The Humanize IT Framework is an approach to IT services that prioritizes people over technology. Let's create genuine human connections through better conversations rather than presentations.
Guests: Adam Walter and Sean Lardo join the show to discuss the concept of asking better questions of your clients and then "listening" to their answers.
Then present them with a better QBR meeting with a live shareable dashboard of projects, status and goals. The single pane of glass for account management that allows account managers to show clients the value they bring to the table and have better conversations with them.
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/humanizeIT
Microsoft 365 Apps Exploited through CVSS 9.8 Bug... Patch Now! https://tinyurl.com/ytbwfmw3
Florida Man from Different Earth Naked in Palm Beach: https://tinyurl.com/ynx2fpv3
Florida Man Series Coming to Netflix: https://tinyurl.com/5duaadv6
=== Techcon Unplugged 2023
September 7-10 at the Delta Hotels in Woodbridge, NJ.
Get your early bird ticket for $199 through March 31.
=== Show Information
Host: Marvin Bee
=== Support the Show
Uncle Marv’s Amazon Store: https://amzn.to/3EiyKoZ
Become a monthly supporter: https://www.patreon.com/join/itbusinesspodcast?
One-Time Donation: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/unclemarv
=== Show Sponsors
Presenting Sponsor: NetAlly - https://www.netally.com/
Live Show Partner: Computers Done Right - https://computersdoneright.com/
Alright, if you are watching this early, welcome to the live show. Right before we get started, I just wanted to say a quick thank you. I doubt that he's watching. But Mr. Bardi C uh I had gone to an event last month where they were handing out these glass mugs and before I even left the event mine broke. So, I shouted out to and said, hey, you need to send me one. And today on my birthday, it arrived with another one in tow. So, I now have two of these and I want to say thank you my friend for getting me these mugs.
This is not a sponsorship or endorsement of any kind, but I just wanted to say thank you here. So now let's start the show. Hello, friends, Uncle Marv here with another episode of the IT Business podcast. This is our weekly live show.
This is the show where we try to help IT professionals managed service providers all handle their business, provide support to their customers and networks better, smarter and faster. We share products, stories and tips and tonight we are going to do just that. But before we do that. I want to make sure that I get some stuff out of the way because we've got some uh some distractions that will probably happen this evening. So, before we get started, I want to make sure that I say thank you to our sponsors, the B the IT Business podcast is presented by Net Ally, the leader in network testing solutions.
NetAlly’s innovative products, empower network engineers and technicians to quickly and easily troubleshoot, wired and wireless networks. You can see them at NetAlly.com. Our live show is sponsored by computers. Done, right. Your one stop shop for all your computer needs in Venice Florida. Yep. Right here. The team of experienced professionals specializes in computer repair, virus removal, data recovery and much more whether it's a desktop laptop or network.
They've got you covered visit today and experience the top notch service that many satisfied customers have come to expect computers done, right. Your trusted IT partner and I don't have a slide for this. But as you know, my good brothers and podcasting over at MSP Unplugged are hosting an event called Tech Con Unplugged. This September 7th through the 10th. It is a time for networking, learning and fun and relaxed intimate setting.
You'll have the opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals, learn from industry experts and explore the latest trends and technologies that are helping to shape the future of our industry. Head over to tech con unplugged dot com to get your ticket early bird pricing only last through March 31st. So, it is now the 15th.
We are halfway through March. You need to get there and get that 1 99 locked in now. And, uh, it's in the state of New Jersey, but I Think they're touting it as New York. I don't know how that goes between the Jets, the Giants Yankees.
It's all going to be up there. So, it'll be a great place. Is that a lovely Marriott?
I found a nice room and should be good. And I want to say a quick shout out to some people in the chat that are wishing me yes, today is my birthday. I'm podcasting on this day. So, thank you Trish. Thank you, Giles. And we're going to continue on with the show.
Let me bring out my first guest, you know, him as The Instigator of Chaos, Sean Lardo from ConnectWise Sean, my man. How are you? I'm great. You know what I mean?
I feel like I need like a, like a mask and like a wrestling outfit for like my name's. You give me now like, listen, you come up with titles like the Royal Rumble, you know, and we're gonna have to do that. So, between that beard and a mask, you probably should come up with the costume and it was the Royale. So we wouldn't get caught for, you know, and you know, stealing the royal rumble itself, but it was royal um and happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you as well. Thank you. Our listeners just now found out that we share a birthday on the ides of March that we do.
I Take all the knives out of my house on this day. That way nobody can use them on me in my back. So, I'll share this little story and the wife will kill me if she ever listens or if somebody tells her. But years ago, I was sitting in the living room watching TV, minding my own business.
She was bringing me dinner and it was probably something like a steak or something that needed a knife. So, she went back to the kitchen to get the knife and she was holding it in a manner that you're not supposed to hold it and she tripped and almost stabbed me with the knife. You think that was almost, you know, I don't know. But that was many years ago.
We are still here. I'm alive. So, thank you for not killing me.
I mean, yeah, or else we would not be here together. We would not be sharing our birthday together. We would not be able to have random names. Um And yeah. No, I would be the world be a lot lesser without you.
Well, I appreciate that very much. So, Sean, let's tell everybody why you're here, why you're here as we did a couple of weeks ago, we brought on uh the top three. Actually, I Think they were the winner of last year's PitchIT contest. Yes, we talked this year and we're going to have all three of last year's finishers in the podcast and then we having little podcast with all the contestants for this year. So, tell us how things are looking so far. So yeah. So just to get to level set, everything, I run the pitch competition for ConnectWise and pitch. It is a way for us to look for emerging vendors that are coming into the ecosystem to bring them into our ecosystem. Uh They have to be very much partner friendly, whether they're selling to, selling through or selling to and through doesn't matter. But they have to be, they have to be partner friendly, they have to be in it for the long haul, these companies or companies that are doing everything necessary that MSP are looking for stack alignment, right? Um And they're complementary to our ecosystem, which is very important for us. We're trying our best to make it as much a one stop shop as you can, especially when you're looking for different, different technologies, almost the same as same concept as an Amazon, right?
