The 20 MSP is a group of like-minded MSPs that collectively exist to dominate the top 20 percent of the market – according to its website. Tim Conkle, CEO of The 20 MSP, recently sat down with My TechDecisions Podcast and gave some more insight into what that means.
“If you look at IT companies, most of them are comprised of small, but good, companies geographically dispersed across the U.S,” says Conkle. “Then, you have companies on the client side that have multiple offices in multiple locations. How do you facilitate that where you have a good process and good service delivery across the platform, and be able to walk into a client in Dallas and say you have an office in New York or Boston? And it’s not just a site you bought and have a manager there, but there’s ownership at every location?
“That’s really where the thought process [for The 20] came from,” says Conkle. “On the MSP side it was, together we grow stronger. On the client side we’re producing a better, more standardized product. That was really the birth of it.”
In the MSP industry, there are large, nationwide providers that span the U.S. However, there are few of them. A much larger portion of the IT provider industry consists of small, localized companies providing service in their area, with fewer than 100 employees and, at most, a few satellite locations dispersed throughout the U.S.
That’s not ideal for companies that have multiple offices across the United States and want standardized management throughout. Of course, these companies could choose a national provider, but Conkle believes that could provide more headaches.
“Most clients don’t know that, if their IT company has a help desk, it probably only works during the hours they’re open. After hours is called on-call, or something like that,” says Conkle. “Unless you outsource it to another helpdesk which is typically going to have an India-based component. If that’s the fact, are they really HIPAA compliant? Are they really PCI compliant, if every night you have people in another country logging in with administrative rights to do patch management?”
The 20 solves this problem with a consumption-based model. Members of The 20 don’t share revenue, they share resources. Let’s say a Company A doesn’t have a VMware certified engineer. They reach out to the group to get one, an employee from Company B. Company A then pays Company B for every hour that the employee works. So Company A gets a VMware certified engineer, Company B gets properly compensated only for the time the employee works, and both continue to have access to the resources of the group as a whole.
Members must be a mature company in order to join. There is a vetting process to ensure that the company falls in line with the goals of The 20. Not only that, the company must be up to par as far as processes and abilities go. Once a company is properly vetted, it becomes a member and has access to the combined abilities of The 20 MSP.
“What does that mean on the client’s side? Well, it means you get all U.S. based help,” says Conkle. “It also means you get a standard that is not only dictated by a single company. Now you have thousands of employees across a variety of companies, all geared toward a common goal.”
Conkle goes into far greater detail about The 20 MSP in Episode 6 of My TechDecisions Podcast. He also gives advice to end users about what to look out for when hiring an MSP. There’s a lot of great information, so give it a listen.