Everyone loves a good list of resources, especially when you’re trying to determine the best place to spend your time and money. I’ve assembled for you here what I consider to be the best training resources for IT professionals and MSPs.
In recent years, the managed services industry has become a particularly viable one for IT workers. Today, managed service providers (MSPs) are in demand nationwide; and those with advanced training in cloud computing are especially valued for their expertise in cloud storage solutions. According to a report from Markets and Markets, industry growth for the MSP market should reach $257.84 billion by 2022, thanks to IT infrastructure expansion and increased cloud computing among US companies.
With this type of demand, it’s not surprising that there’s an increase in MSP training programs as well. Here are five top-notch training resources for anyone interested in advancing their skills as an MSP specialist.
As one of the better-known MSP coaching systems, TruMethods provides comprehensive business training for MSP practitioners, with an array of courses that cover every aspect of MSP business management.
TruMethods’ signature service is its FormulaWon system, an eight-week “bootcamp” of guided training in areas such as creating a business model, making a business plan, pricing competitively, growing revenue and controlling service quality. Students also receive four one-on-one phone conferences with an MSP specialist, twice-monthly live webinars, accountability tools, weekly podcasts and 150 hours of additional training content.
2. Technology Marketing Toolkit
As the name implies, Technology Marketing Toolkit concentrates on the marketing aspect of an MSP industry, with strategies designed to help MSP practitioners attract higher-quality leads, expedite sales, close more contracts and build more recurring revenue.
The step-by-step audio program provides coaching in MSP marketing strategies such as content, email and newsletter advertising. Also included are templates for pricing, packaging and branding, as well as sales presentation training tips. The course also includes lessons in running a successful sales meeting, hiring and managing sales staff, calculating ROI and phone prospecting for clients.
3. Channel Futures
Rather than a learning course, Channel Futures is a one-stop information station for all things IT, covering everything from marketing strategies and revenue growth to tech innovation and think tank ideation.
Channel Futures has informational blogs, webcasts and videos that run the gamut from news and commentary to thought leadership and IT community interaction. It’s also rich in cloud computing content, making it especially valuable for MSP practitioners.
Simplilearn offers an MSP Foundation and Practitioner Certification course that’s designed to help students pass the MSP exam on their very first attempt. The online course provides 180 days of access to self-paced learning content, so students can start and stop at any time within that period.
Simplilearn focuses on standard MSP protocol and practice courses — with lessons in risk mitigation, quality control, stakeholder management and issue management.
One advantage of using Simplilearn is that it offers the exam as well, so students can become fully certified at the completion of the course. In addition to its course for individuals, Simplilearn also offers an MSP training course for businesses, either through instructor-led options or through self-paced e-learning lessons.
5. Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)
BMCC offers a comprehensive online training course that prepares students for full MSP certification, at both foundation and practitioner levels. Each program is self-paced with open enrollment, so the student can start and finish at any time within a six-month period.
Each student is assigned a private facilitator for one-on-one interaction, guidance and feedback. Courses include all the standard components of MSP management, with emphasis on quality control, risk mitigation, stakeholder management and issue management. At the completion of the course, students should be fully ready to complete the certification exam (which is not included in the course).
Thanks to the current demand for MSP specialists — which promises to keep increasing — there’s a wealth of help available through online courses taught by qualified professionals. For those who either want to pursue MSP certification or grow their MSP business, now is the perfect time to do it.