Partner Spotlight: Ntiva
Meet Steven Freidkin, CEO of Ntiva, a managed service provider (MSP). At IT Nation Connect 2022, Ntiva won Unified Monitoring and Management Partner of the Year, as a company that has achieved success with ConnectWise Unified Monitoring and Management solutions.
Tell us about your company
Ntiva was officially founded in 2004 and has grown to over 400 employees through organic growth and acquisitions, supporting over 1500 clients across the US. Over the years, as market needs have changed, we have continually added higher-value services to our portfolio, including enhanced cybersecurity services, advanced consulting services, and, most recently, digital transformation services.
What’s a big win you are proud of?
In late 2022, we made our 13th acquisition, a Chicago-based company, MXOtech. This was a very strategic acquisition for us as MXOtech had an established digital transformation practice.
It used to be that large enterprise organizations knew they needed and could afford digital services such as custom application development, system integration, data analytics, etc. Over the past few years, we’ve seen our small- and medium-sized business (SMB) community become more dependent on their line of business applications, and their digital transformation needs are becoming more and more complex.
Within 90 days of this acquisition, we assisted three existing Ntiva clients with these services. One of these clients was a professional services company that used a custom application critical to their business. Unfortunately, this app was built around 30 years ago, and they could no longer manage it. It was not secure, full of bugs, and difficult to use. They needed help modernizing this app and were thrilled that Ntiva could assist.
The new Ntiva digital transformation team performed a code review and identified a path forward that would not disrupt the business. We were able to successfully enhance the application, which resulted not only in better performance and usability but also significantly reduced maintenance costs.
Win-win for everyone!
What’s next for you and your business?
Ntiva plans to expand organically across the US and through mergers and acquisitions. When we merge or acquire, we are cautious to only choose companies that match our culture and core values alongside other factors.
We are also very careful to maintain and nurture a local presence in each new community we serve. Although we have a large pool of centralized resources that can offer a wide range of deep expertise, which greatly benefits our clients, we recognize the importance of local touch and support.
To say technology is changing very quickly is, of course, an understatement. Ten years ago, it was cloud. Maybe cybersecurity was the hot ticket five years ago, and now we’re seeing this emerging need for digital transformation services.
Our goal is to stay on top of these emerging technologies and deliver more than “just the basics” to businesses who realize that technology is key to their success, and who recognize that in most cases it makes financial sense to outsource all or part of their IT needs.
About the industry
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the industry?
The three biggest challenges I see are commoditization, consolidation, and what I’ll call gaps in service.
MSPs that continue to offer the same services, such as help desk, network support, and backup/disaster recovery, are bound to suffer from commoditization and thus steep competition from every MSP just like them.
This leads us to consolidation—it’s becoming harder for those smaller MSPs to keep up. They either need to bring in additional outside investment and become the acquirer (of other MSPs) or figure out what it takes to prepare to sell at the best possible price.
And finally, gaps in service underpins both items above. Whether big or small, to remain competitive, MSPs are going to need to differentiate themselves by meeting emerging requirements. The market is changing, and the asks from many of our clients are becoming more complex!
Is there one piece of advice you’d like to share with other IT solution providers?
Be realistic and intentional about what you want to deliver to your customers, employees, and communities. Focus on helping your clients use technology to drive growth or reduce risk in their businesses—go beyond just being a utility, and there will always be value created and a spot for you in the market.
Being a ConnectWise partner
Why did you choose ConnectWise?
Originally, ConnectWise was (and still is!) known as an industry leader in MSP software. I believe we were the seventh official partner, and we were active collaborators in building the ConnectWise PSA™. Most of the companies we acquire are using this platform. This makes integrating our new acquisitions much easier from an operational transition point of view, which has been a big bonus.
What impact has ConnectWise had on your business?
By taking advantage of many of the automation features in the platform, which are purpose-built for MSPs, we have been able to vastly improve efficiencies between our departments and with our clients. This has helped us to continue scaling the business in the direction we want.
What is the biggest benefit of your partnership with ConnectWise?
We have benefited from the ability to have direct relationships with many of the departmental leaders at ConnectWise, giving us visibility into the future of the product and getting a fast response when we need assistance.
What is something you want people to know about ConnectWise?
Originally, ConnectWise was a platform built on a compilation of different pieces of software from various companies. The current owners are significantly investing in rebuilding a new platform needed for the company's future growth, making it a good investment for partners as well.
Any product features that were a game changer for you or your team?
Because of the platform’s popularity, many software vendors have written to ConnectWise APIs. This has given us a lot of flexibility when it comes to integration and automation.
And now for some fun!
Tell us a fun fact about you or your company
We exist to grow each other (our team, clients, and communities). This purpose has become so ingrained in our culture that team members are bringing ideas to the table on how to amplify our positive impact.
A few years ago, one team member had the idea of establishing a service desk academy to create opportunities for education and careers in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The service desk academy was embedded in the local college and offered paid internships to interested students in the Computer and Information Technology program.
In fact, one of the interns from this program just started his new software development internship with us in our new digital transformation division!
This has been a great success and helped bring jobs and opportunities to people in an incredible community, ultimately creating a program we plan to replicate in other locations across the country.
What’s a country or state you’d like to visit?
Here are a few places I’d love to visit to learn more about the culture—Thailand, Tokyo, and Bora Bora. The last one is not so much about culture, but the pictures I’ve seen look awesome!
What is one of your bucket list items?
From a business viewpoint, I’m focused on becoming the top MSP in the country while still maintaining our purpose—which ultimately is measuring our results by the positive impact we make on our employees, clients, and communities.