Depending on who you ask, “success” can mean many different things. For some, it is reaching a certain level of profitability, whereas for others, it can simply mean securing your first managed services client. Here at SmarterMSP, one way that success happens is when people come together to share their experience and perspective to provide a positive outcome for their community, team, or business.

This week, we were proud to see three of our SmarterMSP community members and contributors honored on CRN’s 2020 Women of the Channel list. On the list were Erin Shaw Crowley, Lindsay Faria, and Trisha Muldoon, who are all part of the Barracuda MSP team, and were recognized for their insight, influence, and effort to help drive channel success.

We sat down with each of them to learn more about what success means to them, and for the partners they serve. In particular, we asked them all “what is the key to success for MSPs this year?” Erin, Lindsay, and Trisha provided some valuable advice.

Embracing security and data

Erin Shaw Crowley has worked in the channel for eight years and has come to know countless service providers through her consistent presence at channel events. She emphasizes the importance of knowing what is currently happening in the industry and how it can (and will) change. “In order to stay relevant, MSPs need to be prepared to assist in fulfilling all of their customers’ needs.

They also need to make sure they continually review contracts and agreements with their SMBs, as well as keep them up to date on the newest offerings. This will help keep customers protected from the newest threats that are coming down the pipeline. MSPs also need to ensure their customers have the best products and training available to them, so they can make sure everyone on their team is aware and educated about these threats, as well as how to spot them.”

For Erin, a key to success for partners is in working with vendors to strengthen and maximize their offerings. There are new ways for MSPs to save their business time and alleviate strain on their resources; tools to help them detect and prevent new and emerging forms of ransomware, phishing, malware, and other cybersecurity threats.

By working closely with your vendor partners to understand the full power of what they can offer, you might get more out of them than you currently are, in order to grow your business.

You can view Erin’s listing on the Women of the Channel List here.

If you think you’ve checked the box on security, think again.

Lindsay Faria leads the Content and Partner Marketing efforts at Barracuda MSP, where her team provides tools, resources, and enablement content for channel partners. Her top priority is helping partners grow by improving their offerings and demonstrating more value to their own customers.

On the key to success for MSPs this year, Lindsay says partners should embrace the opportunity (and challenges) presented by the current cybersecurity climate. Successful MSPs never assume they’ve ‘checked the box’ on security. They constantly assess their own, and their customers’, processes. Smart MSPs will focus on effectively demonstrating their value using assessments and other tools and services to expedite sales and boost customer loyalty.

They also look for ways to grow their security businesses without putting a strain on their own resources, by taking advantage of services and solutions delivered on their behalf, i.e. security awareness training and 24/7 NOC and helpdesk services, for example.

Partners should also be thinking about multi-layered security; looking at strengthening their human-layers of defense, and at the other end of the spectrum, AI-based spear phishing protection and automating third-party patching. “There are so many levels of improvement MSPs can make to help protect their customers and make themselves more efficient and profitable,” Lindsay explains.

You can view Lindsay’s listing on the Women of the Channel List here.

Take advantage of your resources and partnerships

Trisha Muldoon, Partner Marketing Manager interfaces with service providers regularly. She spends her days administering the MSP Insiders community and Barracuda MSP’s Partner Toolkit, where she publishes new sales and marketing enablement materials for partners, and is always happy to help them find “just the right thing” when it comes to marketing materials.

She has helped many partners put on their own events, marketing campaigns, and come up with ideas for engaging and motivating their sales teams. For MSP partners to be successful, Trisha says they need to take advantage of the resources available to them, be that in the form of technology, education, or enablement support from vendors, and even from their peers.

By connecting closely with their vendor partners and fellow MSPs, they will open new doors and give themselves a unique opportunity to influence the future direction of vendors, keep a pulse on where the industry is headed, and learn from each other’s experiences. If you’re struggling, reach out, says Trisha – someone is able to help!

To facilitate this, Trisha has focused on creating more opportunities for partners to interact with Barracuda MSP. “By involving more partners, we can better educate them on available resources and give them the ability to share knowledge and best practices with their fellow MSPs.”

You can view Trisha’s listing on the Women of the Channel List here.

Success is best when shared

The beauty of success is that when it is shared, it has more potential to grow. We hope sharing these perspectives helps to encourage you to celebrate and recognize you and your team’s own accomplishments, and to motivate healthy change that drives future outcomes.

Whether you’re engaging with your peers in the MSP community, reaching out and asking for help, sharing your successes, enhancing your security offering, or being smart about utilizing your resources, we wish you well and hope you find and build successes of your own this year.

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Photo: SvetaZi / Shutterstock

Regan Jameson

Posted by Regan Jameson

Regan Jameson is a marketing assistant at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she helps with lead generation, assists with events, and connects MSPs with valuable product information.

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