itself or its customers in this predicament, Anderson and COO Nicholas Drayer decided they were going to a 100% managed services sales model. No exceptions. Not long after putting this requirement in place, the MSP was contacted by JRoss Retail Recruiters, a Canadian-based staffing firm with 20 locations. A critical component of JRoss Retail Recruiters’ business is its data, which includes client job descriptions, candidate resumes, and other important career information that the recruiter can’t afford getting into the wrong hands. “Previously, they were working with a small MSP that did not offer 24/7 support and left them hanging a few times,” says Anderson. The company found Dyrand via a web search and wanted to evaluate its MSP along with those of a couple of other of its competitors.
Persistence, Precision Give MSP An Edge
Dyrand met with the prospect on three occasions and learned that the recruiter was taking a hard stance on sticking with its legacy IT equipment until it solved its CRM (customer relationship management) challenge. “At least one of the other MSPs took themselves out of the process because they weren’t comfortable with the client’s terms,” recalls Anderson. Dyrand decided to continue with the recruiter and was eventually selected as the company’s new “outsourced IT department.” According to Anderson, there were two reasons his company agreed to make an exception with the client: 1.) The client was willing to sign a managed services agreement, and 2.) The MSP saw that the client valued IT, but just had the unwavering belief that it needed to address its CRM issues first. “This is an important distinction as to why we stayed with this client and walked away from others that wanted us to make exceptions to our business practices,” says Anderson. “Unlike a customer that just wants to call you when something breaks, these guys valued having us proactively manage their IT resources.”
Dyrand’s first responsibility was to be a sounding board for the customer during its CRM search. Even though the MSP wasn’t a CRM expert, it was able to interact with potential CRM vendor candidates and find out how well their applications integrated with other key applications the recruiter required, such as hosted Microsoft Exchange.
After 11 months, the customer was finally ready to commit. “We helped them move their CRM data from their legacy system to Bullhorn CRM,” says Anderson. “We also replaced their legacy servers with new ones, which are located in RackForce’s data center. All the customer’s applications run on the data center servers, including their CRM and Microsoft applications.” One of the recruiter’s concerns was not wanting its employees to be able to download data from its database. By keeping the applications in the data center, Dyrand is able to provide additional data security, protecting the client both from any unscrupulous employees as well as the security worries that accompany mobile devices which are lost or stolen. The MSP adds the final touch to the solution by providing a proprietary backup solution, located in the RackForce data center, which is also replicated to a second data center. “We even helped address their spam issues, which they faced previously, by linking their Exchange server to Roaring Penguin’s hosted antispam solution,” says Anderson. “Because it’s hosted by Roaring Penguin, there’s no upkeep or any management required on our end. And, our customer likes the fact that the amount of spam in their inboxes is cut down from nearly 100 per day to nearly zero.”
Not only has JRoss Retail Recruiters turned into a managed services customer on a three-year contract (with 25 devices under management), but it has also become Dyrand’s best marketing investment. “Any time we have a prospect that’s on the fence about signing up with us, I give them my contact’s number at JRoss,” says Anderson. “After hearing how happy JRoss is to have a fully managed IT solution with 24/7 support that includes full disaster recovery functionality, it’s always enough to push any skeptical prospect over the fence and convert them into another customer.”