Where they want to be able to go to one place and find all you need even though there's all different providers. Um So You're absolutely correct. Last week or last time we spoke was alert ops with cam where he was in his car doing it because they had their, their, their ice storm lost power and he did the whole entire episode from his car. So, to talk about a trooper, they did take first place. Um tonight we're going to be meeting the third place finisher. And I want you to everybody understand too that there were 18 vendors that were in this competition.
We had to, they went through 16 weeks of, of a lot of education, a lot of development, a lot of webinars, a lot of, we asked a lot of them, they invested heavily in this and we took them 16 weeks through all this. And then we had the battle Royale Is what if we did actually the battle Royale. And it was with the channel program, Matt Solomon and team and we hosted a preliminary pitch off basically. And all 18 teams vendors competed.
We had, you know, we had to eliminate all but three, so the three top ones went to the finals at the Nation connect last year. They, and they pitched on live on stage and three judges, the three judges were people that are very well known in the space one, Fernandez, which most people do know him. He's, he's huge in the channel itself.
Allison Francis, which she's been, which she's now with uh features. Then she was with, I know, right. She wasn't with them. Then she was with channel features still. So she, you know, she wrote a lot of pieces, everything. So she's very much in the know of space and Jay McBain. So three judges and they sat up there on stage, we had a packed house, We had well over 300 people in one room watching, they became fan favorites, all of them.
So, you know, and at the end they had to pick the three top three and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. And, you know, it was, it was really good. It was, it was a very strong, it was a very strong crew that came through last year. And this year there's some big shoes to fill for the new class that's coming in.
Um, We're, we're looking to see how many we get in this year. We already, we applications are, people can apply. Now, enrollment is happening right now until the end of April. So, there's still a good month and a half left to go.
All they got to go to is the Google IT nation pitch. It, you'll find it's the easiest way to do it. But, uh, you know, again, we're going to run through the incubator accelerator program again this year.
Look for the best of the best and see them in 19 Asian connect in November. All right. And we'll be talking about that tonight and through upcoming shows and again, featuring all of this year's contestants. But let's go ahead and get on with tonight's show. Um I had teased it in the promo and the preview uh HumanizeIT, framework and approach to IT services that prioritized this people over technology. And I dubbed it, have better conversations with your clients. So why don't you introduce our guests for tonight? Absolutely. And I want to add to the fact that this is so fitting for your podcast because as you've already said, and you're going to find out once you, once you meet my very good friend there, um, that they, it is all about the business aspect, which I Think it's lost in the sauce sometimes in conversation where it gets very technology heavy and features and widgets and whatnot. This is, you know, it is perfectly aligned with this, with the message you've been, you've been sharing for years now. So, without further ado, let's bring on my good friend, the founder, CEO president, Adam Alter. What's going guys? What's up, dude? Oh man. Happy birthday. Happy birthday and no birthday. Thank you. Thank you. Can't tell. But Sean is taunting me off screen and I'm just, I'm just bitter over here. Well, why are you bitter?
Well, there's, there's, there's something on fire to your, to your right and then there's something to your left. I haven't, I haven't opened. You are not allowed to open. Thank you for that sometimes.
All right, Adam, welcome to the show. Nice to meet you. And now that Sean has introduced you, why don't you tell us a little bit about you and your experience in last year's pitching program.
Yeah, I mean, it was, it was a great program. I mean, a lot of times in this, in the channel you kind of get invited to things like, ok, free way to promote yourself, you know, like, hey, pay this much, get this award kind of thing. And so, you know, going into pitch it, it's like, okay, this would be a great way for me and a guy who just came into the channel to get to know people and, and we'll see what the right is. It turned out to be a genuinely good experience. Like this wasn't a pay to play thing.
This wasn't any kind of Charlottetown behavior. It was, we actually had to do work. We actually had to learn about how to run a business and they challenged us, um each of the speakers throughout the series, challenged us to learn different things. And then by the end, we had to come up with a five minute pitch as, as my, as my business partner skip would say, like we had a pitch, an elevator pitch, but it had to be a really tall building. And after pitch, it were able to like just to come off the cuff with one liners. Like we help, we help engineers and accountants have better conversations rather than presenting strict solutions to their clients.
Those little things like that, we can put that resonate, there are a lot of information packed into one sentence. And so, it was a fantastic experience all the way through the end. Can we, can we just add to the fact that I said that these were the best ones at the top three were the top three.
You're absolutely right, Adam, you guys had to work and you know, of all the companies these guys that all went through were all they all bought in. They all bought into their own growth and the growth in the ecosystem and we put them through hell because he had a tall boy of a pitch. And we were like, you guys got, you guys got it down to five minutes to talk about the whole company, not elevator pitch, but you gotta pitch the whole company. Why somebody like if you're going to call with a person today to sell you a service or, or, or a productivity sort. And Marv, you know, because you're an MSP. So, you've got plenty of pitches from companies. It was literally like if they conducted a discovery and did a demo for you and they had five minutes to do that. Yeah. And the great thing was like, what I wanted people to know is like behind the scenes a bit here, like Sean did a great job of building the community of, of, of the group we were in, we didn't know anybody knew each other before this started. And we should be at each other's throats, you know, we should be fighting the whole time. But instead, like by the end, like Von and I were like pitching ideas, like, how are you going to make your pitch better? What do you do about your pitch?
