Insights as a Service
The podcast that helps MSPs get ahead. Join Brendan Ritchie each week to hear the latest news, insights, and opinions that matter to people working in Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and telcos in Australia and New Zealand. Insights as a Service is the podcast that pulls together the key industry talking points and combines them with real world experiences shared by industry leaders to deliver value to professionals working in tech. Each episode is made possible by the microphones, studio space and people made available by Lightwire, check them out at lightwirebusiness.com
47 - Stay Ahead of the Curve: MSP Security Landscape in 2023
Get ready for a fascinating conversation with John Milionis, Head of Channels and Alliances for ANZ at Zscaler! This expert in the field is with Brendan to discuss the competitive landscape for MSPs in Australia and New Zealand and the opportunities for growth and success. Learn about upskilling strategies, the rise of new platforms, SaaS opportunities, the differences between specialist and generalist MSPs, and the future of SD-WAN. Find out how Zscaler is supporting MSPs with integrated solutions and collaborations. Hear John's insights on the impact of cyber attacks on cyber security and the significance of Zero Trust. Chapters: 0:45 The competitive landscape for MSPs in Australia & New Zealand 4:15 How to upskill your team without resources 6:50 Vendors are the new platforms 9:50 The SaaS opportunity for MSPs 14:25 Specialist vs Generalist MSPs 20:30 The future of SD-WAN 26:00 What Zscaler is doing to help MSPs 31:30 Integrated solutions with other vendors 34:30 Have the recent cyber attacks changed perceptions on cyber security? 38:30 What is Zero Trust and how important is it?
February 05, 2023
46 - Profit Growth through Benchmarking and Operational Maturity
Peter Kujawa is the VP, Service Leadership & Technology Service Provider Evangelist with Service Leadership, a Connectwise company. He knows a thing or two about the power of benchmarking and how it can be used to drive operational maturity, and ultimately profitability, in MSPs. He's with us on Insights as a Service this week to tell you how to drive continual improvements in your business
January 22, 2023
45 - Aligning Strategy With Sales - Reviewing the Harvard Business School course
Brendan attended his first course at Harvard Business School last month and gives us his review of the experience in the first episode for 2023. The course, called "Aligning Strategy With Sales", covered off on corporate and sales strategy conception, pricing, distribution methods, recruitment and performance evaluation, marketing methods, and much more. Check out the episode to hear how it went and whether it will suit people in your business.
January 08, 2023
44 - Starting a podcast for your business
Have you thought about starting a podcast for your business? Well, this week, we'll give you a head start by telling you all about the mistakes we made, the feedback we got, the hardware that sucked, the mics that worked best, the software we use, and how we define success.
November 20, 2022
43 - MSPs need to think differently about legal
November 06, 2022
42 - A start-up done different
About 90% of start-ups fail, but what sets apart that successful 10%? Adam Ross co-founder of CloudOlive spills the beans on what it takes to build a successful start-up. Adam and his co-founder went through the Antler Venture Capital incubator in 2020. They successfully secured funding to solve a universal MSP challenge, SaaS billing management. Now CloudOlive is empowering MSPs all over the globe solving vendor on-billing and contract headaches in leaps and bounds. Welcome to episode 42 of Insights as a Service, where Brendan and Adam talk about how to get your start-up idea funded, educating your customers, the secret sauce of what really makes a business a business, and the #1 thing to do before building any product. Get yourself a drink and enjoy this episode of Insights as a Service. As always timestamps are below.
October 23, 2022
41 - The Optus Hack - and what it teaches us
By now we have all heard about the Optus hack, with around 10 million people's data at risk, and up to 2 million sensitive records taken. This week we mark the start of Cyber Security Awareness Month by looking at what happened (based on current reporting), what could have been done to prevent it, and what best practice cyber security looks like. Darryl Turner, Head of DevOps at Lightwire, joins Brendan and Nick to go through all the details.
October 09, 2022
40 - Should Companies Pay Ransoms?
With the recent news of Optus being hit by a cyber attack, this is a timely episode. This week we discuss our experiences at the recent IT Nation Connect and Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo conferences. We learned about the biggest cyber security breaches, the evolution in ransomware, mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity, and how every event kicks off with the same video.
September 25, 2022
39 - What's wrong with LinkedIn?
Where is LinkedIn going wrong? LinkedIn was designed to make recruitment and social selling easy. It's the ideal platform to promote your ideas on thought leadership and your personal and business brand. But as it has grown, the platform, and the way people use it, has changed. In this episode, we are joined by Harriet Mellor from Your Sales Co to talk about why we get those hated DMs after connecting with people, whether religion or politics should show up on your feed, the features that are missing, and the content that is preferred by the LinkedIn algorithm.
