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2015 Resolution: Embrace “Coopetition”

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Dec, 14

2015 Resolution: Embrace “Coopetition”

One of my most memorable interviews over this past year was with David Neel, CIO and founder of CyberTek Engineering, an 11-employee MSP that’s been in business since 1996 and is following a year of 25% revenue growth in 2014 with a projected 54% revenue growth in 2015.

HandshakeOne practice that distinguishes CyberTek from so many other MSPs is how it views competitors. Rather than seeing them as threats, this MSP looks for opportunities to partner with them. According to Neel, 15% of CyberTek’s revenue comes from what he calls coopetition opportunities.

“On a regular basis, we’ll receive a call from a smaller IT shop letting us know their main technician is going on vacation, and they’d like to hire CyberTek to fill in when needed. When we’re at the competitor’s client’s office, it’s not unusual for them to ask us, “Hey, can we just call you guys next time we have a problem?” We never violate the trust other VARs and MSPs have in us, and we’ll only take on a new client if the company that hired us determines it would be better for it to have us take over the business relationship.”

And, CyberTek sometimes hands off clients to its competitors, too. “For example, if we’re 40 miles away from a small business and a competitor is just 2 miles away, we’ll talk to them about making a trade, knowing that it’s really what’s in the best interest of the customer,” says Neel. He doesn’t worry about competitors stealing his customers because he has confidence in his company’s uniqueness. “The truth is that every IT solutions provider is different from the other. If, for example, a customer wanted to install a 500-seat Cisco Call Manager system, that’s not our thing — I’d have to refer that business to another MSP.”

I love Neel’s perspective because it frees up business owners from the shortsighted and outdated thinking that it’s them vs. the world. The truth is, as Neel’s thriving business proves, knowing who you are as a company and being able to know when and how to partner is a huge asset and benefit — to you and your customers.

Gain additional insights from David Neel by reading: “Throw Your B2B Marketing Strategy Out The Window,” in this month’s issue of Business Solutions magazine.

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