And, um, it was great because by the end, like we were helping each other become sharper and, and, and we, you know, had fun with it. We get to the end and we all were the best we could do that. You, if you went to that pitch, if you saw the recording or you were at that live event, we could not have pitched our stuff any better. There was all the cards on the table.
I don't disagree and I would even go for one step further. And we talked about this a little bit of cam to um they all sponsored a pre day event, right? And then they started collaborating all three finalists, they work together and really, yes, they have to be able to talk about the process of standalone, right? We knew that that that happened, right? But then you also, when you're in this space, you can't just be a standalone always, you have to be, you have to be agile and you have to be able to integrate into certain things, right? Because again, if we're trying to eliminate the multiple portal entrances for different places, it's it becomes difficult. So not only did they pitch about their own product to stand alone. But then they also pitched how they all could collaborate together and how MSPS could use them all together because back to stack alignment, right? And then one more level was also by the way, we integrated the ConnectWise and check this out. So literally, they all collaborated, put this together and did a pre day event where they all took turns speaking about their products and how they all stacked on top of each other essentially. And it was, it was, it was extremely dynamic, it was extremely powerful. And if you're talking about your business case, you use cases, they covered all of them. So, it was for, for, for our side from ConnectWise, it was, it was a huge win because it's nice to be able to watch vendors to be able to tell the story of that ecosystem togetherness because it's difficult.
I mean, mark for as long as you've been in the space, you see it, you see vendors constantly pitching various things and then somehow you got to figure out the in between and how to get things to work. Well, I mean, yeah, trust me, I just got back from exchange last week and had a whole debriefing. I've got to go through before I can talk about that. But you know, the difference I see with the pitch of competition, the vendors are actually becoming close in terms of friendship in terms of understanding what each other does.
It's understanding how they can, you know, survive in harmony in the channel. And I know from an MSP perspective, we see it all as, you know, vultures, you know, v you know, vendors and vultures. And we go to this trade shows that we're in the vendor room and they're all trying to buy for our attention. And this is why we're better than this one and this is why we're better than this one. And um it's interesting now being on this side, in terms of podcasting, I'm kind of in the middle because I get to see vendors from a different perspective. And most of the time you guys get along behind the scenes, sometimes there still isn't, but it's the way it is, that's just like any other ecosystem. But this pitch, it seems to have gone to a whole different level of making sure that people understand.
Look, we're all in this together. And, you know, there are tons of opportunities for business much more than any one of us can do by ourselves, same for vendors, same from as piece. So, let's just let's just get it done and we all cooperate and lifted each other up.
I mean, we even had fun if you saw the LinkedIn like posts during the ConnectWise event, like there was pictures of us all trying to kill cam because he won, you know, like with the, with the light Sabers from Vanna High, we, we, we had fun, like once the event was like, in fact, when I got done pitching, I went back and I Think it was cam and I sit there drinking a beer, watching, watching Fauna High do their, do their dynamic duo pitch and uh we're just back there like, okay, you know, and it was just, and we, but we were, we weren't avoiding each other. We're like, we're genuinely happy for one another. And even after the event, we've all sat down and said, how can we help each other, you know, and lift each other up because of a genuine interest in what the product is? And like when I'm in the middle of a pitch with somebody, like now I'll be even saying like, hey, you should check out, you should check out alert ops that, that would solve that problem. You're having, you should check out vomited, that would solve a problem. And that way we're not trying to be one thing and just sell our Kool aid.
We're trying to help the MSP. We see an opportunity for MSP to rise. Then why don't you look at these guys over here and people are going to remember if you give them a good recommendation. So great, great thing here. So, let's go ahead and continue on.
I want to make sure Adam that you and I have some good quality time. We're going to have to kick shot out of the studio. But before we do, Sean, I'll let you actually listen in on the news segment. Oh, thank God. So, this is urgent, urgent news, which is why I had to play the music So updated late March 15. So that means today folks a critical vulnerability in the ubiquitous Microsoft outlook slash 3 65 application suite is being actively abused in the wild and demands urgent patching. There's a C C V number that I'm not going to mention. But basically a CVSS 9.8 bug lets a remote and unauthorized, unauthorized or unauthenticated attacker reach systems merely by sending a specially crafted email that allows them to steal the recipients credentials. But wait, there's shorter version.
The poison email does not even need to be opened to pop your security. Very bad news. So, I'm going to have a link in that show for uh for tonight show that folks you need to go patch this right now. CVE-2023-23397, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. And I won't go into the whole details.
There's two pages of stuff but just know that it's bad and that users don't even have to open the email. So, get it fixed. And as a priest precursor for something that's going to be happening later this evening, I've got a big old news story here. You see that word Netflix. If you're watching the live stream earlier, this month.
Netflix announced that a new series is coming to the streaming giant called Florida man. We've seen all the headlines about a seemingly singular Florida man breaking laws in the most creative ways and imaginable. According to Netflix, the show from Jason Bateman's production company, aggregate Films aims to dig way deeper into the swamp than a new stupid. Can the series reportedly follow one particular man from Florida? His name is Mike Valentine. He is a recovering gambling addict and he reluctantly returned to the Sunshine State after a mob boss sent him to find his missing girlfriend. How about that? That's amazing. Florida man lives. You know what I will tell you something right now. So, you ask about these Florida man stories are competing with them.
Adam always has stories just saying and, and they're, they're very obscure. I've got a Florida man story here. Let's see if it, if it stacks up later, I'm new to this concept of Florida man. So, I'm intrigued here.
