As I attended the live webinar during which MSPmentor revealed their 7th Annual List of the World’s Top 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs), I tried not to get my hopes too high that EarthLink would retain the top slot. After all, in 2013 we ranked number one in our first year participating. How could we possibly hold onto that ranking? To a large degree, despite quite a bit of effort, many still only remember the company from its 20-year history as an Internet pioneer and not for our transformation into a business-focused IT and managed services provider. But I was very happily proven wrong, as EarthLink again clinched the top spot for 2014. How did we do it?
Kept Eyes on the Prize
Not content to rest on our laurels, 2013 was an action-packed year for EarthLink managed services, during which we continued to grow our comprehensive IT services product suite with the launch of Cloud Disaster Recovery, opened five new data centers to create a next-generation cloud hosting platform, and announced a Cloud Collaboration product, among other virtualization solutions. In addition, last year EarthLink acquired CenterBeam, a company with a long, successful track record delivering secure, cloud-based IT services. As I prepared our press release and shared the news with media, analysts and colleagues, some in the blogosphere questioned how EarthLink could possibly beat out competitors such as AT&T, Dell and IBM Managed Services. The short answer? The combination of our strategy, accelerated growth and traction, when combined with MSPmentor’s official review of each submission, equaled the winning result. Their selection process requires participants to submit of a range of information which is kept confidential. According to their website,
Much like a decathlon, the rankings are based on a range of criteria rather than one business metric. Ranking criteria includes:
- Annual recurring revenues percentage growth (year over year)
- Annual recurring revenues dollar growth (year over year)
- Number of customer devices managed (PCs, servers, network devices, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, etc.).
- Devices managed percentage growth (year over year)
- Devices managed numerical growth (year over year)
- And more.
As a publicly-traded company, EarthLink must already disclose a great deal of information, and one of our guiding corporate beliefs is a preference for transparent communication. So participation in MSPmentor’s annual ranking dovetails nicely with our overarching philosophy, showcases EarthLink’s evolution and resonates with customers, media and industry analysts.
As Executive Vice President Mike Toplisek commented, “We’ve worked tirelessly to evolve our company into its current business IT and managed services focus, and continue our momentum in key market segments with emerging IT Services, including server and network management and monitoring and FlexCloud Hosting. But most importantly, our ultimate success rests on EarthLink’s dedicated employees, who continue to display a passion for customer care.”
Ultimately, the reason we stand out is because of EarthLinkers who care enough to treat our managed services customers as unique unto themselves, and not like a number or squeezed through a cookie-cutter assembly line. We see ourselves as an extension of our clients’ own IT team. Their success is our success. Being named #1 is just the icing on the cake.