At OpenDNS, we take our partnership with MSPs very seriously as we continue to build our MSP-focused team across account management, engineering and customer success. I joined OpenDNS as a technical resource to work directly with our MSP partners as they deploy and manage Umbrella for MSPs. I also work with the big RMM tools to build easier deployment scripts, and act as a solutions architect when our partners have more interesting environments.
Personally, I come from the MSP world and spent 6 years working for MSPs of different sizes. Having been on the other side, I understand the need to automate as much as possible—whether it’s deploying a product or monitoring it to ensure the product is running as expected, automation and standardization are vital to your business. Now that I’m on the vendor side, it’s extremely rewarding to be able to help fellow MSPs improve efficiencies. My role here at OpenDNS is to provide support for automating deployment of our product using your tools, as well as providing feedback from the partner voice to our engineers and product team for product enhancements which will help you standardize our products across your customer base.
MSPs have two critical relationships when it comes to running their business – customers, and vendors. Your customers are your lifeblood, and MSPs rightfully focus significant energy on building and maintaining the customer relationship. However, in the past world of on-prem hardware and boxed software, vendors were largely out of the picture, except for the occasional marketing blurb or promo email. When I was working for an MSP, I rarely got sales engineering services from the big software companies, so my vendor relationships were usually with distributors for purchasing.
Enter “the cloud”—technology to make your life easier with less hardware to manage, allowing you to “do more with less.” However, moving pieces of your managed service to a cloud provider means trusting that vendor with service delivery. This requires a higher level of trust, and means that having a technical relationship with that vendor is much more important.
MSPs must be able to trust that their vendors will not only perform, but also that they understand your needs, pain points and objectives. Most importantly, they need to truly understand the managed services business and how you serve your customers. You require that the vendor respect the line between vendor-MSP and MSP-customer relationships. You expect that your vendor understands that you can’t just interrupt your customer in the middle of the day to test a fix and that you can’t just walk over to the computer. (After all, you bought an RMM tool to do that!) You also expect that your vendor understands that your technical staff are just that – technical. When looking for a technology partner, MSPs need someone who doesn’t just use the same buzzwords, but also understands their needs as a skilled provider of high-quality technology services to their customers and the unique relationship that you have with them.
I am proud be part of the OpenDNS MSP team because OpenDNS is a vendor that gets it. From the business relationship to technical priorities, we focus on delivering security that works the way MSPs do. I couldn’t be more excited to help my former peers deliver better protection while making their service offering more efficient!