That's because he lives in, he lives. He's a Midwest guy. We're about as far from Florida as you can get and not even, we don't even, we don't even know what ocean is.
There are people in the state who are born and die without ever experiencing an ocean. First of all, you don't need an ocean to have an alligator. And if you could see your green stream behind you, that little river looks like a perfect green breeding ground for an alligator. That Whole river behind me is about 38°. Come on. Now, if you go a little bit over there is a hot spring portentous that alligators could hang out by the hot springs. Okay. All right. So, Adam, let's you and I get a little better acquainted, Sean.
I'm throwing you back in the green room. All right. We'll see you in a bit. Don't drink. Oh, you know he's going to know he's popping out right now, looking at us in the green.
I know you can see him. You tell me when hanging up there in my head. So, Adam, 1st, 1st thing is let me, let me find out if I said the name of your company properly because I've even heard you guys make fun of it on your podcast.
HumanizeIT or HumanizeIT it's both humanized IT is the official trademark name if you want to get down to what our trademark is out at the U S P T O. But we also say HumanizeIT as a, as a catch phrase to say like when you're working with your clients, you need to humanize the conversation. You need to humanize your approach to business. You've got to stop seeing your client as a technology portfolio and start seeing them as human beings trying to make their way in the business world. So, this is all based around the concept that we as MSPS, understand the QBR are, and I'm going to read one of the definitions that I found for QBRR and you can help, help me because it's kind of, you know, I'm not using that pizza. I mean, that thing, a QBR R otherwise known as a quarterly business review is when you sit down with customers on a quarterly basis to review how well you're contributing to their success, they ensure customer satisfaction and deep engagements on a schedule at or under budget and on track to meet agreed upon KPI S. Now having said that that is not how I understood QBRR s to be when I first got introduced to them. What's your response to that?
I Think that the term QBRR has been bastardized over the years. Um because of like vendor channels, it's something that you should be doing to align disparate groups and trying to help them move forward. For instance, if you read the goal 1984 fantastic book, right? Um He talks about actually discovering your why and what's going on this before the whole Simon Senate craze came out.
This is a great book if you haven't read it. Um And he talks about what is the why, what are you trying to do as a business? And in the end goal is to drive profits to make money. That's the goal. And so, in a QBR R, you're trying to line up with, how are you achieving that goal and having a checkpoint to make sure everybody's working towards that goal and you can set kps.
We get all these sorts of like operational items that come up along the way that get us almost distracted from the focus. So QBRR s in the technical arena started turning into the KPI S and they were, they were the goal, they became the goal. How many tickets are we closing? How fast is the internet? How many pcs do we have to replace the KPI S became the goal? And we lost sight of how are we making the people in the room money? How are we contributing to their success? And that's what a QBRR should be is it should be a cadence.
That is an easy one to follow. Doesn't have to be a QBR R. It should just be a strategic touch point. What are the risks of your client and what are their sources of revenue and how are you helping them with both? So, when I asked the question in my mind, I remember all the times when I would hear other service providers talk about, you know, dreading heading to a QBRR or, you know, you know, getting all, I want to say the word fret. But that's, I mean, it's a stronger word than fret all worked up because their biggest fear is the customer looking back at them and the first thing, they're going to say is what are you trying to sell me now?
Yeah, because yeah, we've trained them if, if, if an MSP provider walked in the room, we immediately clench like I was on the other side of the table for a long time. We at once clenched and think, okay. I'm waiting the entire meeting for the pitch. We've all been in these vendor meetings, guys were sitting there and like, okay, where's the pitch? Where's the pitch up there? It is. And so, we're all waiting to be sold something and so an MS should be walking into a QBRR are in fact, not just an IT consultant company, anything you are, whatever you wanna call yourselves should be walking into a cube er with a simple idea of, am I learning about the client? And how much am I listening? Because the channel wants to sell things to make you be more effective? Because if the trick is if you run an effective cube, er if you actually help a company become more profitable, sky's the limit on what they'll buy from you. If you say I will sell you this $20,000 item that will make you $100,000 by every time. And so, this became successful, but then all of a sudden it became product ized, you need to do QBRR to make money and we lost the Y and so if you sell your pcs and then talk about what warranties are coming up in this QBRR, you'll sell more pcs. And so, it became the purpose of a QBRR is touching point on yourself. And then it became all about the vendor, not about the client. And in a, in a QBR R, you don't have to be a business expert because there already is one in the room.
You need to play your part. Your client is the business expert. They know their channel, they know their vertical. You need to listen to them and treat them like an expert And then take those 10,000 technology solutions in your head.
Hold them back for just 60 minutes. People get a big chief notebook out and a number two pencil and take notes and then write down possible solutions in your head that's going to help drive their profits and help them reduce risk to their portfolio. So, let's go back. You had mentioned that you sat on the other side of the table. So, I want to give the listeners and watchers of the video an idea of where you're coming from because you did not come from the MSP space. No. So what, what makes you the expert?
I'm not an expert. I just like, I like to learn. Um I came from the corporate world.
I was in IT leadership in the corporate world got pulled in kicking and screaming. I was a bachelor of science, computer science, a um open BSD guy. I learned to program on spark vax VMS systems. I am a nerd.
I had a CISSP. I was gold certified at sands. I was a Nexus core admin for those top Iraq solutions. I was nerdy. And then I got into this leadership roles where I was coordinating massive engineering teams and trying to come with root cause analysis. And then I got moved into management where I was helping critical infrastructure identify and protect our electrical grid.
I spent time doing cloud migrations at Zillow. And so I sat on that side of the table and these vendors would come in all the time trying to sell that stuff. And eventually I missed the small business world. So, I went out and start a company.