September 18, 2022
38 - The art of the "explanabrag"
The thing that makes a business great doesn't always scale. How do you hold on to your formula for success as head count and business complexity grows? This week Nick and Brendan talk through that, along with how the French do business, learning from rejection, and matching business hours to customer availability.
September 11, 2022
37 - Get that high value exit
Greg Sharp sold Base2 to Kordia in 2021 for a 10x multiple, so he knows a thing or two about orchestrating a high value exit. He has also founded a number of other businesses, the latest of which is ZenContract, a SaaS play aimed at helping MSPs build value in their own businesses through simplifying scale. He joins Brendan this week to talk about what drives bigger multiples, where the MSP industry is going, the convergence of Telco and managed services, and what's next for ZenContract.
September 04, 2022
36 - Rise of the second job
Swearing in the workplace is up by 60%. Is this acceptable, and if yes, by whom and in which context? The secondary job market has always existed, and most companies were turning a blind eye. Now with the tight labour market we are experiencing, companies are actively seeking workers who can take on a second job. How do you integrate them into your work culture, are they getting enough sleep, and what are the consequences on health and safety measures? Nick and Brendan cover these questions, and a bunch of other industry talking points, in this episode.
August 28, 2022
35 - The Revenue Delusion (when profit is a dirty word)
Here's how to avoid profitability issues in your business. What's your end game? And how can you work back from that definition to create the required building blocks for success? Adrien Nisbet works with businesses under stress to turn them around and/or to help execute owner exits. In this episode, he talks through the ways to define your end game, the data to track, the need for tangible assets, value based pricing, the revenue delusion, and more...
August 21, 2022
34 - NZ chickens are tougher
Matt Bristow, GM of ONGC, joins Brendan and Nick to talk about starting up a security operations centre (SOC) and how his business implemented a cost effective entry into the security space. The guys also discuss whether "guys" is a gender neutral term, how fibre build times are blowing out, and why a 20 mile march matters.
August 14, 2022
33 - What's your MSP worth?
Will Slappey's business (IT Voice) had bought 8 business in the two years leading up to his chat with Brendan. That conversation was recorded 4 weeks ago, since then he has acquired two more. In short, he knows a thing or two about acquiring business in the ICT market. Check out this episode to hear his views on M&A during a recession, valuation methodologies, retaining key staff, and much more.
August 07, 2022
32 - No position on social issues - good or bad?
Kaseya's CEO says his company has no position on any social issue, is this the right approach? And how much value is lost when there is no cultural alignment in an acquisition? Nick and Brendan cover these questions, and a bunch of other industry talking points, in this episode filmed in Lightwire's Gold Coast office.
July 31, 2022
31 - Zero Trust Defined
Zero Trust is a term increasingly used in cyber security circles, but it means different things to different people, and it feels like each brand has a different take on it. So how to make sense of what Zero Trust really means? Masaki Takeda, Network Delivery Manager at The Instillery, joins Brendan to get to the bottom of it.
July 24, 2022
30 - Justify that conference cost
So much of the value on offer at conferences comes down to the connections you can make, but it can be hard to come out of your shell and feel confident approaching strangers. What should you lead with? How to get out of the chat if it's not going well? And what events are even worthwhile? Harriet Mellor from Your Sales Co. joins Nick and Brendan to talk networking strategies, what defines success when you have your own podcast, and where regulation isn't keeping pace with tech.
July 17, 2022
29 - Customer success for MSPs - The guide
MSPs need a Customer Success process that is scalable, repeatable, documentable, and efficient… with metrics and a system to ensure the customer feels heard. When you concentrate on the people, programs, processes, and products that make a positive impact for your customers, their success guarantees your MSP’s success. Marnie Stockman wrote the book on customer success for MSPs... literally, and this week she joins Brendan to spell it out.
July 10, 2022
28 - What does the recession mean for you?
Depending on who you talk to, a recession is either looming or is already here. But does that present opportunity in the tech sector? And for MSPs, could it ease the pressure caused by current the shortage of skilled workers? Nick and Brendan dive into all that, discussing the wasted money on digital ads and the razor-thin margins in the B2C telco space complicating Telstra's plan to bring support roles back onshore.
