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Challenge

Ratcliff IT wanted to expand its business beyond commodity IT services, but first, the company needed a way to deliver responsive, round-the-clock support to customers at a predictable cost.

Solution

Ratcliff IT takes advantage of ConnectWise’s fixed costs to provide both IT and security services with the predictable margins the company needs to grow.

Results

Ratcliff IT can now grow and diversify its business model with services that anticipate the needs of its customers.

Quality – Ratcliff IT delivers better service and higher value without increasing headcount

Revenue – ConnectWise’s pay-as-you-grow pricing helps Ratcliff IT manage its margins for optimal profitability

Business – By building a strong brand in security services, Ratcliff IT can pursue new kinds of opportunities and achieve clear differentiation

Ratcliff IT knew that building a sustainable, scalable business would be impossible as long as they used their own resources to support their clients. “We couldn’t build a deeper relationship with our clients if we spent all our time programming RMM tools and reading logs,” says Managing Director James Ratcliff. “Some technologists are more focused on being clever with technology than on being of value to others. But it’s better for both us and our customers if we don’t have our top technical minds tied up patching SQL on a Saturday morning.”

Having evaluated various management options, Ratcliff found ConnectWise Command™, formerly a Continuum solution, offered the best service on the market. “With ConnectWise, there’s a whole Network Operations Center (NOC) team taking responsibility for background support so our own staff can focus on adding value as a trusted partner,” he says.

In addition to ConnectWise Command, Ratcliff has developed a strong security practice backed by ConnectWise Fortify™, formerly a Continuum solution, and the ConnectWise Security Operations Center (SOC). “With the same portal for both the NOC and the SOC, you can learn one way of doing things without having to worry about which tool you’re using. I can’t imagine doing this with a separately built security service.”

“We promise our clients we use best-in-class tools to deliver best-in-class services. When a client makes a request, they know they don’t have to worry about it after they put the phone down. When something goes wrong, we’ll fix it quickly and act transparently to meet their expectations of excellence. ConnectWise helps us fulfill that promise—in fact, it’s the same promise ConnectWise makes to us.”

- James Ratcliff, Managing Director, Ratcliff IT

Best-in-class services ensure excellence

“We promise our clients we use best-in-class tools to deliver best-in-class services. When a client makes a request, they know they don’t have to worry about it after they put the phone down. When something goes wrong, we’ll fix it quickly and act transparently to meet their expectations of excellence. ConnectWise helps us fulfill that promise—in fact, it’s the same promise ConnectWise makes to us,” says Ratcliff. “And with ConnectWise on the job, we can go beyond the basics to focus on the things that matter most to our customers.”

Fixed costs enable predictable revenue growth

“With ConnectWise’s fixed costs and pay-as-you-grow model, we can take on a client and know exactly what the cost will be. If their network isn’t in great shape, we’ll be able to deal with it via the ConnectWise NOC. That helps us predict and manage the gross margin for each client—a key capability for an MSP,” says Ratcliff. This predictability has given Ratcliff IT a firm foundation to expand its offerings. “Anything ConnectWise does is on a fixed margin for us. We know what we’ll get, what it’ll cost, and how it’ll be delivered, whether cloud or security or anything else. Selling a new service without that knowledge would be a much riskier proposition.”

A strong brand unlocks business expansion

The ability to deliver consistent excellence for their customers—even in new areas—helps Ratcliff IT stand out from the competition. “Our relationship with ConnectWise helps us reinforce our brand and stay ahead of the curve on new customer needs,” says Ratcliff. “For example, we’ve been in competitive situations where people have agreed to talk to us because we’re now seen as security specialists— a step up in terms of business services compared with being just another IT company. Our peers haven’t been able to do this as effectively, or at all. Investing in all the training, knowledge, and products to build a security specialism from the ground up would be a major struggle, but the ConnectWise SOC gives us that capability.”

Driving forward with ConnectWise

Ratcliff IT takes an intentional and rational approach to business growth, making sure that they have the resources to back up service offerings—an approach that fits well with the firm’s ConnectWise partnership. “You can’t stand still in business. We intend to drive forward, and I can’t imagine another partner being as important as ConnectWise on that journey. For things we can’t yet imagine, ConnectWise will have covered by the time we get there. When the next thing presents itself, we’ll have them to talk to,” says Ratcliff. In addition to forming new and deeper relationships around security, Ratcliff IT is currently helping small businesses leverage the cloud in the right way for their needs through a hybrid cloud strategy. “Using ConnectWise will always be important for us in taking care of small businesses, which are most businesses out there.”

Across all of their offerings and customer relationships, ConnectWise helps Ratcliff IT build trust and deliver higher value. “I switched from being an in-the-trenches technologist to building people, teams, and a bigger business than I could have achieved on my own. It’s a different journey than before. I knew there was a better way of doing things,” says Ratcliff.

Cybersecurity Threat Detection & Response

ConnectWise Fortify takes cybersecurity threat detection and response to new heights. With powerful assessments, protection, detection, and response capabilities, technology solution providers (TSPs) are able to stay ahead of the latest threats and provide the security services their clients expect. Expert SOC services are available 24/7/365 to bridge the security skills gap and provide rapid threat response to TSP’s managed environments, allowing for scalable security services and around-the-clock protection.

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