My wife said, hey, you know what, you missed working with small business, go back and do it again, you know, so, you know, we were financially independent and so I said, okay. So, I started a company working with school districts, private schools and underserved communities that needed technology advice from an agnostic standpoint. So I took my IT leadership this idea that I need to listen to the customers and represent their needs to all of these vendors that were coming in and asking things. So, I would watch M S P S come in and pitch solutions for years and what I saw wasn't pretty people that binder you guys bring in that's preprinted with your explanations and why you love Microsoft. And I gotta say it's pretty, it's good manager, porn people, but it's a stack of papers at the end of the day. And it went right from my, my client's hands. They put it in front of me and they say, what do we need to know in here? And I would take it and I would flip to the last page and look at the delivery and then I would close it and I would continue the conversation with my client saying, okay, what actually you're trying to accomplish and there was nothing in this report about what my school was trying to do.
They were trying to initiate a Chromebook program and their biggest problems at the end of the day was that they're, they're, they're testing the online testing and the kids had to do in this elementary school constantly was failing and no one, no one asked any questions about what were the biggest issues at this client. And so the, the MSPs came in, they sold this prepackaged kit. They would sit down table.
I watched this at five separate private schools before I got fed up with it and change it into an RFP process. I actually said stop and I said, alright, schools, we're going to start doing RFP processes and that's when it started changing details because it forced the vendors to come in and ask questions, it forced them to address the actual problem that you uh indicated in those RFP. So that was it. So, when I went back and started understanding for myself, and I've got another program that's helping me, you know, do better QBR R s and stuff. And one of the big things is learning to ask better questions. But even before you get there, I Think you mentioned it earlier, the first thing is to actually ask and listen, which that's not the way I learned QBRR s because we, as IT, engineers are used to being the expert in the room.
We're used to having people defer to us. But you gotta remember people if you're sitting in the room with the CEO or a CFO, I guarantee especially the CFO is in there, I guarantee you you're not the smartest person in the room, you know, uh just because they don't know engineering, just because they don't understand technology. The way you do doesn't mean that they can't calculate R O Y on a whim Because they know their vertical, they know their industry, they know all the players in the dog food or the, the, the agricultural industry that they're representing, their attorneys who understand this game they're playing, they don't have time to play your engineering game. So, you need to defer to them and let them fill the gaps in your knowledge so that you can meet in the middle and find solutions.
One of my favorite stories I Tell people, I took a tier one tech and had them go on a ride along. They came back from this ride along with line crews and found that they're still doing their time sheets by hand. Three years after we didn't automated electronic time sheet system because they didn't have internet connectivity in their trucks. So, they would go out and they would operate their day.
The crew manager would write down and record from each one of the crew members their time and he would go in and record it at the end of the day and the end of the week. And it would cost about 10 hours a week all because he didn't have it in the truck. Now, everybody listen to the podcast.
You're sitting here engineers, you already know the solution. Just give him a hot spot. But no one asked the question for three years because they weren't paying attention to what the business was doing. And I've got a bunch of stories like this where we took a tier one engineer, not a top tier, not somebody with 30 years of experience, not somebody with all the solutions in their head. Just a simple guy a year out of college. Hey, why don't we get hotspots? Why wasn't that question asked three years ago when we did the discovery process of what we're doing for electronic time sheets? Oh, interesting. Alright. So out of all that frustration.
Is this the company you started that your wife said you need to get back into. So, you know, if you told me I was going to run a software company, I would have, I would have laughed at you. I would have chuckled and said no, like I told my mom when I graduated college, if I go into coding, just shoot because I've lost my mind. I, I can code, I can read code. Um I just don't like to code. It's crazy. People code but people much smarter than me. So, I was an engineer to my core.
I love cracking open service and looking inside, I love doing that stuff. And I sat there and I started a company to do virtual C which is the actual parent company to do virtual see IO work and to help bring people bring that virtual sea level office to small businesses who can't afford that level of employee. And so, I did so well at that that we ended up buying the tool we were using called managed services platform and merging in 2021 and we went radio silent for 14 months while we rebuilt this thing into a tool that would help MSPS deliver everything I've been talking about very simply. And under an hour if you go click and roll now on our software, you can deliver a world class dashboard that will knock the socks off of your clients to look at and go holy crap. In fact, and then press one of my MSPS a client so much that they came over and bought my software, a veterinarian supply company said this is so cool. I want to use it to sell to my customers. So, we actually do veterinarian supplies.
Now, that's, that's the impact of this. My MSPs are bringing us their clients and saying, holy crap, this is different. This is what we've been looking for. This makes sense. It aligns with all my business logic and it's easy. Yeah. So, I've got the link up on the screen for those that are watching.
Of course, it will be in the show notes, managed services platform dot com. And let's describe what it is and the very first pop up that comes up says we bring MSPs and clients together. So, let's start from there and, and tell us all about it. It's kind of what I've been talking about.
You have, you have these clients who want to buy your solutions. We as a vCIO would routinely take a $1500 month break fix and turn them into an $8000 to $9000 MRR client. Because what we did was we said, here's what you need to take your school to the next level. This is how you're going to get to a Chromebook program. You need to do these things. And when they realize that for the cost of an employee, they could have all of these solutions making their day either easier for 70 teachers and, and employees at the school. It was a no brainer.
Now it was easy. We took that conversation and we had it. We acted as the middleman and now an MSP walked in and were their best friend because we have, we've actually created a market that didn't exist before, before they were trying to fight for the same level of, of clients. Now we walk and we say, hey, look, if you would just sell solutions to this client and have a better conversation with them, it's not about selling anymore. It's about alignment and the sales will follow. What's that called? Client led sales? If you like, there's books on that, but you're doing it because you're actually helping them, you're not replacing their pcs, you're not a janitor, cleaning up messes and changing the light bulbs.
