April 19, 2024

Episode 21: All MSPs Need to Change is Everything

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Erick and Rich discuss Google’s big push into the channel generally—and SMB channel specifically—to attract AI partners, and the two magic questions MSPs should never end a sales meeting without asking. Then they’re joined by Canalys analyst Jay McBain for a fascinating look at how selling to millennials, competing with accounting firms, and other long-term trends will require MSPs to upend many of their most settled assumptions. And finally, one last thing: what happened when a Scottish train passenger mistook a cosplaying Star Wars stormtrooper for a security threat.

Discussed in this episode:

Bonus Post: Google Has a Lot of Partners. It Wants a Lot More.

Reported armed man at Scottish train station was ‘Star Wars’ Stormtrooper



[00:00:00] And three, two, one, blast off, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of the MSP Chat Podcast, your weekly visit with two talking heads talking with you about the services, strategies, and success tips you need. To make it big in managed services. My name is Rich Freeman. I am chief content officer and channel analyst at Channel Master, the organization responsible for this podcast.

And I am joined this week as I am every week by your other co host, our chief strategist at Channel Master, Erick Simpson, Erick, I’ll go with it. Rich, it’s another week here in April. And again, we’re kicking off Q2 and excited for the next quarter’s developments. I know that. Events are picking up news is picking up.

There’s a lot of moving and shaking in the channel and Boy, it’s gonna be I think a probably a much greater news cycle in 2024 Then we experienced in 2023. What do you think? And how you doing? I’m doing great. And just to underscore your point I’m back home in Seattle after having spent a week on the road at two different conferences.

One of which we’ve spoken about before the the TD Cinex conference I went to, and we’re going to talk a little bit about the other one that I went to in just a moment here, but I would say, I don’t know for sure if 2024 is going to be more news heavy than 2023, but I will say. Q2 of 2024 is going to be very news heavy because, as you say, there are a lot of conferences on the calendar.

You and I both, between the two of us, are going to a bunch of them. And there will be a lot of news to to discuss coming out of those shows. Stay tuned, folks. We’re gonna have all sorts of news from the road for you. And and for the MSP channel in particular. So let’s dive into our story of the week, which I have teased for you already a little bit.

So I went to the TD Cinex conference last week, Erick, I also briefly stopped in at Google Cloud Next. Their big partner conference every year. And going back a whole bunch of years, I’ve gotten an invitation from Google to attend that. I generally have politely declined the invitation because frankly, Even though a lot of MSPs are selling and supporting Workspace to, to some extent, Google hasn’t really had a huge footprint in the SMB channel and with MSPs.

But in this particular case, I knew I was going to be in Las Vegas for another show anyway, and so I wrote back and I said, I probably would be at this. interested in attending, if I could speak with somebody about your SMB channel strategy. And honestly, Erick, if they had set me up with, the senior director of SMB whatever over there in the partner organization, I probably would have gone to the event just for that interview.

All I had really had to do was rebook a flight a few hours later, but they didn’t send me, set me up with the senior director. They set me up. With Colleen Copsey, their recently named channel chief. She stepped into the job last December. You have probably seen her interviewed elsewhere in the channel media.

She is out there talking to all the media outlets and the very fact that they made her available to me at the show tells you what I came away from that google conference last week really understanding which is google is getting serious about channel recruitment in general and SMB channel recruitment in particular.

And the reason why is pretty clear. We’re at this pivotal moment in the AI story here. You got a lot of partners who are placing bets on Gemini versus GPT versus Anthropic on Microsoft versus Google versus Meta or whoever else. They are really eager to get in early with partners at Google before people get entrenched with somebody else.

So what are they doing? Basically to pull partners in? They’ve announced a new compensation scheme around workspace. For bigger, more enterprise oriented partners, they’re really talking to them about sophisticated AI solutions, a wide variety of them. For the SMB partners, they’re saying, what you want to do to get started with us is start reselling workspace in a bigger way to your customers.

And to entice partners to do that. And to, not just sign up new partners, but sign up new workspace users, they’ve changed the comp scheme for that product a little bit. So they are now effective this month, effective April 2024. Partners are getting 40 percent on the first year. Of new net new logo workspace accounts.

They then get 12% annually on renewal after that. Now that 12% number is actually down from 20% previously on renewals. The 40% number [00:05:00] in year one is up quite a bit from where it stood before, and clearly what they’re doing at Google is shifting dollars away from the renewals. Into that net new logo.

First year space to get more partners on board, get more partners recruiting workspace end users. And Erick, as we will see a little bit later in the show, when we speak with Jane McBain of canalis, 40 percent is a huge margin for a sass vendor to be paying J. We’ll talk to us a little bit about what’s average and it’s much, much lower than 40 percent in year one.

And this is one of several moves that Google is making basically to increase its mind share, its wallet share with SMB partners and get those particularly those Microsoft partners, many of whom are. Aren’t terribly happy with Microsoft right now. Thanks to the new commerce experience and the revamped partner program over there, e moment in AI evolution, maybe a vulnerable moment for Microsoft in terms of its channel relationships.

And Google is jumping on this right now before that that moment of opportunity passes by. Wow. Rich, you use the word big to illustrate this, this new transition. But. What about the size of this event? It is gotten big compared to previous years as well. There were a lot more partners attending Google next this year than they have seen in the past.

So what does that tell us? How many partners what’s the growth and what can we forecast in terms of what you’ve just shared about them trying to take market share and maybe leveraging a little bit of, FUD. From partners on the Microsoft side. To me, I think there’s, they’ve got a ways to go here, but.

Can you comment on that? Yeah the numbers actually are a great illustration of how much interest, curiosity, let’s say there is in the channel right now about Google and AI. So last year’s Google Cloud Next drew something like 15, 000 people. This year’s drew 30, 000 people. And there’s this kind of event within the event called the Google Partner Summit that takes place during Google Cloud Next.

That. Event alone drew 6, 000 partners this year. A lot of people taking a close look at what Google is bringing to the market, knowing that this is a kind of a key moment in AI. Yeah. This is a, and they’re positioning to try to take advantage of the, the current opportunity, right?

There are a lot of folks, as you mentioned, Rich, bringing AI to the market. To the table and integrating it with our platforms and processes and things like that. So what gives Google, a an advantage beyond kind of this FUD that’s going on. I know that, you mentioned there, they’re increasing the.

The net new commission to 40%, which is. Unheard of for SaaS application net new conversion numbers. What else do they have up their sleeve that is a secret weapon for them, do you think? I think they in addition to things like training programs and specializations and stuff, but doesn’t really qualify as a secret weapon, I think what they would tell you basically is, look, there are 3 billion workspace users on the planet.

There are a ton of people who use. Workspace at school and then move into the workforce. They become a natural client base for that service as well. There are a lot of public sector organizations that are using Gmail and the rest of the workspace suite for a number of different reasons, including security protections and so on.

So there’s actually. Pretty big market out there. For folks who are a hundred percent focused on the Microsoft cloud right now. So that’s a big part of the story that they’re telling is don’t sleep on the scale of this workspace opportunity. Yeah. It reminds me, Rich, of all the partners that I work with that, are whose vertical markets include.

Education, the education and the nonprofit sector where I, there’s a lot of folks using these, Google services and not for nothing, but it’s, Microsoft tries to compete with offering, these specific discounts for education and not things like that, but boy, oh boy, the allure of 40 percent to convert one of those, one of those clients, Into a program is very compelling.

Even the 12 percent on renewals. There are a lot of existing Google partners who are upset about that. Because like I said, it was 20 percent before, but 12 percent compares pretty favorably to what a lot of SAS vendors are paying. Yeah. It’s pretty much at parity with some of the ones that we talk about a lot on this program.[00:10:00]

Exactly. Yeah. This will certainly be something to watch. I’m going to be really curious to see how much traction Google gets, particularly with Microsoft partners. Again, given the fact that some of them aren’t thrilled with Microsoft and some of what Microsoft has done in recent years, does that make them open minded?

Does the Size of the workspace opportunity begin to attract them. Google isn’t really by the way, encouraging the Microsoft partners to ditch Microsoft altogether. They’re just saying, work with us to give yourself more options, more choices. So let’s see if these efforts pay off they’re definitely much more serious about going after SMB partners and we’ll see if it works.

But in the meantime, Erick, it’s time for your tip of the week. And you’ve got some thoughts here on some things everyone in our audience should do before concluding any sales conversation. Absolutely. Rich, as sales and marketing are two areas where MSPs could use a little help and guidance in my experience.

I speak from experience, being a recovering MSP myself. It takes a lot of discipline to learn how to conduct a sales process in a way that encourages and influences clients, especially cold leads who sign up and MSPs are great with handling referrals and things like that.

It’s with, a completely cold prospect where I find lots of opportunity to coach and train MSP sales teams and how to really navigate that. And, I’ll just say this rich, used to say this myself. Hey, put me in front of a client or a prospect and I’ll close them. Especially if they’re a referral and that doesn’t count because I expect you to close every referral you get.

So that doesn’t count. So this is for those situations where we have a very specific process that MSPs can follow. As we can follow checklists. We can, we can execute on things that are process based because we’re engineers. So in the early conversation with sales in a sales process, Rich, we want to make sure as we are qualifying that prospect, there are two killer questions that we should be asking to make sure Whether this is the real opportunity, and we should move forward and we’ll build urgency and help accelerate the close of the sale, or Whether there’s really nothing there, which means we should stop chasing that opportunity because they’re not qualified, maybe because of budget or timeline or need or whatever.

So the first question I recommend that MSPs ask every prospect before they leave or pre conversation or virtual meeting call is this one, Rich, is there anything I haven’t asked you? Or something else you’d like to share and this is again toward the end of every conversation where That prospect you feel uncomfortable has been opening up with you and conversing they may be more open their other thoughts Concerns or other pains that haven’t yet come up in the conversation Which is something that we should take note of and make sure that we bring back and say hey we can solve that issue, too the second question rich that every You I think Ms.

P should ask a prospect to come forward. During the sales close, where we’re asking for more than it is there anything I’ve shared with you today that would prevent you from moving forward with us? And this is a way to elicit any kind of early objections or any thought or confirm if the product says, no I think I’ve got everything I need.

