Making a Switch From Traditional IT Products and Services to Managed Services Platform

In early 2005, after nearly a decade as a traditional provider of IT products and services, Epic Technologies decided to move into the managed services realm.

However, they soon realized that, in order to make the shift successfully, they needed more than the technology platform they purchased from a managed services software vendor. They needed the vendor to deliver the business support it had agreed to provide.

“We didn’t make the culture changes we needed to make and didn’t get the consulting services that our previous vendor had promised,” says Don Viar, Managing Partner of the Tennessee-based company. “We quickly slipped into a model where we only converted existing customers to managed services and were focused entirely on monitoring alone.” After a couple of years of stagnation in its managed offerings, Epic decided to start over and began looking for a stronger partner that had what it takes to help them become a successful managed services provider (MSP). “We wanted to figure out which technology application would give us the best return for our investment and provide us with the business and sales support we needed,” says Viar.

Epic reviewed all of the available MSP platforms and chose N-able for its comprehensive and integrated approach to the technology, as well as its industry-leading business, marketing and sales support services that come free with the product. “N-able offered us a total solution that was stable and easy to deploy,” says Viar. “Since teaming with them, we’ve been able to promote services like guaranteed response time, staff augmentation and extension, data security and availability, preventative maintenance, and planning and IT services for our customers.” One of the keys to the Company’s successful shift to becoming an MSP, Viar says, was the strong training and support offered by N-able. “The consulting process is excellent. The N-able University was the start of a major shift for us in terms of thinking through the business case, the needs of the client and how we would create value propositions for our services.” Now, using N-central network and system management software, the MSP provides a four-tier Proactive Assurance Service which includes the Alert Plan, the Prevent Plan, the Manage Plan and the fixed-fee Partner Plan.

“What’s great is that we’ve learned how to move our customers up the value chain to the level of service where they want and need to be,” says Viar, adding that his company now outsources its Tier One helpdesk and has since created its own network operations center which enables them to serve 500 to 600 percent more customers with just 15 engineers. “We are much more responsive to customers than we’ve ever been able to be.” To accelerate its success, Epic opted to specialize its services within verticals such as professional service organizations, including medical practices and law firms. Within the first few weeks of actively selling its new managed services offering, the company earned the business of six sizable customers, with many others on the horizon.

“By the end of the year, the current installed base will be over 400 desktops and and with new customers we could be in the low 600s,” says Viar, noting that he anticipates Company’s recurring service revenues will double over the next six months. “Today, we are approaching national companies about handling their IT services needs and pitching our services from the perspective that we can close about 95 percent of IT issues remotely and without any interruption to the network.”

Weird Products And Services You Can Buy On Taoboa

There is no doubt that Taoboa is one of the best online shopping sites in the world. The good side with it is that you can find almost anything. Of major importance are some weird products and services that you can find on the site. If you are wondering which are some of these weird products and services, here they are:

QQ instant messenger

QQ is the biggest instant messaging service in China. The service has a special offer for iOS users where it generates a special message that says “sent from QQ from iPhone”. This happens every time you send a message to someone.

iOS devices are symbols of personal wealth and when someone sees that you are sending a message from an iPhone or iPad, he/she has deep respect for you.

To buy the service you only need to contact a vendor selling the service. The vendor will collect your QQ account and password and log into your account and create messages for you. When the vendor sends messages to your friends, your friends will see that you are using an iPhone.

The good side with this service is that it’s cheap. This is because you only need to pay a monthly fee of only 5 kuai.

International trade leftovers

Since China is the world’s factory, many brands contact Chinese manufacturers to produce their goods. When the brands put in an order, they usually allocate more raw materials than needed.

This is to cater for any errors. If the extra materials are not used in producing the goods ordered, they are used to produce goods that end up in Taobao.

Although, these items tend to have minor flaws, they are of high quality and they come cheap. Some of the international leftovers that you can find at low prices are computers, phones, and plastic products.

International purchase agents

Some gadgets, toys, books and movies face harsh import laws thus tend to be expensive to buy in China and as a result many people prefer buying them from international sellers.

The problem is that many Chinese don’t have credit cards, and this is where the international purchase agents come in. Here the buyers send the money to the agents and they buy the products on behalf of the buyers for a small commission.

These are some of the weird products and services that you can buy on Taobao. To avoid being ripped off, always buy from a reputable seller.

How to Use Mini Case Studies to Market Products and Services

You do a terrific job of driving prospects to your website, but your inbox is frustratingly empty and your phone is quiet. Something is wrong, but you’re not sure what it is. In order to figure out the problem, you read through your website and nod: Yup, there’s the list of our products and services. Our site loads quickly and is easy to read. Our contact information is correct, and our links are in working order. As far as you can tell, your copy isn’t the problem. But wait; look again. Does your website speak to your prospects? Do you show that you understand their problem and have already helped many others who were once in their position? If not, consider adding mini case studies to your pages.

What is a mini case study?

A mini case study is first and foremost a story. Since business is ultimately about human relationships, to be successful you must connect with your prospect. Use the mini case study to SHOW prospects how you’ve helped others in similar situations. Use the mini case study to introduce a person with a challenge and show how you or your company efficiently and effectively helped that person solve that challenge.

What is the format of a mini case study?

A mini case study is short, usually less than 300 words, and follows a simple format: Introduction, Process, Solution, Call-to-action.

Introduction – one paragraph

The introduction describes the situation and sets up problem.

Process – two to four paragraphs

The process shows how you or your company approached the problem and breaks down the steps so the prospect can visualize how you could help them, too. If you have a quote or testimonial, include it in the process section.

Solution – one paragraph

Show how your solution helped the customer or client solve his problem or reach his goal.

Call-to-action – one paragraph

End the mini case study with specific information on the best way to contact you.

That’s it – the mini case study is short, simple, and effective.

Here is an example of one of our mini case studies that is still driving conversions for a commercial real estate client:

Tenant Representation Services: Strategic Planning & Transaction Management Process Keeps Maine’s Largest Law Firm in Portland.

It had been over 30 years since Maine’s largest law firm, Pierce Atwood, contemplated a move, but their lease was coming up for renewal, and they wanted to look at their options. The firm turned to NAI The Dunham Group to help identify and evaluate their options and ultimately to procure a new location for their 80,000 SF downtown Portland office.

“This project required vision on everyone’s part. The Dunham Group brokers were flexible and pragmatic, and we appreciated how hard they worked to make the deal come together.”– Dennis Keeler, Pierce Atwood

Since Pierce Atwood had already determined their square footage requirements, the NAI Dunham team’s first step was to survey the market to determine all existing and potential options. They created a broad list of properties and obtained in-depth information on each site.

With this information, NAI The Dunham Group created a grid and helped the client determine the most efficient geographic location based on client, employee and partner requirements. NAI The Dunham Group then worked with the developers to create financial and conceptual building proposals for the most promising candidates.

The next step was to create a detailed Request for Proposal, which NAI The Dunham Group sent to the top pick property owners and developers. Once the proposals were in, the NAI Dunham team conducted an in-depth financial comparison of each site and helped the client determine the best option.

In the end, the client chose the Cumberland Self Storage Building on Merrill’s Wharf, which was completely redeveloped for the firm, a result that is a win-win situation for both Pierce Atwood and the City of Portland.

If you are within two years of your current lease expiration date, call NAI The Dunham Group to review your situation and learn how they can add value to your leasing process. There is no cost to you, as the landlord provides compensation if NAI The Dunham Group successfully completes your lease transaction.

If you’d like to read more of the Dunham Group’s mini case studies, please visit