TruMethods hosted their 8th annual member only Schnizzfest this past week in Philadelphia designed specifically for managed service providers (MSPs) from around the world to get together and focus on the process of improving their business. Digux has attended 6 out of the 8 Schnizzfest events since 2009 and each year we learn new valuable concepts that ignite our belief system and also help us uncover new ways to implement positive changes into our business that dramatically improves our service offering for our customers. We give our Schnizzfest 2017 experience a rating of 5 out of 5 stars it was awesome!
Before the main Schnizzfest event we attended a special pre-day user group workshop focused on the myITprocess software presented by TruMethods team members Bob Penland, Rob Danser, Tony Williams, and Peter Briden. As a recap, myITprocess is tool that helps MSPs implement standards across our customer base in addition to communicating business impact and strategy to our customers. This tool is primarily used by our Network Administrator and Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO’s) roles to assist in delivering what we call our Super Power.
During the pre-day we learned about new upcoming features that will improve the myITprocess software experience. For example, one new feature we are especially excited about is the strategy feature. Via the strategy component we will be-able to create business profiles and a timeline view to provide digital presentations to our customers. The goal for us is to help our vCIO focus on the business relationship with the client and clearly define what their future investments will be in an easy to read view. Other features include drag and top technology and a more responsive end user experience.
In 2014 we published an article on myITprocess if you would like to look back and learn more about the tool. Read more here: https://www.digux.com/2014/01/myitprocess/
The main Schnizzfest event started this year with an awesome movie, a guitar player jamming out on his strings, Stanley Schnizzer (Shown in picture to the left) and of course the MSP legend himself Gary Pica. Gary explained to everyone about his journey when he started his business and how he struggled with operations which slowed down his sales. He used an analogy to paint us a vivid picture of how he solved the problem with a framework using bricks. He had a TruMethods member from the audience come up on the stage and put on a backpack.
Gary started putting bricks into the backpack weighing down this member explaining that each time a customer experiences an I.T. problem they would move the brick from their office into his office. Basically, his company fell into this trap of being ‘brick movers’ when a customer filed a ticket the tickets kept piling up in his office. Then as they added more and more customers their office filled up with bricks. At this point Gary had 4 or 5 bricks in the backpack and it was comical to see the guy wearing the backpack starting to sweat but this analogy had a logical meaning.
The idea was that all businesses have bricks a.k.a I.T. issues and instead of moving them from one office to another, he created a framework to proactively solve the I.T. issues at the customers office proactively therefore creating a brick elimination and organization department (BE&OD). The equivalent to our BE&OD is our Network Administrator who travels onsite each month (Our Super Power) who performs standards and alignment and our vCIO who explains business impact and strategy. The TruMethods framework helps our customers get out of the reactive cycle of death and distinguishes ourselves from the competition. We can use this to drive down noise, continuously develop our super power, and provide the appropriate experience for our customers. In essence, this is how to become a world class MSP!
Schnizzfest also included two guest speakers Matthew Michalewicz the author of the book “Life in half a Second” and Lincoln Murphy who is an expert on customer success. Matthew taught us very valuable skills on how to plan for goals and Lincoln did an excellent job talking to us about right fit customers vs. non fit. I highly recommend reading the book from Matthew if you want to structure your goal planning and get fired up in the process.
Lastly, I wanted to share what is described as the silver bullet something Peter Briden told us during the pre-day that is important when forming important business relationships:
Silver Bullet (4 rules of refer-ability)
- Show up on time (Shows respect)
- Do what you say (Expectation setting)
- Finish what you start 100%
- Say please and thank you (appreciation, gratitude for their time)
Catch up on some of our past Schnizzfest experiences: