Spotlight on Vendasta: Evolve to Survive

By | Managed Services News

Apr 28

This isn’t a new concept, but given this “new norm,” we’re shining a light on how this powerhouse company did things.

In order to survive, MSPs must continually evolve. You’ve probably heard this before with varying spins. Perhaps you have some form of it as your desktop background, cross-stitched on a pillow, or printed on a t-shirt. In fact, this is one of the main aspects we highlight with the MSP 501 and NextGen 101 lists — recognizing outstanding partners and the outstanding ways they have evolved their businesses.

Nontraditional Methods

One such company has become quite the powerhouse by doing just that. Vendasta, our second place winner for the MSP of the Year award last year, didn’t start out as an MSP in any way, shape or form. 

The company had its genesis as a platform for homeowners to connect and share inspiration in 2008. It then saw a need for an online reputation management platform within the home services market. So, it built one that was designed for local business. The company began targeting markets that were being drastically disrupted. Markets like the online media industry, for example.

Industries like these needed to learn to sell digital products fast in order to keep up with revenue expectations. Once it had a toehold in those companies, it leveraged their channels to gain access to the greenfield SMB market. Vendasta kept churning out product after digital product, owning the process from development to implementation to ongoing management. It wasn’t managed services in the way we might think of them, but technically, Vendasta was a managed services company. Then, in a roundabout way, it started coming for other shop’s customers.

No More Lanes

In 2017 the company launched a marketplace of resalable apps and solutions. This was a combination of products that Vendasta owned and built, services fulfilled by their in-house agency, and vendor apps. When 2018 came around, it added a number of global brands to Marketplace. This included Google’s G Suite, GoDaddy and Constant Contact. In 2019, Vendasta worked to expand its solutions to span SMB business needs. This was similar to MSP practices that behemoth companies like Office Depot were spinning up. SMB IT in a box. The platform supports dozens of digital marketing and business productivity tools with marketing automation, a robust CRM and a client-facing portal, all under a single login. 

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At Channel Partners Evolution last fall, Vendasta, a managed service provider itself, participated in the Channel Partners version of Shark Tank. Startups wanting to build their channel practices pitched their concept to a lineup of master agents and distributors. Vendasta is a partner, and now it’s finding its own partners, and we don’t really even know what to call hybrids like that — except competitors.

And therein lies the point. You cannot pinpoint these shops and say, “Here is your lane, here is mine. Let’s stay out of each other’s way and everyone wins.” There aren’t really lanes anymore. There are only solid businesses with the right amount of business savvy, market knowledge, tech expertise, customer experience chops, proven case studies in vertical markets, and a willingness to take risks. And yes, to continually evolve. 

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