By Daniel J. Haurey
This weekend past, I was putting in some extra work while listening to random Internet music stations when I happened upon the sweet sound of the iconic Gladys Knight signing “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”. It was apropos for what I was doing at the time, calculating potential margins and financial scenarios for our bustling new SMB infrastructure-as-a service-offering, dubbed TurnKey Cloud.
As Gladys waxed lyrical I reminisced about the various business cycles, boom-bust times and new opportunities before us in the channel. As Gladys said, indeed, we’ve had our “share of ups and downs, but fate’s been kind, the downs have been few.”
I’ll admit that the cloud had me on my heels for a short time. Adapting and reinventing oneself is never easy and not without apprehension and anxiety. While Exigent Technologies was never a pure VAR, selling rapidly commoditized boxes for profit, I’ve heard about the brutal transition from box seller to solution provider. I’m sure it was much like attending that first ConnectWise Summit, as it was formerly known, and listening with trepidation as visionary Arnie Bellini professed with great urgency that the future was in a recurring revenue model called managed services. Was that scary at first? It most certainly was.
But what an enormous improvement it offered over that godforsaken break-fix business. Managed services helped legitimize our industry. It provided us with revenue certainty and paved the way to great improvements in how we support our customers. We benefited — as did our customers — from powerful and innovative RMM tools. It made us stickier and forced us to don the marketing hat and get a little creative in the process.
Now the consumption model is changing once more and another cycle is upon us. Rest assured, your customers need you now more than ever before, and it just gets better. Which is why I’m confused that so many of my peers are stifled in fear and confusion about the ominous clouds ahead. I’m genuinely concerned about the survival of the few slow movers and non-starters. They clearly haven’t realized that this is the best thing ever to happen to the channel: the ultimate stickiness and the opportunity to reclaim healthy margins while taking pain away from customers and giving them what they want which is to be out of the IT business.
Think it through, take some risks and trust me on this. The glass is half full for those of us in a position to reinvent ourselves. If you are risk averse and want off of the roller coaster, the cloud is disruptive enough to impose a change-or-die position. I expect several of my peers to head for the exits here, and that’s what makes a cycle.
Enough of this melancholy stuff. It’s time to change the station. There’s much to be upbeat about. Perhaps something in the hip hop genre? If the managed services revolution was the Magna Carta, the cloud is the “Holy Grail”. So I leave you with the lyrical wisdom of Mr. Shawn Carter: “Why you mad? Take the good with the bad. Don’t throw that baby out with the bath water, you’re still alive!”
Daniel Haurey is president and CEO at New Jersey based MSP and cloud service provider Exigent Technologies, and one of tri-state’s leading entrepreneurs and channel thought leaders. His passion for success and fun-loving nature inspires Exigent’s oft lauded high-energy company culture and white-glove customer service for hundreds of New York and New Jersey’s fastest growing companies.
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