Net at Work's Alliance Program Redefines How MSPs Differentiate and Elevate Their Services to Grow Market Share

Net at Work's Alliance Program Redefines How MSPs Differentiate and Elevate Their Services to Grow Market Share

By Greg Tavarez

The demand for managed IT services continues to surge, and companies are finding it increasingly challenging to set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace. With many clients considering managed services as almost a commodity, managed service providers (MSPs) must look for unique strategies to stand out and capture a growing clientele.

“The ability to differentiate themselves in the market is probably one of the largest challenges we see MSPs facing today,” said Igal Rabinovich, Director of Partner Success, Net at Work. “When I ask how they differentiate themselves in the market, 90% answer, ‘We are a security-focused MSP with great customer service.’ This is a great answer. The problem is that most answer this same way.”

In a competitive MSP market environment, the importance of MSP partner programs is more pronounced.

Partner programs typically offer a structured framework that gives MSPs access to valuable resources, technical support and training that can help them deliver high-quality services to their clients. Through these partnerships, MSPs gain access to innovative technology solutions, which in turn enhance their service offerings, scalability, and competitiveness in the market – without incurring the overhead, complex relationship management and margin pressures associated with such solution offerings. This is especially critical as technology is constantly changing, and MSPs need to stay ahead to meet their clients' diverse and evolving needs.

Simultaneously, technology advisors benefit from partnerships with MSPs by expanding their market reach and accelerating the adoption of their products or services. By collaborating with MSPs, advisors can tap into the extensive customer bases and industry expertise of these providers, enabling them to grow their business more effectively.

Additionally, MSP partner programs enable technology advisors to gather valuable feedback from the field, helping them fine-tune their products and better align them with market demands.

MSP partner programs are a win-win for both parties, serving as a cornerstone of the technology ecosystem, facilitating innovation, and delivering better solutions to end users.

One such program that helps MSPs differentiate themselves from the rest as well as deliver that win-win result is Net at Work's MSP Alliance Program.

Net at Work is one of the leading technology advisors in North America, offering consulting, solutions and implementation of accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), e-commerce and web development, customer relationship management (CRM) and network infrastructure to small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs). Net at Work combines technology and business expertise with a high-level of care and communication to build long-term, trusted relationships with its clients.

Its goal? To enable clients to maximize their potential through the transformative power of technology.

Net at Work’s MSP Alliance Program allows MSPs to offer a comprehensive technology strategy to their clients by utilizing the expertise of over 300 subject matter specialists across 26-plus diverse business application domains, like ERP, HCM and CRM.

This unique initiative allows MSPs to cater to their clients' Line of Business, or LOB, requirements in an unbiased manner, with a breadth of software publishers like Acumatica, Sage, NetSuite, Creatio, and Rippling among others.

"The MSPs we work with are the trusted IT advisors for their SMB clients. Yet they don't include line of business applications in their technology roadmaps because they lack expertise in those areas. This creates a gap in the overall plan," said Rabinovich. "After joining our program, MSPs leverage our 250-plus subject matter experts to support their virtual chief information officers (vCIOs), who can now guide their clients in an agnostic way to select the systems that are right for them."

Net at Work’s partners distinguish themselves from other MSPs by adopting a more platform-neutral approach, focusing on delivering a holistic technology roadmap while others remain fixated on proving why their solutions surpass those of the MSPs they aim to replace.

What is this agnostic approach, and how exactly does it work?

Net at Work collaborates closely with MSPs' vCIOs and marketing teams to offer educational resources, marketing and sales support, implementation assistance and ongoing support services. By handling the bulk of the work, Net at Work eliminates the need for MSP teams to obtain certification in various LOB solutions, allowing them to concentrate on their core services.

Let’s look at a couple of use cases to see how Net at Work’s Program works.

One of Net at Work's MSP partners in Washington state serves a growing healthcare client, offering traditional managed services and incorporating quarterly business reviews, or QBRs, into its operational approach. During a recent QBR session, the healthcare client expressed its challenges with system inadequacies and reporting deficiencies. Attempts to rectify the situation with forms, spreadsheets and email solutions had become unmanageable due to its rapid expansion, and previous efforts involving offshore custom code development had proven unsuccessful.

In search of guidance for addressing its immediate requirements and constructing a long-term technology roadmap to accommodate a sixfold increase in patients served, the MSP partner took a proactive role in the discussion, a deviation from past encounters. Having recently joined Net at Work's program, the partner initiated contact with Net at Work, leading to a client conference call to comprehensively understand the situation.

During the call, Net at Work established the client's confidence to grasp and resolve their concerns. Subsequently, Net at Work assembled a dedicated team to tackle the short-term issues and devise a sustainable long-term plan. This initiative not only delivered significant value to the healthcare client but also cultivated a substantial reservoir of goodwill. Furthermore, the MSP partner stands to reap financial benefits as the project progresses.

In another instance, a California-based MSP partner had collaborated with Net at Work for over a year. Together, they addressed the LOB requirements of numerous clients. Seeking growth and a stronger market presence that would set them apart from competitors, this partner utilized Net at Work's Technology Roadmap package.

This package played a key role in educating their vCIOs on conducting more strategic conversations with existing clients and potential prospects. Additionally, the package included a comprehensive marketing campaign centered on the message, "The Significance of Engaging Your vCIO in a Technology Roadmap."

This marketing package incurred no expenses for the partner. Presently, the partner is actively executing the marketing campaign, resulting in the generation of fresh leads for its managed services.

“Our agnostic approach is finding the right solution for this specific customer,” said Rabinovich. “The healthcare provider, for example, has experienced a lot of growth and has a lot going on when it comes to ERP and CRM. We provided the roadmap and brought in a team of experts that can fix the now while also looking to fix the next three to five years.”

Participation in Net at Work’s MSP Alliance Program also delivers financial benefits for MSPs. One of the most noticeable impacts is increased customer retention. With access to subject matter experts and support, MSPs can respond positively to a wider range of client requests, which fosters loyalty. Additionally, MSPs have a chance to earn commission on all software and services related to LOB projects, resulting in substantial financial gains.

The program also includes SPIFFs, sponsorship of events and prizes to assist with education and enablement.

Another perk of the Net at Work MSP Alliance Program is that it has a low barrier to entry. There are no fees to join the program, and MSPs do not need to invest in certifications. The onboarding process is straightforward, taking approximately three hours over three separate meetings. After that, the program seamlessly integrates into the MSPs’ normal operations, providing resources to support their vCIOs based on the needs identified in QBRs.

The value of MSP partner programs like Net at Work's MSP Alliance Program cannot be understated. By providing access to a wealth of resources, expertise and support, these programs let MSPs better serve their clients in a competitive market.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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MSPToday Editor

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