You're saying, hey, you know, I see that your teachers are struggling in the classrooms every day. Why is that? And then sit back and listen, spend some time listening and it's a conversation. That's what we say. You don't need to buy our tool.
You need a big chief notebook and a number two pencil and have a conversation. We just facilitate that, Which is why it's easy. There's no big long coaching program, there's no 300 step process. It's literally that easy.
You don't just today go into your client can actually download this pdf from our website right now. It's called the two cues. You can go in and ask your, your client what are the biggest sources of revenue you have and what are the biggest risk to your company and just sit back and take notes.
That's all you have to do. I guarantee it will change the mindset and the relationship between your and the customer because now you're going to have a conversation and you're going to hear things that you've never heard before and your clients are going to hear things that they've never heard before. And everybody's going to win and be like, how have we not been doing this for years? It's because the water is muddy.
You're trying to follow a process for QBR. Are that some consultants sold you and said you need to talk about these 10 things. I need to run through a 300 process and for $15,000 they'll teach you how to do it when all you need to do is sit down and listen to your client because they already are an expert in business, learn from them. Now you're screened. Actually, I'm, I'm trying to do two things at once. So, forgive me because I'm trying to bring up the, the website so that people can, can see here. It looks like I've got to do a little thinking about Bobby here, but your program is described as a dashboard. So, most of the time we understand that we sit back in our offices and we gather all the client data and all the endpoints and what are we doing here? But you describe your program as being able to walk in and share this with them in real time. And uh look at that.
You've got it there here. Make this, I'm going to, I had this ready cause Sean Lardo is on here. We actually created, this is the company we with for the fall and for righty nation to show a gap analysis of a client. And the idea here is this is all pre built.
The only thing that you have to actually put in is the gap analysis. This is your own stack that you are putting in place. A 15 minute conversation is not, we're not talking about six aram here. People were talking about high level. Do they have the right service? Do they have the right PCS? What are you doing with the client? Are you going to meet with them and do business strategy with them? What's their budget over the next couple of years? If they did everything you need to, what would that look like with them? How do we get them to where they need to be? And this is a dashboard because what you're seeing here is the share of all versions.
If you go to my website right now and click on dashboards, you can actually look at this live and you can click around it and see how this looks. You can actually experiment with this and that is, it's called a dashboard. We keep it in four columns because it keeps it simple. If we as engineers are given infinite space, we will fill this crap up and it will get overwhelming and your clients will be overwhelmed and they won't buy anything.
Instead, you're going to bring this up and you're going to talk about, hey, let's talk about your company and what your biggest struggles are. Knowing that this is your baseline. We're not talking about firewalls here. We're not talking about servers.
We're just saying, hey, here's the baseline for your company. Here's your budget. Now, your client can see at any given point in time where their projects are, what budget they're looking at financially. And then if they want to click down at the asset management, they can, which is important from the CFO standpoint. But this gives you a holistic picture that you've never, your client has never seen before on what their portfolio looks like. Now that that's out of the way you can sit and have a conversation.
Don't talk about tickets, don't talk about technology. This has already been solved. This is already a baseline that you, you have in place.
Now, let's talk about the client. Let's talk about you. You know, we talk about like it's kinda like a date, you know, you're on a date.
Are you there just to talk about yourself the whole time. Are you there for like a conversation and acknowledgement? If you treated your dates that you go on with your, with your spouse the same way you treat your clients, would there be a second date? This is making the conversation happen. It's a dashboard. No more reports. No more big stacks of paper.
Just simply a single pane of glass so that you can discuss what's necessary. Now, while you're in that, in that conversation, you can click and like change these to make it fit the fit what the client is looking for. It's all about business, it's all coming up with business strategy. Now, let me ask the, the technical questions from an MSP standpoint in terms of how do you build that? Because we, you talked about the fact that you're not doing, you know, we're not talking about firewalls, but yet we've got to talk about endpoints and servers and this and that. And here's our gold silver bronze plan. Um So in terms of building this dashboard, where are you getting that information from? Are you, are you integrating with the P S A or the R MM or height igloo or stuff like that? So, as you can see what we, what we've kind of been building is this idea um that IT providers are very familiar with this dashboards.
You, you work with bright gauge, you already work with a scene, you've built dashboards what we wanna do is build an account management dashboard that can plug into tools and pull out. So, one of the great part about being in the picture program is the fact that we got into the Invent program and that allows for a great API calls ConnectWise Event. Go check it out.
They do a great job of their, their deaths will support you. They'll help give you insights and you can have regular meetings with them. They'll actually troubleshoot connection with their, with ConnectWise people. And we can pull in the inventory information. We can pull in those opportunities. We can pull in the clients. So, you don't have to double do on the data.
Wow, that was a double do. Data liberation for the wind. All right. So, what happens is we are trying to make it as easy as one of the core things, I'm lazy. I don't like to redo things. So, we have, we have humanized, IT have drawn the line of operations. The P S A is your operational framework.
That is where you're going to do all your business. We don't want to do it again. What we are is a single pane of glass for account management so that your account managers can show your clients the value of that you're bringing to the table and then ask the clients, hey, what can we do better? How can we serve your profits better? How can we align better?
We, everything's taken care of here. Now, let's just have a better conversation and you can build those dashboards to represent anything you want. And as we continue to grow, and as MSPS asked us like, hey, you will be really nice if you would work with who do or work with Vanna High and get a widget that showed our clients this score on that single pane of glass, that'd be great. Our back end has been completely reworked so that we can practically plug into anything. As long as they've got an API call, we can create a widget for it. Nice. Now, we're going to run out of time here, but I do want to talk about a couple of things.
