Four Ways an Intronis Partnership Sparked New Growth for One MSP
OXEN Technology, formerly known as Heartland Technology Solutions (HTS) got its start as a break-fix IT provider more than 31 years ago. Of all the changes HTS has undergone over the years, including acquiring four companies and transitioning from break-fix to managed services, the past 18 months have seen some of the biggest changes.
Last January, Bob Gentzler became the new president of the company. One of the first projects he became involved with was identifying areas that were impeding growth. A top culprit that emerged was HTS’ BDR offering. “Our former BDR solution was hosted in a co-location facility and managed by our technicians,” Gentzler says. “Our BDR vendor had a multi-tiered sales model, which was complicated to sell and difficult for customers to comprehend. Plus, we realized that we couldn’t scale the offering by hosting it ourselves.”
Replacing Complicated BDR Pricing with a Simple Solution
The MSP did an analysis of several leading BDR vendors offering cloud-based backup solutions and chose Intronis. “We liked the simplicity of the Intronis pricing model as well as the scalability of their offering,” says Gentzler. “These factors combined with their track record of investing in research and development gave them an edge over other options. Prior to Intronis, we on-boarded one BDR client every few months, and now we are bringing on two new BDR clients a month.”
Creating a Blueprint for Business Success
After signing up to become an Intronis partner, HTS quickly learned that the value of the partnership went beyond BDR sales. One of the first areas Intronis assisted the MSP was with its business plan. “For a long time, our company wanted to create a business plan that would communicate our purpose, values, mission, financials, and SWOT [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats], but it never happened,” says Gentzler. “Intronis offers partners a one-page business plan, which they also use. I presented this to our board of directors, and we were able to adopt it for our company. Having this document in place enables us to succinctly communicate our shared vision, and it also creates energy and excitement throughout our entire organization.”
Managed Services Upgrade: From À La Carte to Entrée
HTS changed its pricing model last year, too, as a result of its partnership with Intronis. Previously, the company had a 20-item a la carte offering that put selecting IT solutions and services into the hands of the customer. “This was problematic as some customers simply don’t know what they want or need,” says Gentzler. “Intronis’ thought leadership materials played a key role in educating us about industry best practices, and we incorporated some of their ideas into our managed services bundled offerings. Today, we have four managed services bundled offerings that cover the needs of about 80 percent of our customers. This new pricing structure has greatly reduced our sales cycle and time spent on customization.”
Eliminating 4,000 “Competitors” Instantly
Throughout the Midwest, there are more than 4,000 businesses named Heartland. Not surprisingly, trying to brand a company with this name is an exercise in futility. HTS made a bold move to change its name, and Gentzler says Intronis was involved in this company milestone, too. “Intronis sponsored and attended the company event where we officially announced our name change.”
The MSP wanted a name that wasn’t overly used but still represented its Midwestern values. “We’re not about selling the shiniest objects; we’re about making life simple for our clients,” says Gentzler. Three descriptive words that continuously rose to the top during the planning phase were: strong, trusted, and simple. From there, the MSP began looking for something that would embody each of its core traits, and it landed on the name OXEN. “Not only do OXEN exemplify these traits, they work closely with one another to get the job done,” says Gentzler. “Also, there are no other IT companies in the Midwest with a name like OXEN Technology. It is completely unique.”
After agreeing on the name, OXEN Technology, the MSP did a full rebranding, complete with a new website. After the new name went into effect, within a month Gentzler said it already sparked a lot of conversations with clients and prospects and has given his company an opportunity to explain and reiterate its core values and differentiators.
Saving money wasn’t one of the company’s primary reasons for using the Intronis Managed Backup program, but it has become an additional benefit. “To achieve this improvement on our own would have required hiring an engineer and most likely taking a month or more to train this person how to troubleshoot backup errors,” says Kasten. “With the Intronis program, we gain a highly-qualified engineer for about 20 percent of the cost of hiring one. Plus, we no longer have to worry about future scalability. We can sell as many Intronis solutions and add as many backup agents as we want without ever worrying about whether we have enough internal resources to support them.”