MSP Spotlight: 3i International

Meet Mark Elliott, CEO of 3i International!

 

Tell us a little about your MSP…

3i International is located in Houston, TX. We have 25 employees and have provided expert IT services since the year 2000. We are awesome at security and managed services, and our mission is to help people be their best by making technology easy and secure. We have a great team and have a lot of fun every day!

How long have you been a member of The 20?

3i International joined The 20 in December of 2018.

Why did your MSP originally look to partner with The 20?

Great question, this is a two-part answer for us. First, we were looking to move upmarket to larger clients and wanted a way to deliver services on a national level where we did not lose control of our customer or have degradation in support by hiring one-off boots on the ground. Secondly, we were having challenges scaling the business, and it kept leading to service delivery issues. Before The 20, we had a great company with talented engineers, and our clients loved our support and personal touch. At our size, we did not have separate teams for the helpdesk and onsite engineers. Every engineer had a seat in the call center, and when needed, they would be sent onsite. This methodology worked well as long as we did not grow. Every time we had major projects or a large new client onboarding, we would have to move resources from the call center to install equipment or onboard new seats. As soon as we reallocated resources from our call center, the level of service that our clients had become accustomed to would fall. We would then move some resources from the field back to call center only to have project deliver suffer. We found our company stuck on a staffing teeter-totter with happy and then unhappy clients. The 20 gave us the ability to truly separate our call center from the onsite and project team, which has been a Godsend. We now have happy clients all the time, not just in between waves of growth.

Tell us about the biggest change in your business since joining The 20.

We are closing more new MRR deals every month with the 20 offering and pitch. Our pipeline has grown with higher monthly recurring opportunities than we had before. The 20’s footprint has allowed us to focus on larger companies with multiple locations in different cities. We have found a real need here as an internal IT department with 500 employees cannot successfully support 20 locations with a couple of engineers. Our customer satisfaction with project delivery is through the roof. The 20’s call center handles the majority of our tickets, so we were able to shift our team around and create a dedicated team focused solely on project delivery. During our growth, we can now provide great support from the call center, our local onsite team, and the project team.

What do you like most about being a member of The 20?

The community is awesome, from weekly accountability calls with other members, the ability to message nationally on Microsoft Teams to find an answer to a tough question, the comradery at quarterly training meetings. It just a strong group of like-minded individuals with 1000’s of years of experience all fighting to make a difference in the lives of their customers and their families. The services The 20 provides encompass most of what an IT company needs to succeed. It is a great offering of tools at a fair price. We were concerned about what our customers would say about the changes, but our customer satisfaction continues to increase since becoming a member.

What do you think is the most important quality necessary for success?

I don’t. I think this question could be answered ten different ways by ten people, and no one would be wrong. You might hear answers like grit, ambition, courage, commitment, willpower, drive, integrity, and on and on, you get my point. So why is it that sometimes you see individuals with these traits fall short of their full potential? I have been at this game for 25 years now, and I know that I possess all of the traits I just listed above. I am moderately successful, debt-free, and can retire comfortably in a few more years. By national standards, I’m in the top 1%, but by no means do I have a yacht or private aircraft. My journey to this point has been a dog fight in a highly competitive market. So, I think great success takes more than character traits as they are table steaks in today’s business climate. I feel to blow it out of the water truly you have to be first, better, or different. I feel the opportunity The 20 has afforded my company compliments my character traits by creating a differentiation that allows me to reach my full potential.

What are your biggest business challenges?

Last year we spent time identifying our weaknesses and threats. Now, last year’s challenges are this year’s opportunities as we have prioritized what we will be fixing and implementing during this calendar year. This year we are working on increasing outbound lead generation to 50 leads per month, implementing an employee training program around culture and function, standardizing our QBR methodology, and executing on a new inbound digital marketing strategy.

What are your areas of focus for 2020?

We are an EOS company, so we will continue to implement and improve our use of the traction tools set. From a top-line perspective, we are focused on growing monthly recurring revenue in the healthcare, legal, AEC, manufacturing, and energy verticals.

What advice would you share with an MSP looking to scale their business?

Identify what’s holding you back, and if you’re willing to fix it, find a business coach or organization with the skill set to help you solve your challenges and hold you accountable. Don’t be afraid to partner with The 20. It is one of the best decisions we have made for our business and the people we support.

What book are you currently reading?

I recently just finished setting my personal goals for 2020, which includes a list of 36 books. Here are the three that I am currently reading in January:

1. The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks. This book is about removing upper limiting beliefs in your personal and business life that keep you from reaching your full potential.
2. The Road Less Stupid – Keith Cunningham. I am reading this book for the second time. Incredible lessons that are easily digestible like fatherly advice.
3. The First 90 Days, Updated and Expanded: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter – Michael Watkins

Favorite blogs / podcasts

Chris Voss – The Negotiation Edge
Guy Raz – How I Built This

 

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