One, you've got the QBR, our toolkit that's listed on the website. People can learn everything they need to on how to use, HumanizeIT for free QBR. Our orientation live training all included there. Um Jesus Crackers, we have a lot of free materials that we genuinely want to change the industry.
We genuinely mean when we say you can do all of this with just a big chief notebook and a number two pencil. So, you can go to our website and you can download pdfs that will help guide you through this and they are very nice looking. We have a graphic arts company redo all of them. They're all free. We also have like lots of training.
We have active YouTube and we convert everything over to YouTube this summer. So, our numbers are low. So please like and subscribe our stuff. Well, we've got a link will put up here right here YouTube.
I Think it was something like, yeah, it was uh it was a video aggregator. We were able, it was, it was the back ends. When I bought the company, they had all their videos on the back end and we load everything in like Now, just put it on YouTube. And so, we did the summer I hired an intern and her only job was to watch anime and upload videos to YouTube hundreds of years. Cool. It was probably, she probably thought she won $1 million YouTube. And that was her summer job. Right. Well, folks, I'm going to have the links all here again.
They've got a YouTube channel. You guys also have a podcast um that you, you guys do. Um And you've got what, 100 and 142 this week we've been doing really well. Um we were, we got some awards from Spotify last year as a lot of like one of the top contributors at tech content on Spotify right now. So a weekly podcast every Monday 20 minutes for a drive time for you between sites. And I'll say a couple of the episodes that I liked. Uh you've got a two parter, uh 2 38 to 39 putting the B back in QBRR and then I actually read one or listen to 1 to 35. The biggest problem facing M S P S today. Yeah. And I like the fact that you guys talked about how we've lost sight of.
Not just the QBR are just our role in general that we have become resellers to our clients and not partners and providing solutions. We're just trying to resell, you know, whatever gets us the most margins. So, we've trained our clients to see us that way too because of that commoditization of MSPS. We are training our clients to only see us as resellers and bars rather than what we used to be back in the late 90s, early 2000s. We used to be the answer people. Hey, how do I do this better? Is there a technology that will solve this problem for me? So, folks, you do want to go listen to those as well and you might actually hear a word called hubris, which I was quite intrigued when I heard that there was a word that I hadn't heard. And my wife and I were watching some TV shows and for like a year, we, that's all we heard was everybody was using the word hubris and then it disappeared. And now it was back on your podcast as one of your three pillars of something.
I don't remember what the others were it's the three great virtues, hubris, impatience and laziness. They are in the, the pearl handbook as definitions of what a great programmer. The core attributes should be. You can actually Google it. The three great virtues of a programmer. It'll break them down.
Hubris, excessive pride, the ability to do things so well, other people brag about them. All right. I'm not that much of a geek, so I have no idea what the Pearl handbook is. The O’Reilly handbook. There's people listening to this podcast right now. They go, oh my gosh. He's an O’Reilly guy. That's a nerd. Yes, you are. My people who know what the O’Reilly handbooks are.
I get enough grief for not watching enough Star Trek or Star Wars. See, I get them confused. That's how bad I am. I just went to the Star Wars concert just this last Friday. I dressed up like a Jedi concert. Yeah. It was a full on hold on orchestra concert, strings. Everything. They did a tribute to John Williams earlier in the year and then Star Wars tribute this past week where they did all the Star Wars songs throughout the ages. And then, um you were allowed to come in dressed up. So, I dressed up like a Jedi because I have a Great Jedi Cosplay and I took a purple Lightsaber um, custom made and then my, my daughter dressed up as Leah and she brought in a little blue Lightsaber custom made cause I'm that much of a nerd that I have to light sabers. Alright. You I was just about ready to chastise you for being a grown up dress, dressing up in costumes. But your daughter I get it now check my I Think I put on my LinkedIn on my Facebook.
It's not my Lincoln, I'll put down my LinkedIn all this dressed up. Somebody will find it and send it to me and remind me to get with the times here. Alright. Well, Adam, thank you very much.
I'm going to bring Sean back in. Uh first let me see if he's decent uh backgrounds on fire chug a lug in there. Maybe I was I was lonely.
You never lonely if you have a cigar, you know what it is. I know you like to talk and it probably just, you know, burns your bottom that you got to sit there in the green room and be quiet. No, it was, it was actually very inform informative. I had to look up the word hubris. I like ready in Greek. Excessive pride towards defy or defiance of the gods leading to nemesis.
Yeah, that's what it says they're just saying. Alright, so we're going to be running out of time here. So, I'm going to allow you Sean to open up your drink here on our birthday and you just heard the pop and yes, I'm doing a youngling light lager. Sounds like I was drinking already, doesn't it Yeah, I am having some more scotch. All right. And Adam, do you want to tell the people what you're having or should we keep that a secret? No, I'm having spiritless uh Kentucky 70 for uh it's alcohol free whiskey like it says spiritless.
There's no spirit involved in that. No spirit, no team spirit doesn't smell like great here because doesn't smell like teen spirit at all. Not at all. Well, happy birthday again. Thank you, sir. Oh, what is that?
That is the new sound for my Florida Man segment. Sound of an alligator. And so, Adam, this is usually the time of the show where we do a Florida Man challenge or random question.
