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For a company seeking the right partner for its IT management needs, choosing between a true Managed Service Provider (MSP) and a “digital janitor” can make an enormous difference. Katie Bavoso, host of Channel Insider: Partner POV, recently sat down with Marcial Velez, CEO of Xperteks Computing Consultancy, to explore his company’s journey from reactive service organization to sought-after IT partner.

Transitioning from its origins as a traditional break/fix provider, Xperteks today serves the needs of industry giants like Marriott, Colgate-Palmolive, Showtime, and many others. His company’s story of growth and success provides a roadmap for how today’s service organizations can craft compelling value propositions to accelerate growth in the MSP market.

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An innovative mindset from inception

Established in 2001 in the heart of New York City, Xperteks started out servicing clients’ urgent repair and upgrade needs, gradually expanding its offerings as emerging technologies evolved. Noting how his techs would often strap their backpacks on and ride the subways to service clients on-site, Velez stated that they increasingly were able to handle client needs remotely using the technology of the day.

Velez recalls the pivotal moment when the light bulb illuminated to showcase his company’s true calling in the marketplace, “What we really tried to do was manage clients in a way that we didn’t have to go on-site. … I was reading an article about the rise of the MSP, and I was like, oh my God, that’s us right here, we’re an MSP.”

With their roots working with Apple networks, techs used the various PC tools of the time to monitor and manage clients’ Apple systems remotely. Overcoming skeptics who doubted the interoperability of the two operating systems, Xperteks gained a distinctive advantage in the marketplace: the ability to service both Apple and PC networks, a clear advantage in a city teeming with artists and graphic designers.

The company’s “cloud-first” mindset also proved pivotal, especially during the onset of the pandemic. Its ability to provide secure and efficient cloud-based solutions and migrate clients to the cloud became a cornerstone of its business strategy, along with a crucial focus on providing robust security protection. 

Velez notes that preventing breaches today is essential to a company’s survival and compliance. “Now people are starting to realize that regulations are starting, and compliance is starting to come down the pipe.” In addition to implementing zero-trust procedures, adapting to evolving technologies like AI, machine learning, and edge computing has helped position Xperteks as a world-class solutions provider.

Xperteks’ success across diverse sectors and project types

Xperteks’ proficiency in managing its client challenges across diverse industries was key in building its reputation as a leader in managed IT services, cloud, and security. Using Apple Business Manager, it helped a fast-growing real estate business with its onboarding initiatives, efficiently managing the company’s surge in the user base from 80 to 630 in just two years.

It also safeguarded the operations of a $1 billion financial firm by deploying a layered strategy that included multi-factor authentication (MFA) and other key security measures which detected and thwarted what could have been a catastrophic breach.

The company’s cloud-first focus transformed another client’s operations during a migration to Microsoft Azure. The deployment resulted in diminished latency and seamless scaling for the organization, enabling it to accelerate workflow.

These success stories underscore Xperteks’ rich portfolio of managed services and reinforce its position as a trusted business partner across various industry sectors.

How to go beyond “digital janitor”

Velez emphasizes the importance of transcending the role of a mere “digital janitor,” by understanding and delivering on client needs and actively participating in the success of the client’s business — rather than merely fixing issues from behind the scenes. It’s important to sidestep the impression of simply responding to clients’ needs to fix, upgrade, and perform other basic “custodial” tasks.

“‘Just come in and clean up my windows, and make sure my floors are polished and that these things are in order’ — that’s a digital janitor. If you’re talking about being a true MSP and a partner, you’re going to be talking about and being very intimate with the processes of how that business works.”

According to Velez, the hallmarks that elevate service providers from cleaning up the corridors to getting a seat at the boardroom table include proactive problem-solving, tailored solutions, alignment with business needs, effective communication of value, adaptability to change, and identification of opportunities for improvement.

Insights for MSP growth: Embracing the role of a trusted advisor

Velez’s recommendations for those starting out or MSPs looking to grow their client base are rooted in proactivity. Anticipate client needs, automate, communicate, nurture relationships, participate in industry events, and stay abreast of evolving technology. By staying connected to industry trends and becoming intimately involved in client processes, MSPs can craft a compelling value proposition and position themselves for sustained growth.

Tune into the video or podcast above for more insights from Katie Bavoso and Marcial Velez — and be sure to like and subscribe for future interviews with solution providers and thought leaders, plus special episodes and opportunities!

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