In a recent article in the February 2019 issue of Channel Executive magazine, B.J. Havlik, president and CEO of SRC Technologies, discussed how he grew SRC to new heights by focusing the company entirely on using IT to improve business performance for each of its clients. The article, “Marketing Automation for IT Service Providers,” also illustrates the ways SRC has used its marketing automation platform to target the right clients with vital messages that showcase the difference between simply relying on IT to keep the lights on and having a well-crafted IT strategy that helps SRC’s customers – typically midmarket businesses – achieve their most pressing business goals. The following is an excerpt from that article.
BJ Havlik’s career has given him a senior management perspective on virtually every facet of the IT services industry. From client side to services side, from Fortune 500 to SMB, he’s just about seen it all. Here, he shares lessons learned as a client-side IT buyer with multimillion dollar budgets and how those lessons have shaped his persuasions as president and CEO at Green Bay, WI-area MSP, ITSM, and security provider SRC Technologies.
… In 2008, driven by his experiences on the buy-side, Havlik set off from the security of VP-level enterprise IT work to launch his own IT services company. He and his initial seven colleagues sought to approach the service provider side of the coin in a different way. “We were determined to be more adaptable, more flexible, and to do whatever we could do to meet the client’s needs. We knew we wouldn’t be able to do everything all the time, at least not without some help. But we were resigned to never deliver flat-out no’s.”
Central to his company’s can-do culture, Havlik says he’s been careful and conscious not to position his company as an IT firm. “We go to market as a provider of improved business performance,” he says. He also— and quickly—admits that this approach complicates the sales and marketing equation. “Most clients and prospects have not connected those dots. We’re trying to make the connections for them in our marketing collateral and sales processes.”
The company’s top-of-funnel marketing collateral often includes a graphic that illustrates a well-aligned IT function tracking with an improving business performance line on a graph. Another line on the graph demonstrates that poorly managed IT-as-a-service with poorly defined services and service levels creates a drag on business performance and another that depicts unmanaged, unsupported, outdated tech, resulting in an even bigger drag on business performance. “We really try to impress on them the positive business results of the blocking and tackling of technology management.”
… To facilitate the IT-to-business performance paradigm shift for clients, SRC deploys an assessment methodology that scrutinizes how prospects’ systems are performing, what characteristics of their IT infrastructures might be inhibiting availability, and how secure their IT environments are. Much as a doctor will assess a patient’s overall health before making a diagnosis and prescribing a treatment plan, SRC puts its assessment to work to categorize each aspect of the prospect environment as high-, medium-, or low-priority. Then it ascribes a corresponding value to the investment required to remediate the situation. “We get that assessment on the table and present the issues as we see them,” says Havlik. ‘Ports open on a firewall?’ That’s a high-priority risk requiring a low investment to correct. ‘No redundancy on a circuit supporting nonmission-critical applications?’ That might represent a medium-priority risk with a higher cost to remediate.” The exercise not only creates a holistic view of the client’s IT health, but it also directs SRC’s proposal process by prioritizing the most urgent issues. “This is all a pretty straightforward conversation. We’ve looked through their systems and interviewed their key people, so we’ve got some credibility going in. They’re willing to make the investment to eliminate risks to their business. The pitch isn’t, ‘Hey, your software isn’t patched, and it really should be.’ It’s more like, ‘You’re at risk — a risk that could significantly impact your business performance. And we can fix it.’”
Read the entire article in the February 2019 issue of Channel Executive magazine.