Now, we didn't prepare you for that. So, I'm not going to, you know, subject that. So, so this is where I would ask the guests to find a story that is local to their area and we would do a challenge against a story that I would pull about a Florida man. And I have the restriction of only the last 36 hours that I would uh do my uh Florida Man search, whereas the listener can, you know, pull stories up from five years ago, but tonight, I'm just going to read the story and not do a challenge. And uh so what happened is, do you guys know Worth Avenue in Palm Beach? So Worth Avenue is basically the rodeo drive of the East, so very expensive street on Palm Beach, all the big expensive lavish stores there. You probably can't wear jeans in half the stores because you have to have money. But a man who said he was from a different earth was found walking up and down the streets of Worth Avenue naked. I'm sorry, I'm just. So, he had just walked past the establishment with his genitals in full view of the customers who were trying to enjoy their meal. Uh This was in the shopping and dining district on Worth Avenue at the Taboo restaurant. So, the Palm Beach Police Department was eventually uh called in and they were asking the gentleman who he was and he refused to give them his name saying that he was from a different earth And they took him into custody, he was booked and held on $1,000 bond.
Wow, I really love that. If you ever feel bad about any of your decisions in life, you just have to look at the state of Florida and you'll find a million ways to make yourself feel better. I've heard that it just, it doesn't make any sense, the number of stories. And what have I talked about? The one day? They, at one point they had a challenge where they said Google your birthday and type in like Florida man or something like that. And there's a Florida, there's a story for every day of the year, almost every, almost every year. Like it does, it is absolutely amazing. I just don't know how it just happens there.
Well, you know, it's really hot and there's nothing else to do but there's all kind of stuff to do. Like we got Disney in the middle of the state. You got so much to do between. You can be boating, you can be skiing. Got a tech conference here every week. Come on. True. That too, you have all kind of conferences. It doesn't make sense to me like how they find that kind of time and why are people so not normal? It happens. So, you don't have to have a story to challenge that. But I had to at least get the story out because listeners always trying to send me stories. Dude. Did you see that? Yeah, I did. Um Once that is that is an unpublished undocumented story, a Florida man that day. And can we acknowledge that the newfound word today was manager porn? Because I've never heard that before.
I've never heard that before. Oh my gosh. So, if you're ever in a meeting, right? And you see a bunch of graphs on the screen on some power point presentations.
Always a power point presentation. It's a bunch of graphs that are absolutely meaningless. Like there's no actionable thing, but they look great and you know, somebody poured so much effort into lining up these graphs and putting them up there, but they absolutely add zero value and you watch these tech conferences are the worst on this. We close this many tickets last year. It's like, what does that allow me to do? Like, how can I, how can I actually? So, you're watching something that you could do nothing about? It's manager porn. I, I appreciate that. I love it. I Think it's fantastic. So always when you're creating a presentation, think can my audience do anything with this data or are you creating porn? So, it's just sloppy and everywhere.
If I walk away from this industry, contributing, one thing is to get rid of the magnet report, you're doing it people. Alright, Sean. So, you heard Adam and I chat and we do HumanizeIT a good justice here on the podcast and explain everything. And I would, yeah, I would say yes, I just hope that, you know, regardless of HumanizeIT or anything, I Think it's important just that MSPs start adopting of what this really is about, you know, a long time ago in my career, I was learned to train my clients, not in a bad way but train them on the best way to interact. And I feel like first off QBR RSR good cadence to start to develop a rhythm and training and to go and talking to your clients. And when you're the MSP, you are the IT partner, you are, you're the tech partner regardless, you should be treated like you're in that boardroom, just like if they were an internal staff that you're an internal staff with that company and you're the IT C T O, the C I O the whatever.
That's what that, that's your there for. So you should be having business conversations, not technology conversations, business conversations, technology subsequent, pretend like your paycheck depends on their success. Absolutely. Exactly. They fold. You're done. So, yeah, thank you for putting that up. And remember if you two want to hang out with cool people like me and Adam you wanna and, and also Marv now too because now Mars part of the family show, you need to be respected as well as a pitcher, you know, in general, but you're part of the family, you know, like the whole picture family like they should apply as I was going with the link and I've got the link up on the screen and it will be in the show notes and you can go and sign up through the end of April apply now. And also, I have two light sabers myself just so we're clear. Um Actually one is lavender. Yes, it is. Yeah. Yeah. I, you know, um you know what the inscription is supposed to be on your purple Lightsaber.
No, you have to Google. I don't know if I can swear on this podcast. So, I'll look it up, look it up what Jackson's Lightsaber say. No, he said you could swear. So go ahead. Bad motherfucker it on the bottom. Of Sam Jackson's Lightsaber and all the Star Wars Jackson.
That's why it probably screens it. Actually, it's probably, it's, it's TikTok, you know, and also, it's Star Trek and Star Track, Star Trek, whatever, dude. Just like, you know, Whatever. Just know that the next movie is coming out in 2024, and the wife and I will go see It, you know, Star Trek Picard right now. Season three you can watch. It's fantastic. I agree. Um No, that's, that's on, that's on Paramount.
It's the final season. Yes, it is. It's the final season.
I know that much. I'm glad that's because he was the one who owns a wine, he owns like a winery. That's why you know that.
Alright, we're going to go ahead and end off the show. We're going to continue chatting about these things as I get corrected on all my Stars (Asterisk) series movies, whatever. Yeah, of course, I want to say on behalf of my good friend Sean Lardo and my new friend Adam Walter from HumanizeIT.
It, thank you all for watching, listening. Uh If you want to know more about the show, head over to IT Business podcast dot com, you can catch some past shows. You'll find all of the links to things that we discussed today and we will be back next week. What are we doing next week?
I Think I'm going to talk about exchange and my time there and we're going to be starting a new series on IT etiquette. So we're going to talk about stories, what things that we as IT providers need to do better. And uh, I'm in, you needed a guest star. You let me know I'll talk about IT etiquette. Alright, folks, that's it for the live show. Thank you much and we'll see you next time and until then holla.