July 03, 2022
27 - Live from Zenith Live with Jeremy Nees
Brendan and Jeremy Nees (Chief Operations Officer at The Instillery) woke up early to watch the Zscaler’s Zenith Live, so you don’t have to. Cyber security is one of the biggest opportunities for MSPs to add value, and this episode will offer you a glimpse into the future of cyber security. From the highlights to frictionless user experience AND cyber security to the possible end of SD-WAN, tune in to this week's episode to get a full recap of the biggest event in cyber security, Zscaler's Zenith Live 2022.
June 26, 2022
26 - No previous experience? You're hired!
Good people are hard to find, so why limit your reach to people with industry specific experience? And have you thought about how to better attract women to your business? This week Catherine Dearlove joins Brendan to share her story of coming into a tech role for the first time, how to get more women applying for positions in your organisation, and the challenges faced by women in this male dominated sector.
June 19, 2022
25 - Brendan's 4 day working week
Is Elon Musk a giant tool? Can a 4 day work week work in the tech sector? Will Spain pass a law to force telcos to answer all calls within 3 minutes? Brendan and Nick tackle the big issues while enjoying some quality Lightwire gin.
June 12, 2022
24 - NBN gets schooled
NZ's UFB fibre rollout has set a standard that Australia's NBN is miles from even getting close to. This week Richard Riley, Chief Customer Officer for NZ's 2nd biggest fibre carrier, Tuatahi First Fibre, joins Brendan to talk about where NBN went wrong, how 5G is impacting fibre uptake, and what TFF is doing to deliver on digital equity.
June 05, 2022
23 - The dickhead test
The DHT, or dickhead test, is an important part of any interview process. People buy from people, and you need to make sure your people will rep your brand as you would. Nick and Brendan dive into that and also talk through how a recession, if that's what we're heading for, will affect MSPs, and why Brendan is such a marketing fanboy.
May 29, 2022
22 - Getting beaten up by the Dev team
Just because you have developers ready to work on new products or features doesn’t mean they should. Adding more products or features doesn’t equate to better business results. Creating solutions clients want starts with getting the basics right. Join Brendan and Nick in this back to basics episode on how you can partner with customers and internal teams for continuous (product) improvements, how to market new products and features, and to think strategy like Jeff Bezos.
May 22, 2022
21 - What makes an effective leader
With skills shortages biting, it’s never been more critical for businesses to create pathways for emerging leaders. But what makes an effective leader? And how can we nurture those traits? This week Brendan is talking to leadership coach Amanda Russo, a subject matter expert who works with businesses to get the best from existing leaders and create the next generation of highly effective leaders.
May 15, 2022
20 - The Inflation Opportunity – Future proof your MSP
In this period of rampant inflation, your margins will inevitably be eroded if you don’t raise your prices. Efficiency within your sales team and company are key to thrive in a high inflation environment. Brendan and Nick are here to help MSPs like you to adjust pricing without losing your credibility, how to drive efficiencies in your sales team and company, and much more.
May 08, 2022
19 - Sales people are coin operated
Harriet Mellor runs Your Sales Co, a sales training company that works extensively in the tech sector. This week she joined Brendan to talk all things related to sales success, both for individuals and organisations. Topics include team structure, the importance of personal branding and aligning it with your company positioning, what metrics to look for when using Social Media, vendor management, and more.
May 01, 2022
18 - A shortage of everything, from people to hardware
How can the nimble MSPs compete with the big companies when it comes to recruitment? And how does your company culture play an essential role in attracting, and retaining, top talent? Highly skilled people aren't the only thing in short supply - The current shortage of hardware is adding to the pressure MSPs are feeling... Brendan and Nick discuss these key issues facing MSPs in this week's episode.
April 10, 2022
17 - Low cost 10Gbps fibre without the complexity
Enable complete utilisation of the cloud by taking the breaks off your client WANs. Kurt Rodgers, Network Strategy Manager for Chorus, NZ's largest fibre carrier, joins us to talk Hyperfibre, the 10Gbps access FttP service that is low cost and takes the complexity out of hyperscale connectivity.
April 03, 2022
16 - What Teams Phone lacks
Not sure whether Teams Phone is the fit for your clients? Wondering how to scope it? In this episode, Brendan & Nick walk through the features, breaking each section into small digestible bits with just a hint of DJ horn.
March 27, 2022
15 - How to differentiate your MSP with Nigel Moore
This is part 2 of the in-depth conversation between Brendan and Nigel from The Tech Tribe. Nigel shares his MSP Sales and Marketing experience from helping more than 3000 MSPs around the world. How to differentiate your brand in a commoditized market and where Voice fits in a service offering, along with privacy and security matters.