That’s a great buying sign that allows us to move forward and feel good that this is a real opportunity that can be closed. So question one uncovers additional revenue opportunities that might be out there and you wouldn’t know about it necessarily. Without kind of asking an open ended question.

What else haven’t I asked about or haven’t we spoken about? Question two is about alerting yourself in advance to the fact that there could be some potential obstacle out there. So if the answer from the potential client here is, yeah, actually, we’ve got a budget issue or the ultimate decision maker here is me, or, the kinds of things I’m sure you’ve seen come up what’s the right next step.

Do you just exit and we’re done here or do you come back in three months? How would you advise people to handle that? That’s a great question, Rich, and so the answer to that comes from the early qualifying strategy that we have with a [00:15:00] prospect, which means that we’re going to qualify them, that one of the typical acronyms that we hear bandied about is BANT, B A N T.

And the acronym stands for B is for budget. Budget authority, budget authority, need and timeline. Thank you, rich, for tagging in there. If there’s no budget, that’s why it’s number one. That’s the first thing that we qualify for. We need three things to close the sale. Rich. We need, we have to have a need, we have to have a solution, and there has to be a budget.

But with ban there’s a budget, authority, need and timeline. So if there is no budget. Guess what? We’re not going to be closing a sale, at least today. So authority, do they have the authority to make the decision? Do they have a need? And is there a timeline? So there are three objections that we’re looking to qualify for, Rich.

There’s a, there’s an objection that we can, Overcome right now today, like I want to think about it is a simple objection where we say, Oh what is it you want to think about? Do you want to think about the enhanced cyber security? That’s going to let you sleep better at night. You want to think about, the, our SLA that is going to provide your end users the best response time and you go through every day.

Benefit to get the client to go. You know what? Yeah, you’re right. I don’t need to think about it There’s a second type of objection Which is an objection that you can overcome but maybe not today and that was where the budget falls in We see that a lot where hey, we want to move forward, but we don’t get our new budget until q3 Awesome.

Can we go ahead and get the paperwork started and have everything ready so we can, circle back around in about 30 or 45 days to start talking about getting the approvals done and start, planning for your kickoff meetings and things like that. Our type of objection, which is the objection that cannot be overcome because it’s that is required.

for the business in order to move forward. So for example, if we’re offering a security solution to a healthcare facility that must meet HIPAA compliance requirements and our solution or part of our solution doesn’t qualify for that, then that is a conditional objection. It’s a business condition for operating.

We’re not going to close that opportunity. But the way we get past that is to ask these questions in the early goings to qualify that client specifically. for Budget authority need timeline and then does our solution that we’re going to propose Meet their business requirements. So you’re spot on by saying the first one.

Hey, is there anything? You know that I haven’t asked you it’s a confirmation of are there other opportunities or other pains that they’re feeling that Maybe we can include into a larger proposal for services and then to identify those pains and make sure that we’re leveraging them You During the sale process that sense of urgency to get that stuff taken care of.

And then ultimately, is there anything else? My standing that I said through these conversations that will prevent you from moving forward is to try to identify any early objections we can overcome. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. And it almost sounds if you’re doing the qualifying right. You should rarely be surprised by the answer to that second question.

But if you get to that point in the process you’re ready to close. The last thing you want to do before finishing that meeting is make sure there isn’t a surprise waiting for you later on. Yeah. And if we don’t do that, Rich, what we typically find is opportunities that we were very excited about that, we thought was going to close.

And then over time, they just don’t ever close. The client just ghosts us and things like that. We would rather be completely, upfront and transparent and to say, Hey, we understand it’s like when you fly the airlines, right? We understand you have many options to fly. That’s why we appreciate you flying with us, right?

Hey, we understand that you have many options to select from, from managed services or cybersecurity or cloud service providers. We would love to earn your business. You know another key, bonus question to ask is you know Are you speaking to anyone else about fulfilling this need for you and try to get them once you know Once you have a little bit of relation with them try to get them to open up And find out who else they’re interviewing or have interviewed or how many meetings have they had Qualify deeper that way.

Any bit of information that we can glean from our clients during that pre sales process is crucial in, in getting my client to decide whether to go with us or not go with us. Rich. Somebody gets closed, either we close the client on our service, or they close us on why they’re not going to go forward with us.

Some very good advice, very sound advice, Erick, in an area, as you say, sales and marketing, sales in particular, in this case, that is powerful. Definitely an area where a lot of MSPs are always looking to get stronger. So keep those key questions in mind, folks. The next time you are in a sales conference with potential client.

Folks, we are going to take a [00:20:00] break right now. When we come back on the other side, as I teased a little bit earlier in the show, we’re going to be joined by Jay McBain of Canalys. Jay I’m sure almost everybody in our audience knows. Is one of the most interesting, informed important channel analysts in the industry right now.

And he’s got a whole bunch of really interesting thoughts to share with us about where the entire managed services market was moving in the years ahead and what that implies, what that means for MSPs out there, how they’re going to have to learn to sell differently, to package services differently.

This is interesting stuff, folks. So stick around. We. We’ll be right back.

And welcome back to part two of this episode of the MSP Chat Podcast, our spotlight interview segment. And we are thrilled to be joined this week by Canalyst Chief Analyst Jay McBain. If you are in the channel, if you attend conferences and attend keynotes, I am guessing Jay is a familiar face. Also one of your favorite speakers and thinkers, he certainly is for us.

And so we’re very excited to have him on the show. Jay, welcome. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited. Now now that I’ve told everybody they already know who you are, for the tiny little portion of our audience new to Jay McBain, just give them the the background on who you are and what you do.

Yeah, sure. I’ve been around the channel 30 years, and I’m the one that, I think my dad was an accountant, so While other people are looking and having opinions, I’m trying to count things behind the scenes and try to figure out how all the people work and the programs and the processes and the technology and kind of systematically thinking underneath the channel, how all 20 million of us come together and drive trillions of dollars together.

For every which angle. Excited to explore some of those things today. And you are somebody, one of the very few people I know, who really can look down the road at what’s coming next in an authoritative way, and really help people start to wrap their brain around what they need to be doing now to get ready for the future of this industry.

And that’s my segue to the topic of this interview here Jay, because I’ve been itching to have this conversation with you For almost two months now, since I was in the audience at a presentation that you gave at Nerdio’s partner conference, NerdioCon, back in February, where you were looking at some trends in the industry and their implications for the MSPs in the audience there.

And I’m going to kick things off with something that you spoke about early in that presentation that really grabbed my attention, which was, you were just pointing out that already to some extent today, and increasingly, obviously, as we go forward, the people who are buying it services and managed services are millennials and millennials think very differently.

They have very different preferences. From the generally older folks who are running MSPs out there right now. Talk a little bit about what distinguishes Millennials from older or more established buyers and what that kind of means for MSPs. Yeah, let me talk about predicting the future first, because it’s not the crystal ball type of thing that we all think it is.

When I was very early in my career at IBM, on the help desk, helping people with their PCs, getting NHL Hockey 94 running, they asked around the branch for a futurist. And I had no idea what that meant, but if it got me out of the help desk, I put out my hand and said, Hey, I could do that. The day after that, I joined the World Future Society.

People thinking about the year 3000 and a bunch of crazy academics and things like that. But one thing I learned on day one is the future isn’t about, inventing something or, somehow creating some future. It’s just take all the trends that are right in front of us and ask the question, what does it mean?

So when you ask about millennials, by the end of 2024, the majority buyer, both in quantity of buyer and budget in the 4. 94 trillion tech industry will be born after 1982. And this wasn’t new. We’ve known this for years and years. If you went to a keynote from Todd Thibodeau at CompTIA seven years ago, he had marked 2024 as the date.

So this wasn’t a surprise. COVID didn’t change that. Us leaving the offices didn’t change that. It’s a demographic trend. And then someone has to ask the question what does that mean? Okay. So born after 1982, obviously a different psychology of buying, different buying journey, a different set of behaviors.

So what are they? How do you look at this? And you could look at [00:25:00] research and you could do surveys, but. Why don’t you go to a market within tech that’s been a millennial buyer for a few years now, which is Sets. The average buyer of Salesforce, ServiceNow, Workday, Marketo, NetSuite, HubSpot has been a millennial for years, for a few years now.

So let’s look at the first 28 moments before they make a purchase. 75 percent of them don’t want to talk to a human. They’ll make a million dollar purchase without ever going through a sales demo and a traditional sales process. It’s like buying a car. You go through all these moments. You’re smarter than the salesperson.

The last thing you want to do is go spend eight hours in a dealership as they try to get you that deal. You already know the deal. You’ve done the work. So in the journey is different. We know also that they’re very subscription and consumption friendly. Growing up on Netflix, growing up on Spotify, open to spending a dollar a month for a toothbrush for the rest of your life or a razor for It is common.

So these new models are very open, and that’s why Wall Street is pushing every company into those business models. Marketplace friendly. Obviously, before COVID, we’re friendly with Amazon and friendly with others, and now post COVID, marketplaces are growing at 86 percent compounded. To serve this new buyer.

It’s a changing buying structure, different economics, but here’s a new one. Kind of final comment is this buyer criteria is now different in the past when you serve baby boomers, when you serve Gen X, different levels of price service support, your brand reputation, all these things would be criteria on an RFP somehow weighted and ranked, et cetera.

Today the number one criteria is integrations. So I need whatever you’re selling me to work within my environment. So I’ll actually buy a product today. 80 percent as good as the competitive product. If it works better in my environment, let’s flip back to cars. 79 percent of people today, according to Apple will not buy a car today unless it has Apple CarPlay, and I’m sure they meant to mention Android auto as well.

But the fact of the matter is it’s permeating all parts of our life. And if you’re not serving this buyer in an integration first, they’ll buy seven layers of a solution. SAS, infrastructure, security, it’s seven layers. So this is all new. And for the companies that aren’t coming around to these new sales models, rethinking marketing in those first 28 moments, and now having to look at the partnering that surrounds this new buyer.

Jay, that’s a very very insightful description of how. Things are changing. The buyers sensibilities are changing, the way they’re buying is changing. So speaking to the MSPs out there, can you expand a little bit on what they should be thinking about in how they are promoting and marketing their services for these buyers that are now becoming the new.

Business owners is these millennials, what would you say? Yeah. When I talked about the 28 moments, before these buyers, when you have a problem to the point you buy the product, either a car, it’s any kind of considered purchase. It could be a mattress in your personal life.

In your professional life, it could be a million dollars worth of software, hardware, et cetera. But in those moments, in the olden days, and that’s not too long ago, you may have had your business rely a lot on word of mouth. Millennials don’t like to talk to people. I mentioned 75 percent of them don’t want to talk to humans.

They’re very digitally active, but it’s very isolated. So if you think that the future of your business is just going to be word of mouth, it isn’t. So you start to watch the moments, like how did these new buyers get smart? What do they read? Where do they go? Who do they follow? What do they listen to?

What are the digital, what are the social groups that they’re in the peer groups, social media groups, the podcasts are listening to maybe associations they’re in, what kind of digital media are they consuming? What are all these questions? And if you’re not part of that, then your chances of getting into the buying cycle in the earlier moments.

Or you’re going to struggle with that. And if you’re not in the earlier moments, you’re going to struggle late in the journey to find room in that space. The other thing is this new buyer sees partnering as a team sport. Many of us grew up in our businesses, trying to be that trusted advisor.

Or in my old IBM or Lenovo days, that single throat to choke, you can’t get fired for buying IBM. Today, on average, there’s seven partners that the buyer trusts. [00:30:00] And there’s a reason for seven. One might be a reseller type that might take their money. But the other six won’t, for reselling a product, what they’re there for is that consulting, the design, the architecture, the implementations, remember integrations, all the other pieces, there’s hundreds of services that you can deliver.

And the reason I need a team on the field is that I need somebody that’s smart about me, my job role, and what can get me ahead, especially because 500, 000 of my friends and neighbors have been laid off in the last 18 months. So I need somebody that understands how to keep me employed and get me ahead.

I need somebody that understands my sub industry, the 297 sub industries that I’m in. I need somebody that understands the geography, the country, the city, the state, wherever I am, the compliance, the governance. I need somebody that understands my segment. Am I a small business, a medium business, am I a mid market, an enterprise, a government?

What kind of segment challenges do I have? Product challenges. Over the 5 trillion, there’s hundreds upon hundreds of product segments. If you’re buying security today, there’s 6, 500 security vendors trying to sell me Their mousetrap that they think, solves all my problems. And then finally, I need to understand all these business models.

Somebody’s trying to sell me product growth and somebody’s trying to sell me a subscription. Somebody sell me consumption. There’s legacy. There’s all kinds. There’s 20 different business models. So I want people that understand all those things. I don’t expect one person to ever understand all that and bring me home, get me to the solution, keep me employed, get me promoted, get, get this working.

And so partnering has become a team sport. So I want to participate. I want to earn one of those seven seats, those trusted seats. And I got to use those first 28 days. It’s the selling moments and then at a subscription model, every 30 days forever, I’ve got to be using these moments to make sure that I’m driving value for that end customer.

You, you mentioned you use the term in the olden days. I think, all three of us here have lived through this MSP transformation in the olden days, right? We. We’ve been at the very beginning of this and now we’re much more mature. The clients that we worked with initially have matured.

The vendors that we work with initially have matured. I remember Jay in the olden days. When vendors really weren’t MSP friendly because, we hadn’t yet figured it out and we were trying all these different things as MSPs in the channel. And over time the vendor started getting it. But back then it was all about, buying a bulk number of licenses.

It was about spiffs and discounts, right? That transactional kind of reseller model. And we had a really. Work through some of those, challenges with our vendor partners as MSPs to get them to adjust and adapt to deliver the things the way we wanted to sell them and how and what made it important for us as MSPs to deliver.

Now it’s different and you’ll often say it’s all about the multiplier. So explain what a vendor’s partner multiplier is for our audience. And why MSPs should use it and how to evaluate potential vendor relationships. Yeah, I’ll drop some stats on the MSP maturity just to start things off, because it’s one of my interests, because in the olden days we hearkened back to 1999.

This industry is really 25 years old. That was the start of auto tasks. The same time that Salesforce started a cloud model, connect wise was coming into their own tiger paw was growing. And in the early days of having some of these. Owners of those businesses fighting in the hallways and the fun that we had back then.

I’ll tell you a couple of them are billionaires today. So Managed Services now has 335, 000 companies with at least one managed contract. That’s almost, three quarters of that traditional Microsoft channel that was built in the 80s and 90s with Cisco and Compaq and others. So this is just a massive scale.

Bigger than that it’s, they’re going to deliver 548 billion with a B this year in services around the world. So just to put that perspective in a 5 trillion industry, businesses and governments, when they buy technology and telco over one out of every 10 now spent is on a managed contract. So this is mature.

