Lessons from CWS: Demystifying Tech for a New MSP Experience

10/06/2020

Ed Pederson, Vice President of Product Development, led a session on ‘Demystifying Technology Stacks for MSP’ at the CWS Summit. He shares his takeaways and thoughts below. CWS attendees can view the full session in the CWS online portal until October 15.

When the virtual doors opened at the 2020 CWS Summit, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Casual interactions between people can’t happen in the same way at a virtual event. But attendees and speakers were still incredibly engaged and excited about the future of work. I had the opportunity to lead a panel discussion on tech stacks and MSPs where I was impressed by the journey and insights from both panelists and attendees. Here’s a recap along with my take on what’s next for MSP tech.

Present state of MSP

MSPs have been a part of our industry for decades and reached a market plateau, as most organizations have adopted a first-generation program. So, the question has become where do we go from here? Our panel discussed some of those answers in the context of technology. If you look into pretty much any organization what you will find is a complicated network of software platforms. It is a complicated alphabet soup of ERP’s, ATS, CRM, VMS and many other acronym-based solutions. Layered on top, and trying to gain foothold, are new disruptive providers touting improved user experience, efficiency and access. Our panelists all agreed that it would be literally impossible for them to stay current on all these trends. They’ve come to rely on their MSPs to cut through the noise and provide a harmonized solution that gives them the maximum amount of value that aligns to their culture. KellyOCG’s deep relationship with their customers allows for exactly that and has been a focal area of our product development activities.

What part does culture play in discussions about MSP tech?

There’s a saying something to the effect of, “culture eats strategy for lunch.” The same holds true when an organization considers what technology they’d like to implement. For example, if you have a highly relational culture, one built off human-to-human interaction, introducing tech that looks and feels like you’re talking to a computer will likely not gain much adoption. This is again where the MSP can step in and play a critical role as we’ve built years of experience understanding our client’s culture as well as interacting with thousands of different pieces of software. Your MSP should know the magic combination and change management approach for bringing in innovation and it should feel like it’s easier than sending an email.

What is an example of positive disruption in the MSP market right now that KellyOCG is helping bring to clients?

In a COVID-19 world there are several forces at work in the labor market. On one hand, companies are forced to downsize their workforce and likely overloading their remaining employees with monumental tasks to spark new growth. On the talent side of the equation, millions of unemployed people are searching for what’s next so they can provide for their families and put their careers back on an upward trajectory. Enter in the Human Cloud network.  There are literally more than 1,800 different cloud communities of focused gig workers that can provide solutions around projects or micro-tasks that a company can employ without adding headcount and often at a much more economical rate than past experiences. Likewise, these cloud networks offer an Uber-like experience where talent can quickly find short-term engagement to bridge financial gaps as well as, perhaps, align to a new norm of workstyle they might enjoy.

At KellyOCG, we’ve simplified this experience for clients and created an aggregator solution of several top tier cloud networks like Toptal, Freelancer.com, The Mom Project, 99 Designs and BTG. Customers can enjoy access to these platforms without the hassle of introducing new technological interfaces and by leveraging their existing tools and compliance processes already brought by our MSP core solution. It’s truly a frictionless way to bring some relief to organizations and provide access to a previously untapped labor channel.