March 20, 2022
14 - Empowering MSPs to grow, scale and operate more effectively - with Nigel Moore
This week Brendan had a chat with Nigel Moore from The Tech Tribe! He has worked in a MSPs, owned one himself, and of course, now has this community that's empowering MSPs to grow, scale and operate more effectively. This episode is Part One of their conversation.
March 13, 2022
13 - Is voice a good fit for MSPs?
Voice enables MSPs to limit churn and drive revenue, but it can also introduce complexity to provisioning, support and billing processes. In this episode Brendan and Nick run through the pros/cons and the ways that voice can be incentivised for all stakeholders to get the best possible outcomes for all involved.
March 06, 2022
12 - Get your pricing right
Pricing and marketing are joined at the hip. Ron Wood runs Pricing Insight which, as the name suggests, helps some of Australia and NZ's largest companies define and implements pricing strategies. In this episode he talks with Brendan about the mistakes to avoid, the process to follow in order to set value based pricing, and how to align marketing efforts with your pricing strategy.
February 27, 2022
11 - Understanding 3CX
In this episode of the podcast, Brendan and Nick are having a solid look at 3CX. See what it can do, what it can't do, and how you can tell whether or not it's the right fit for your client's.
February 20, 2022
10 - Scaling up for a high value exit
Paul O’Dwyer knows what gets businesses ahead. He has used the Scaling Up frame work to orchestrate his own high value exit and to build several brands he has been (or still is) involved with. He has also helped many other business owners work towards the same outcomes through his consultancy business, 20 Mile March. In this episode he runs though the need to think long term, why limiting your goals is important, defining and implementing strategy, and which metrics matter.
February 13, 2022
09 - When things go wrong
Nick and Brendan talk about the changes to Teams Calling, Microsoft price increases, what not to do when things go wrong, the power of retrospectives, and why Lightwire built a big red button.
February 06, 2022
08 - Agile for MSPs
Have you heard of Agile but aren’t quite sure what it is or what it can do for your business? Tim Philips, an Agile and DevOps coach with over 15 years of experience from Unfuddle, joins us this week to get us all up to speed on how using Agile principles can get your projects delivered on time and within budget.
January 30, 2022
07 - How NZ's MSPs can prepare for Omicron
This week on Insights as a Service, Brendan is joined by Nick Phillips to discuss the impact Omicron has had on Australian businesses and what NZ MSPs and businesses can learn from that experience. Latest industry news is also covered, including new laws and liabilities in the cybersecurity space, and Vocus partners with OneWeb to compete against Starlink.
January 23, 2022
06 - Does NPS tell us anything useful?
This week on Insights as a Service Nick and I are covering Telstra’s $2,5 million fine from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, NBN’s transition to the business space, and the real insights that are unlocked with customer surveys like the famed NPS score
December 23, 2021
05 - Navigating NZ's MSP space - insights and comparisons from the UK
This week on Insights of a Service we are joined by Markus McIver and Roman Paljk from Virtuoso where we talk about talent in the tech industry, the value of your reputation, and how genuinely caring can set your MSP apart from the competition.
December 16, 2021
04 - Why industry awards don't matter and how not to do a comparison page
A $300 million merger that will make Telstra "sh*t bricks", how not to do comparison pages, and we talk about why industry awards aren't worth the hassle.
December 12, 2021
03 - Zack Levy talks buying into an MSP, driving sales through AWS, and big business culture
Zack Levy worked in legal and commercial roles within some of the biggest IT companies going around before buying into, and subsequently running, Strut, an IT company that had big goals. He talks to us about how he engineered the buy in, and how a 10 year plan turned out to be very different than he thought when Deloitte came knocking.
December 05, 2021
02 - Getting your pricing right, big telco M&A news, and part 2 of 2 with Mike Jenkins
A guide to setting the right price for MSP products/services, we run through who's buying who in the telco world, and we have the 2nd half of our chat with Mike Jenkins, CEO and co-founder of The Instillery.
November 28, 2021
01 - Growing a business from 2 to 200 in 8 years, Australia thwarts Chinese influence, and key industry news
In this episode we cover off on key industry news, do a deep dive on the Australian Government backed purchase of Digicel Pacific by Telstra, and sit down with Mike Jenkins (CEO & founder of The Instillery) to learn about how he grew a 2 person start up to 200 staff within 8 years.
November 12, 2021
It's happening! Insights as a Service podcast is coming...
A uniquely targeted podcast is coming, one that looks to make the MSP and telco market clearer for tech focused professionals.
October 26, 2021