It’s big. We’ve got multi billion dollar companies driving this. And it is creating all kinds of wealth. So it’s exciting to watch this 25 years later, as it’s become a mainstay [00:35:00] in this industry. Now, when you talk about multiplier, this is one of those reminders of the olden days. For 43 years, our industry has really been linear.

You’ve got a customer, you’ve got a reseller of some type that takes their money through distribution. It’s a linear supply chain. Where today when talk about the seven partners that are trusted at that customer, one or less of them is going to collect the money could go direct, the money could go through a marketplace, which are growing at 86 percent compounded at the moment.

We have three or four vendors now that have issued press releases that they’re running billion dollar businesses just on AWS, but in a non linear world, when you look at the seven partners, the language you speak changes, it goes away from the gold, silver, bronze era programs. And, based just on volume and really the channel, which is short for channels of distribution was measured on the point of sale.

We were a bunch of cash registers and a bunch of vendors who are, in the case of consumer, trying to sell donuts or coffee or hamburgers are trying to figure out how many cash registers they need on how many street corners around the world to reach their TAM, their target address on the market.

But today we understand that there’s so much more to partnering. And these are things channel partners have been doing forever. It was called value added resellers for a while, but the value add was the amount of consulting they did, the design architectural work, the configure price, quoting the implementation work, so much around it.

But again, we only recognize them at the point of sale. So in the past you would pay a margin or from a vendor perspective, gross to nets. The percentages of front and back end margins to drive partner behavior. And so with that money in the 1980s, we were paying 40 percent for a PC sale. It turned into 30 to 20 to 10 to take it’s low single digits.

But the fact of the matter is, the other work is worth money, and other companies who don’t resell charge handsomely for that work. When Accenture comes and quotes you for consulting, you’ll get a little bit of sticker shock of what a bar might have been giving you for free for years because they were funded at the point of sale.

So marketplaces did something remarkable a few years ago. Microsoft started it, everybody followed. But they dropped resale to 3%. And that’s the same amount that when you swipe your credit card at a restaurant. So when you think about resale, that’s collecting money and that’s not easy on behalf of a vendor, it’s also taking on the risk that you’re not going to pay.

It’s also waiting for the money net 30 net 60 net 90, which carries a cost. And then it’s hiring Biff to break knees when you don’t pay all that isn’t worth 40 or 30 or 20 percent of revenue. It’s worth three and now that’s, the end customer who’s really smart in their first 28 moments. They don’t know that.

So they’re saying, okay, I get it costs 3 percent when I go to a restaurant or when I buy software. Now, tell me and line item for me all the other value. And this is what the multiplier is. If you’re going to do the managed services, for example. Today, AWS, for example, there’s 1 of managed services opportunity for every 1 of consumption.

So if you’re working on a 100, 000 AWS consumption deal, you should be charging 100, 000 divided by 36 over the first three years. And you’ll be earning a one to one ratio. If you happen to walk over and do the consulting as well, there’s another dollar there. Because that’s what system integrators are charging for that piece, or big consultants are charging.

If you walk over and do, for example, the implementation services, there’s another dollar there. If you build software, the average stack, which I mentioned, is seven layers. If you earn one or two of those seven layers of software, there’s a dollar fifty there. So it gets to the point where, at AWS, there’s six dollars and forty cents.

AWS. of opportunity for partners for every dollar that AWS sells. At Salesforce, it’s 6. 19. At HubSpot, it’s 5. 80. At Microsoft, it’s 7. 63. All the companies are getting really smart on speaking in this multiplier language. At Canalys, we write these reports. And we get it down to the penny where these opportunities are.

So you think to yourself as a partner, why am I getting all excited about winning 10 percent of the deal when I could be making three or 400 percent of the deal? And that’s multiplier language. And some of the, biggest, fastest growing, most profitable partner companies around the world. Are dealing on the multiplier side [00:40:00] now, and they actually don’t really care anymore how money changes hands.

Salesforce pays 0%, if I’m not mistaken, right? They’ve just gotten out of that resale side of things altogether. All they talk about is the multiplier. Yeah. So Salesforce is a great example because that’s a company that grew up to 35 billion in revenue. They made more revenue than SAP.

They got to a higher valuation on the stock market than Oracle being almost a hundred percent direct. And so now they’ve taken a little bit of a step back and say, we think that there’s 10 percent growth indirect is that’s forcing or forcing a little bit too much friction because the overall tech industry, the 5 trillion I mentioned is 73 percent indirect, so we’re forcing a little bit.

I think by opening up some indirect, we’re going to grow the business and they’re right. Because if you look at CRM, they don’t have to sell CRM through the channel. They win 73 percent of all new CRM deals, last time I checked. The fact of the matter is, think of their acquisitions. In Tableau, they’re competing against Microsoft Power BI.

And Microsoft, as we well know, has 96 percent of their deals partner assisted. So without having a channel around Tableau, they’re hurting. You go to Slack and they’re competing with Cisco. They’re competing with Microsoft. They’re competing with zoom, who all have rich partners. And they’ve got more of the seven partners talking about those tools than Slack.

Same with MuleSoft, same with them. So as Salesforce grows by acquisition, all their product lines are not the same as CRM. So they do need a channel. They currently have 220, 000 consulting partners. Who get paid zero because they don’t collect the customer’s money, but they have their first 5, 000 resellers.

