Like any professional, a managed services provider (MSP) occasionally fields the question, “What line of work are you in?” You answer, then you inevitably have to respond to the follow-up: “What is an MSP?”
Alan D. Weinberger, Chairman and CEO of The ASCII Group, Inc., decided it’s time to raise awareness about what MSPs do and their vital role in keeping the increasingly digital world turning. His book, “The Doctor’s In: Treating America’s Greatest Cyber Security Threat,” makes it easy for IT end-user businesses to understand what MSPs do by comparing them to healthcare providers.
“I drew parallels between maintaining IT and caring for a human body,” Weinberger says. “No matter how carefully you take care of it, there are diseases and illnesses. Nothing is 100 percent secure.”
In the book, he explains that there are also parallels between how people use healthcare and IT services. Some people go to the doctor only when they’re very ill, some go at the first sign of illness, and others maintain good health with preventive care. “It’s similar to how people take care of the IT infrastructure that everyone uses to do business,” he says. He also lets end-user readers know that using an MSP that proactively addresses IT issues can eliminate disruption and expense from downtime, which is front and center in our headlines today, unfortunately.
The book also dispels the myth that MSPs are merely “resellers,” a term often misinterpreted with people who sell used equipment or “IT guys” who approach technology as a hobby or solve one-off problems. Weinberger writes:
When you hire an MSP, it becomes your IT department – plain and simple. Whenever there is an issue with your technology, you contact your MSP for assistance, but more importantly, what many business owners do not know is an MSP is an enabler. An MSP enables you to generate more revenue by freeing you up to do what you do best instead of wasting time trying to implement new technology and determine the right solutions for your business.
Security Is Starting Conversations with Prospects
Businesses are acutely aware of recent high-profile cyberattacks and threats to their own data and infrastructure. Therefore, an MSPs first contact with a business will probably include a discussion about security.
Weinberger’s book provides readers with detailed information on the current cybersecurity landscape and encourages them to get the help they need to protect their businesses. He writes:
Businesses of all sizes must do a better job of properly securing these systems and networks. Cybercriminals are relentless and will stop at nothing. And when you examine the data, you will quickly realize that all businesses in the U.S. need the help of MSPs sooner rather than later.
Weinberger comments, however, that some end-user businesses new to managed services may be skeptical about the necessity of MSPs’ offerings. “That’s where the book can help. If a neutral third party, like a representative of ASCII, explains what an MSP does, businesses may find it more credible, and they will see the value,” he says.
In the book’s foreword, Theresa Payton, former White House CIO and founder of Fortalice, writes, “If you own or work for a small or medium-sized business, Alan’s book should be required reading to educate you on the crucial role of today’s MSP in the cybersecurity arena and why you should be turning to them for their expertise to protect your business.”
Frank Abagnale, one of the world’s most renowned authorities on fraud, forgery and cybersecurity, adds, “Without enlisting (MSPs’) expertise in this ever-evolving fight with America’s greatest growing cybersecurity threat, our governments, businesses our healthcare, and democracy (it is not only about money) will undoubtedly fall victim to cybercriminals near and far.”
Raising Awareness About MSPs
Weinberger says his drive to write the book was to “get the truth out about how people use technology, and why it works the way it does.”
“MSPs don’t get their due or media attention. The world needs to be aware of what they contribute to protecting data, personal records, and IT systems and how that plays out in our everyday lives,” he says.
The books will ring true when MSPs read it, but, more importantly, it may spark an aha moment among your customers and prospects about what an MSP is and the role you should play in protecting their businesses.
For an easy way to explain to people what an MSP is, what you do and the value you provide to your clients—refer them to “The Doctor’s In,” available on Amazon.