Not all Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs) are the same. So how do you find the best one for you? This is a story about what makes Ntiva tick - how we got our start, our core values and what makes us different!
Ntiva Beginnings: Built On Trust
Our story begins with a 14 year-old boy—but he’s not a prodigy, and he doesn’t have revolutionary ideas. Yet, he managed to create a stir in the IT world.
Steven Freidkin, active CEO of Ntiva, didn’t expect to find his first “customer” at a computer store back in the late 90s. He was just a kid looking at equipment for his own use, wearing a red shirt which coincidentally was the store color, when a businessman mistook him for an employee. Steven understood the man needed help, so he gladly delivered when asked for it.
Steven didn’t have all the experience and tools required to provide the best IT services at the time, but the businessman hired him for a home office project based on his knowledge and enthusiasm. Steven's business grew based on that first project which built a foundation of trust, expanding to other residential clients based on referrals until he landed his first commercial client in 2001.
Needless to say, technology has gotten way more complex since then. The pace of business has increased, competition is now global and cyber security threats are top of mind.
It's no longer enough to have an MSP that provides basic support. Today's businesses need strategic guidance from expert IT consultants, a combination of automated services and people power for 24x7 support, and of course sophisticated cyber threat protection, to name just a few items.
But one more thing needs to be added to the list - trust.
Lindsey Business Group discovered this "one more thing" when looking for an MSP. They had a specific application in mind that they wanted to deploy when they started interviewing providers. Oddly, Steven was the only representative to suggest maybe there was an alternative…one that would drop features they didn’t need and cut costs in half.
They were looking for new technology, yes. But Lindsey Business Group ended up hiring Ntiva for a totally unrelated reason - guidance and trust, the most important elements of a great MSP.
INTEGRITY: MORE THAN A VIRTUE
Harvard Economics Professor Michael Jensen and entrepreneur Werner Erhard know something about business. Their acclaimed paper, The Law of Integrity—one of the most downloaded reports on the SSRN database—suggests a fascinating factor leads to business success.
“Integrity” has two meanings, and both apply to their theory. Businesses must be “honest and having strong moral principles.” They must also be “whole and undivided.” They argue without integrity, maximum performance is not possible. Jensen compares it to a bicycle wheel: If one spoke breaks, the others work less efficiently to make up for the loss. Soon they all begin to snap and the wheel collapses.
Another key component of Jensen and Erhart’s theory is integrity represented by honoring one’s word. Mistakes happen, but responding honorably can make the company seem even more trustworthy.
There are too many occasions where a company creates a PR event out of a failing, however, and the result seems artificial. You cannot discover Integrity after a mistake. True integrity must exist from the beginning, and that will prevent damage from occurring to begin with. For example, it was easy for Congress to grant funds for the IRS to repair its systems after the Tax Day meltdown of 2018, when millions were prevented from filing their returns. But if they had seen fit to repair the systems in the previous three decades, the problem never would have occurred.
Integrity must start with the CEO and flow evenly among all employees. Or else? Jensen writes in The Law of Integrity: “If you attempt to violate the Law of Gravity without a parachute, you will suffer severe consequences.”
More Than Just Technology: Our Core Values
No one will argue an MSP’s technology expertise has no bearing on their ability to deliver service. Ntiva constantly works to grow our knowledge and offerings. However, those advancements are meaningless without solid core values.
ntiva knows the biggest issue with MSPs isn’t the way they treat servers. It’s how they treat humans. Steven began working in IT at a very young age, when all he could consider was doing things the right way, not how to run a cost-benefit analysis.
He made mistakes, and quickly learned if he admitted those mistakes and made them right, harm was minimized and trust grew. It is a lesson he carries to this day, and was the foundation of Ntiva's core values which are Response, Accuracy and Care.
Lindsey Business Group remembers the moment they decided to work with Ntiva.
“That was the first interaction I ever had with Ntiva. And from that point on, I trusted them," said Josiah Hunter of LBG. "I get calls from other MSPs every day, but it’s not a question I’ll move on. I never check a bill. I know Ntiva could have made more money by giving me exactly what I asked for, and yet they countered with a solution that worked better for my company.”
A similar trust exists throughout Ntiva.
The staff have autonomy, trusted to document mistakes, make quick fixes and do whatever it takes to make clients happy. Ntiva knows the importance of building trust with their clients; there is nothing worse than vendors trying to cover mistakes, claim ignorance, or maintain it wasn’t their responsibility. Trust is the most efficient way to move clients forward, and move Ntiva forward in the process.
Dedication to technology makes an average MSP. Dedication to trust and integrity on top of technology expertise is what makes an MSP great. When you can trust your MSP, it frees up time to think about the bigger things.
The Ntiva Why: Growing People With Technology
Every company needs a "why." Ntiva exists to grow people including employees, partners and clients. When we grow, we enable the growth of others.
All successful companies go through roughly the same growth stages, from idea to start up to rapid growth and expansion and finally maturity.
Of course, many companies don't make it through all the stages for various reasons, or do make it through with various stops and starts along the way.
But the point is that without growth, the company and everyone in it will remain stagnant. There is limited opportunity for employees to learn new skills and move up into new positions, which would enable them in turn to offer these advanced technical skills to clients.
An MSP without revenue growth can't bring in new systems, tools and processes that would provide a better platform from which to offer advanced technical services.
If your MSP does not have the latest technical expertise and tools, they are not in a great position to help your business grow. And when YOUR business grows, you in turn provide opportunities for your employees.
A great example of this is our Managed Cyber Security Services. Does your MSP have advanced security capabilities? Most MSPs can only offer basic security services. But for many organizations "basic security" is no longer enough, and they need to be protected by a provider who can offer a larger and more sophisticated stack of security solutions.
As Ntiva grows both organically and through strategic acquisitions, we continue to hold close to our core values while providing additional talent and services to help our clients grow.
You should be thinking about your company’s business plans, including an IT strategy.
If you’re ready to start thinking about increasing your revenue or growing your footprint, talk to us about how technology can help you get there.
Tell us about your current challenges and we can make suggestions for the best solution for your needs. Maybe it will be what you had in mind, and maybe it won’t...all we can do is give our honest opinion.
The honest approach hasn’t failed us yet. In fact, it’s helped us grow into one of the top MSPs. Join us!
p.s. Check out our Managed IT Services Pricing and Plans.