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Utility Co. looks to expand its channel beyond Canada

Technology-as-a-service player adds new service for SMB markets

Ottawa, Ont.-based The Utility Company, has just announced its 1-866-My-Utility Per Minute Live Helpdesk service to attract new and customers currently in break-fix IT contracts, while at the same time working to expand its partner base in major North American cities.

Mark Scott, president and founder of The Utility Company, a technology, communications and business management solutions provider that targets the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market, said the company can now target the three types of customers within the SMB space. These include tactical and reactive customers, reliant and proactive customers, and strategic and profit-driven customers.

By taking on a varied type of customer approach, Scott said the service has something in it for everyone who’s in the SMB space to utilize.

“With 1-866 per minute, we’re providing a low barrier, mass-market type of service to help SMBs do more with less,” Scott said. “It’s a single-source solution that aims to address over 90 per cent of the typical issues that local VARs usually drive to support and we can do all of this remotely,” he added.

By adopting a per minute help service such as this one, Scott said businesses can save both time and money since they don’t have to risk company down-time or worry about finding a break-fix IT guy. Before 1-866-My-Utility Per Minute Live Helpdesk, Scott said charges were often assessed on a per hour basis. However, since fees are now calculated per minute, he said businesses will see more value in signing up for the service, which also includes access to live helpdesk service and support, supplementary support for internal IT departments and no minimum charges or travel is required.

“The benefits of the 1-866 per minute program are mainly for the end-user as an entry-level service towards proactive, managed services,” Scott said. “But our partners also get the benefit from this new program as customers sign up because there’s customer loyalty in each respective territory.”

Scott said The Utility Company’s channel is managed through its Beyond Managed Services (BMS) Franchise Opportunity program, which is designed for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The program is then broken down into three different partner levels which include BMS Entrepreneur, which is designed for a tech savvy partner who’s looking for a total business-in-a-box type of solution, BMS Select for MSPs and BMS Affiliate, for its VAR partners.

Currently Scott said The Utility Company has about 50 partners, which he said are also referred to as franchises, which are spread across North America. As a Canadian-based company, he said approximately 30 per cent of its partners come from Canada. However, he said the company is looking to aggressively target major cities to help build up its presence in the U.S. and Canada, particularly in the Ontario, Maritime and the West coast areas within the next nine to 10 months.

“We sign up anywhere between five to eight different franchises every month,” Scott said. “We’re looking for partners who have a strong technology background and who are familiar with service, sales and marketing and who take on an integrated approach,” he added. “For typical managed services contracts, margins for partners are around 45 per cent. It’s a pretty lucrative business for partners to get into right now.”