Last week we held our first Melbourne ‘beers + steak’ lunch for Benchmark 365 partners and peers in the Melbourne MSP space. It was a great day out with plenty of ideas shared along with some terrific food and an enjoyable selection of beers!
As the event name suggests we chose to keep the event casual and without a formal agenda and I think that made it a good way to openly talk about what’s happening in the industry, get to know our partners better and learn from industry peers.
The group was a mixture of Benchmark 365 Partners, seasoned MSPs and IT resellers, vendors and new players in the Melbourne IT space so this generated a broad range of topics:
One thing was very clear to me and that was how much opportunity exists in the IT market. Attendees commented that they wish they had more time to focus on growing the business, giving customers better service and increasing sales. Nobody believed there wasn’t enough business in Melbourne but many who had smaller teams found it difficult to spend time winning all of the new opportunities around them. That’s a challenge but it’s also a great sign for anyone looking to grow an IT business.
It was helpful to have our Benchmark 365 partners on hand to talk about their experiences in outsourcing and how their focus had shifted from juggling support work to dedicating themselves almost entirely to marketing and sales activities.
Pricing – all you can eat or pick and mix?
Another sign of a prosperous IT market was the discussion around pricing models with some attendees working toward a fixed fee “all you can eat” pricing plan while others were leaning more toward a pick and mix style of service offerings. While the debate continues it’s a high quality problem when IT businesses are thinking about how to be more profitable rather than worrying about not having enough work.
Everyone I spoke to agreed that hiring staff was a challenge. Some had found it hard to replace good tenured staff, others found it difficult to find someone who could meet customer demands at a high level of competency and all of this was adding to the frustration of knowing there is so much work out there but not enough time or resources to deliver it all.
Our Partners talked about how they’d outsourced projects, L1, 2 and 3 support to Benchmark 365 freeing up them and their specialist staff for profit generating activities in the business.
Everyone agreed that if outsourcing can free up time and that it is cost effective then it’s worth giving it a try.
Will we be seeing you soon?
We’ll be running more Partner events in the future but of course if you want to learn more about Benchmark 365 we’re always happy to hear from you.