They’re going hard in Asia Pacific and Europe first, but yeah they realized that they have to grow up. You remember back to the olden days, it was 16 years ago that Michael Dell wrote a famous memo and it was titled internally direct was a revolution, not a religion. And they used to make fun of that time of channel partners on TV.

The middleman. And if you remember those TV commercials of most of the older term partners will remember these, but this was a realization by Michael Dell that he had 80 or 90 percent market share of the third of customers who bought PCs direct one third, and I worked at Lenovo and IBM at the time.

So I competed with this. So we competed in two thirds of the market. He competed in one third. And whether he had 100 percent of that or not, he was topped out in terms of his market share. He had to walk over into resale and he had to walk over into retail to get into his broader market town. And if you want to call it a success today, they’re a hundred billion dollar company.

And they just switched over 60 percent indirect, being a company that grew up on direct and made fun of resellers is now 60 percent indirect. So that really is a revolution, not a religion. And Salesforce is learning this. And every other company in SaaS and infrastructure, is learning this really quick.

Jay, I want to tag back into the partner multiplier conversation and ask your opinion of this because Number one, how many partners really understand that opportunity and are evolving their businesses to take advantage of it? And number two, it reminds me of a lot of the M& A work that I do with partners.

And when we’re doing valuations, we look at multiples of EBITDA, but then we also look at the distribution of their revenue streams and each type of revenue, each dollar or revenue that they generate based on, resale or projects or managed services, each has a different multiple as well.

So it to me it’s aligning in in this partner multiplier, if a partner understands. How much more they can pull through by delivering these additional services, more strategic services and, competing more for to be one of those, seven strategic partners that you’re talking about.

What are your thoughts around how many. MSPs are putting one in one together and seeing this for what it is and understanding that they should stop selling these lower, multiplier services that are pennies per dollar spent like break fix services and are moving in that direction.

We’ve been talking about the olden days. We’ve been at it for a good 15 plus years now. I’m working with a lot of partners that. I’ve coached and consulted with over the years and now helping them exit or grow through acquisition and you know So I have an opinion of it, but i’d [00:45:00] love to hear what your thoughts are Yeah, I mean we’re finally after 43 years on the road to zero on resell So when I said three percent you know that number started to ingrain itself, you know into end clients And there’s no partner and there’s no EBITDA and there’s no economics That you could give away anything for free if you’re earning 3 percent on a deal.

And we know that in several markets. So they’re being forced into charging for those services that they might have given for free in the past, helping that customer along the journey and getting them there and keeping them supported has to come at a cost. And the good news is customers realize that as well.

This whole total cost of ownership was hidden. It’s not. They understand the cost of managed services. They understand the value of managed services, reducing cost and adding predictability. So when they’re getting smart in those first 28 moments, it’s to our advantage that they’re getting smart.

So Microsoft put in a point system, and it was very controversial, continues to be controversial. Because what they’re trying to do is reward, monitor, measure really recognize the work all seven partners are doing and recognize one of them might be at the point of sale, but what they’re trying to do is spread the money and love around like peanut butter.

And it’s not just there’s no economics of partnering just at the point of sale. They’re trying to get to the point where there’s economics around every point of value, every moment before, during, and after the transaction. Is worth something to Microsoft and they’re quickly trying to measure that to the point where it’s repeatable and scalable so they can pay on those moments that are non transactional.

The key though is what that’s driving is partners looking at this thing going margins, there was no new money at Microsoft to go spread, to, to new things. They had to take the money out of resale. So margins continually are being impacted. All companies across hardware and software continue to drive the margins.

And I think 10 years from now, it’s going to land at three, which is cost every time you use your visa or MasterCard. It’s going to end up three. So on top of that though, is customers have a whole level of challenges getting, things, making decisions, making things work, implementing, integrating, which is their number one, criteria, they understand that there’s a lot to it.

And now at least everybody’s being honest, first the SAS companies, but now everybody’s telling them that, it’s going to cost you 7 and 63 cents. To get that microsoft dollar to work you could insource all of that. Good luck finding all the skills. Good luck You know getting everything or and you’re not going to outsource all of it So you’re probably going to find some middle ground where i’m going to insource four dollars of it I’m going to outsource three dollars and 65 of that and I want to pick the best seven partners to go outsource that too And that’s the economics of partnering going forward.

And it’s just this idea of how much of customers, because today 82 percent of end customers will outsource, some or most of their IT that was driving the managed services number, but it’s also driving the entire multiplier. I don’t have the right skills. If I don’t have the right competencies. Gen AI is only one year old.

No one has anybody with a resume today in it. So there’s a fight for talent and there’s no chance that you’re going to get some of the best Gen AI people in the world working at your flower shop. So the outsourcing is growing. This is why the entire industry, out of the 5 trillion, services today is two thirds of it.

For every dollar of hardware and software, there’s 2 of services. Services are outgrowing every product. So we’re going to be at a point a few years from now where it’s going to be three to one, then it would be probably four to one. And that’s where the channel wins. If you’re still thinking about making 10 percent or 5 percent or 3 percent margin and funding your business.

