Fuelling Your MSP Business Growth

Ulistic has helped Fuelled Networks in Ottawa, Canada, almost since day one of Ulistic opening its doors. Ernie and Stuart are long-time friends and colleagues.

Adding Fuel To The Growth Of Your Managed IT Services Business

Key Points From the Article:

  • Ernie Sherman said that while 40% of Fuelled Networks' businesses are on the MSP side, the organization isn't a full MSP.
  • The founder of Fuelled Networks has been in the IT services industry since the early 90s and chooses specific areas to focus on to stand out in the competition.
  • Ernie Sherman shares how he has managed to stand out in the competition in Ottawa, where the world of business is going, and insights about marketing an IT company.

Unlike other IT companies, Fuelled Networks has provided IT services for businesses in Ottawa for several decades. In an exclusive interview, Ernie Sherman, the founder of Fuelled Networks, talks about where the business world is heading, the role AI and blockchain play in the business world, IT company marketing, and where he sees the future of Fuelled Networks.

Fuelled Networks in Ottawa

Fuelled Network has been around since the early 90s offering four major IT services:

  • Managed IT services
  • Cloud migration
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Cybersecurity solutions

Ernie Sherman says that while their major focus is cybersecurity, you can't classify their organization as an MSP. The organization specializes in specific areas of IT.

"40% of our businesses are on the MSP side. However, we're not a full MSP," said the founder and CEO of Fuelled Networks. "We used to be more of MSP in the 80s but found that everybody started opening MSPs in the 80s."

"The industry became very competitive, so we switched focus to businesses that were looking for cybersecurity," he said.

Where is The Business World Going

Offering IT services for several decades, Ernie has seen the industry-changing. He foresees the role MSPs play in transforming the business world will stem down to offering cybersecurity security.

He says that, for instance, the Canadian government set up baseline security frameworks for businesses. Businesses are responsible for taking the frameworks and defining how they will set up and access their network.

"Everything, in the end, is going to be defined by the framework of security," said Ernie. "Our role is to help businesses navigate the security framework and get them the security hygiene that works for them within their industry.".

While the Fuelled Networks is not an MSP, Ernie concludes that they understand the baseline control and can help businesses navigate them.

What About AI, Blockchain, and Other Emerging Technologies

According to Ernie, many businesses struggle to wrap their heads around AI, blockchain, and other emerging technologies. He says that most emerging technologies are not popular topics within their client base.

Many businesses are only after security and network management services.

What Separates Fuelled Networks from Other Ottawa MSPs

There are many managed service providers in Eastern Ontario, from Ottawa to Kingston. An IT company needs something to separate them from the competition.

Many MSP will claim exceptional customer service  — and that's right. However, there are many other avenues that a managed service provider can separate themselves from others, such as specialization.

The Fuelled Networks CEO said that they noted that everyone was looking for cybersecurity services in their client base. The demand for security made the organization shift focus to providing IT security services.

The organization started talking to businesses about the security they needed, but some turn them down the work differently.

"The way our access data is unique and working with us is different than everybody else," said Ernie Sherman. "We're security first. We focus on deliberate ways we design our stack and expect our clients to work with us. If they fit in, we work together." However, not every business prioritizes security, which is astonishing given what's happening today.

What Priority Does Marketing Play With Fuelled Networks

In the priority spectrum at everything at Fuelled Networks, the organization says that marketing plays a huge role in presenting them well in Ottawa.

The CEO says their message and brand are huge factors in the Ottawa market.

"From a marketing perspective, you need to make people know what you can do and educate them to understand what the process would look like," said Ernie Sherman.

"I think many people buy from people who educate them," continued the Fuelled Networks founder. " We, therefore, ensure that we have relevant content out there — whether it's content about managing or guides about security requirements and cloud adoption."

The Role of SEO in the Sales Process

SEO is important for online visibility and improves the chances of making more sales. After all, everyone always wants to be at the table.

"If you have good marketing and an educational piece represented within that marketing, much of your SEO work is done. People recognize what you're all about, your capabilities, and you'll know if the relationship fits," insisted Ernie Sherman.

Why MSPs Must Outsource Their Marketing to Ulistic

MSPs can benefit from outsourcing their marketing than hiring their marketing people.

Speaking specifically about Ulistic, he says that outsourcing marketing brings value.

He says, "You can go to a marketing firm who's generalized in business marketing. The marketing firm will then capture what your MSP is doing, but they'll never fully understand it."

"The value of having somebody who's specialized is that they have been in the industry, understand it, and focus from a marketing perspective," said Ernie Sherman. "In such a case, you won't try to give somebody content to try to copy and understand it. A specialized marketing partner builds it unless there is something specific we're looking for."

Where is Fuelled Network Going in the Next Few Years?

Ernie Sherman says that for now, Fuelled Networks aims to help businesses in Ottawa design secure cloud migration so that they can be in a serverless environment and not worry about the security or how people will access things.

"In the next five years, I see ourselves focusing on those serverless environments and zero trust networks. We want to improve businesses' ability to access data on the cloud using a predefined set of conditions."

Ulistic Can Shoulder All Your MSP Marketing Task

For over a decade, Ulistic has helped hundreds of MSPs across Canada and USA and can help you fuel your business too. At its core, we can help your MSP with SEO, branding, marketing research, email marketing, and every type of marketing. Contact us today to get effective digital marketing strategies for your MSP business.


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