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The Ultimate Guide to Success in Managed IT Services

What are the fundamentals to building a profitable managed IT services business? Keep reading to discover the four key ingredients for success.

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Ray Vrabel

Ray Vrabel is Continuum's Director of Technical Account Management and participates in product and service growth initiatives, and also manages Continuum's Technical Account Management team, which supports over 3,500 partners worldwide. Prior to Continuum, Ray joined Zenith Infotech in 2005 and held several positions including Service Desk Manager, Sr. Technical Account Manager and Sr. Manager of Service Operations. He currently has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry, specializing in Managed Services, Disaster Recovery, and Cloud Solutions. Prior to Continuum and Zenith, Ray worked at ANH Refractories, a world-class provider of Refractories products, in their Service Desk Department supporting 53 locations and 1,500 employees. Ray also worked for a startup venture at Body Media a pioneer in wearable body monitoring systems as a technical lead in their Technical Customer Support Department. Ray holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Technology Support and Training from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
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Recent Posts

How to Differentiate Yourself in a Growing Competitive MSP Landscape [Part 2: Hard Differentiators]

Posted by Ray Vrabel on March 25, 2019

Last week, we discussed how soft differentiators can help you improve your business. This week, we’ll focus on hard differentiators: what they are, how they can help you grow your business and examples of how our partners are using them today.

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Topics: Business Growth

How to Differentiate Yourself in a Growing Competitive MSP Landscape [Part 1: Soft Differentiators]

Posted by Ray Vrabel on March 15, 2019

In 2018, Managed Services alone accounted for $43B in annual revenue. Further, the total serviceable SMB market accounted for 7 million businesses, but only ten percent of that serviceable market is actually served by IT Service Providers today. This provides a huge opportunity for MSPs to gain additional market share and box out your competition. But how do you go about doing this?

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Topics: Business Growth

Is Your Managed Services Business Running Into These 5 Problems?

Posted by Ray Vrabel on December 27, 2018

The managed services market is predicted to grow to $242.45 billion by 2021 at a 10.8 percent CAGR! With such an outlook, it's no wonder so many MSPs are seizing this opportunity.

Whether proactive IT management has been your primary business model for years or you're exploring the managed IT services advantage for the first time, the potential for revenue growth is significant. Yet, maybe you've struggled to capitalize on this growing market. You're not alone. Here are five of the most common problems MSPs encounter and how you can avoid these pitfalls in your own business.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

Which Managed Services Pricing Strategy Is Right for You?

Posted by Ray Vrabel on October 10, 2018

Pricing is something many businesses struggle with, and MSPs are no exception. Price your offerings too high, and you might not find a great market for you. Price too low, and you might be hurting your own margins. Right now, the industry still offers enough flexibility that there are a number of different managed services pricing strategies that work. However, it’s important for MSPs to be aware of the benefits and drawbacks to each. Which pricing model is best for you? Let’s discuss.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

6 Profitability KPIs You Should be Tracking

Posted by Ray Vrabel on November 7, 2017

In today’s increasingly-digital business landscape, everything is measurable. Whether it’s the ROI of a given marketing initiative, the effectiveness of an entire sales department, or the average cost of new customer acquisition, one thing is clear: businesses with a strong analytics program in place have a significant advantage over those that don’t. 

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Topics: Business Growth

Note to MSPs: Be a Car Manufacturer, Not a Parts Dealer

Posted by Ray Vrabel on January 3, 2017

Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? In managed IT services, absolutely.

Let’s say I just started my own business as a traveling salesman. In order to power my business, I need to invest in a mode of transportation. Assuming I’m staying local, to travel from point A to point B, I decide to buy a car. Now, rather than purchase wheels, an engine, pedals and all other parts required to assemble an automobile, wouldn't it just be smarter to leave that to the professionals and drive the fully-built car off the lot hassle-free? 

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

The Dos and Don'ts of an MSP Sales Discovery Call

Posted by Ray Vrabel on May 5, 2016

Let’s face it, no one likes to cold call anymore. It’s a lost art. In 2016 with Web, social, and inbound marketing, we like when our leads and prospects come to us. But how do we engage with these contacts once we have them? What's that next step? 

Welcome back to our MSP Sales Success blog series, a collection of posts that dive deep into the sales journey and answer what you've been asking for some time: "How do I sell managed services?"! In this next post, we review the anatomy of a sales discovery call. 

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

3 Ways to Upset Competitors and Achieve Your MSP Goals!

Posted by Ray Vrabel on May 3, 2016

In my previous blog post, I discussed how to change how you measure technical staff, sales/marketing and help desk staff benchmarks. However, while it’s important to set measureable benchmarks, that’s not enough. You also need a plan to overcome obstacles that could prevent you from meeting or exceeding your goals. Let’s discuss three best practices to succeed in this new managed IT services business model.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

Change How You Measure These 3 Managed IT Services Benchmarks!

Posted by Ray Vrabel on April 13, 2016

Looking to change how you measure company benchmarks, specifically when it comes to techs, salespeople and help desk staff? If you think you can use the same measurement tools you were using before you implemented a managed IT services model, then you are doing yourself – and your employees and customers – a disservice.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing, Help Desk

6 Things MSPs Need to Consider to Keep Themselves in Check

Posted by Ray Vrabel on March 16, 2016

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Now that you’ve been at it for maybe six months to a year (or more), it’s time to look at your business as a whole, not just in parts. Let’s see what’s working, what’s not and what needs to be fine-tuned.

Below are the six items to be looking at when conducting your managed IT services reality check.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

RMM 101: Must-Haves for Your IT Management Solution
MSP Guide to Managed Services SLAs  [white paper]