It’s a road to nowhere. It’s a road to zero. Jay. Sorry, Erick. What are the things that you spoke about at NerdioCon? And I know you, you’ve been speaking about this for for some period of time, actually. You used to call it Shadow Channels. But it’s the idea, basically, that everybody is a tech provider now.

Digital marketing agencies, accounting companies. Everybody is, In tech services right now. What are MSPs in our audience and what do they need to do or do differently to remain competitive in a landscape where there’s competition coming at them from all these new and unfamiliar directions?

Yeah, we used to have a channel. I’ve got a Venn diagram over my shoulder. We used to have a channel of about a half a million partners. Microsoft would talk about [00:50:00] 470, 000 partners and some of the big client server companies would have hundreds of thousands. Today’s channel is probably closer to 4 million companies.

And here’s the deal. We know what the challenges in managed services is, and that’s a really rich industry. We know a third of MSPs struggle every month, to profit and to break even. And that’s a big number. You can imagine in accounting, doing tax work and doing audit work and stuff.

Most of their industry opportunity has flatlined to the point of not being profitable. Digital agencies, the creative work, for example, has got to the point of commodity, especially with gen AI now of not being profitable. So everybody’s looking over into the tech industry. The world economy this year, 105 trillion of world GDP is growing slightly less than 3%.

The tech industry is growing by twice that amount. It’ll grow by six in tough headwinds. And many of the things we’ve talked about already, managed services, security, are growing by 12. Cloud’s growing by 20 to 30. Gen AI is growing by 59 compounded. So you can imagine that every professional services firm in every industry is looking over into tech.

And every company is becoming a tech company. So every conversation with a CMO, with a CRO, with a CX person, everybody you’re talking to now is talking tech. In many companies, the CMO spends more money on technology than the CIO. So in that world, why wouldn’t digital agencies go have that conversation, get into rich, higher margin businesses to help them grow?

And that’s why 78 percent of them today are tech services companies. You have to go to page four of their website to see they’ll do creative work for you too. And they saw companies like HubSpot, they saw Marketo and Eloqua. They saw Pardot. And they happen to have 13, 080 ISVs in that Martech stack this year, that they can go and learn and earn implementation, consulting.

Architecture dollars, there’s dollars everywhere that 6 multiplier we’re talking about if a digital agency, they don’t have security skills, they’re not running cables, they don’t know how to configure a server, but they definitely know how to work around a SAS stack and add their levels of value because they know marketing and they know how to run campaigns.

And they know digital. So why is there seven people trusted at the customer? There’s a high likelihood that an MSP is going to be working with a digital agency if they’re working around the CMO and some of the parts of that market. If you’re working with a CFO, there’s a good chance. An accountant will be one of the seven people around the table because they’ve been trusted for a hundred years, CPA firms.

81 percent of them now around the world are tech services companies. Again, you got to go to page four to find out they’ll do your accounting and audit and taxation work. They’re tech services companies, but again, they’re not running cables. They’re not doing managed services at this point until they see the opportunity, but everybody’s competing to get into those seven trusted spots.

To earn that multiplier today, we can work together and I always advise when people say what’s one tactical thing, when they always ask you on a panel, the last question next time you go to your client, look at the guest list, if they allow you to, flip a couple of pages back 80 percent of the people signing in to talk to your client.

If you don’t know who these people are, some of the local businesses that are in Talking Tech, it’s time to start capturing who those people are and go meet them. It’s a team sport. One plus one can equal three. You’re working on a couple of deals that they might be able to add value. They’re working on a couple of deals that you might be able to add value.

One plus one equals three. So we should start thinking about partnering ourselves. And making sure that we’re going in as a team to win everybody in our local region. Specialization has always been advantageous for MSPs. That’s not new. But as we talk about, seven layers to a deal and a buying preference increasingly for companies that have expertise in a particular vertical industry, a particular solution area, et cetera.

How would you advise MSPs to think about specialization? How much should they be investing in that building around specialized expertise? Yeah, it’s somewhat of an individual conversation because, every client may vary, every region may vary. The fact of the matter is what you’re doing, though, is competing to get into one of those seven trusted spots.

If you look around to the other seats, you’re going to have six areas of specialization that the customer is looking for. You know the buyer themselves, you know the role they’re in, you know the challenges [00:55:00] they face in their company. That’s one spot. Two is the industry, not just I know pharmaceuticals or I know banking or insurance, it’s the sub industry that’s below that.

I know the compliance, I know the regulation, I know the governance, I know all kinds of things. Those are the shows I go to, that’s the stuff I read. I’m an expert. Third is that, uh, geography they’re in. Same story, compliance and, everything changes when you move states or move provinces, move countries.

Fourth is the segment. I have 200 people, I have a totally different view of the world than if I have 2, 000 or 20, 000. Or if I have two people. I need somebody that understands that nuance. You talked about product areas. But it’s not just, hey, I’m a cyber security expert. I mentioned there’s, six categories.

There’s $87 billion of market, there’s 6,500 players. There’s a lot going on there. An accountant is not gonna be at that level of granularity that you are. And then finally, all these business models and putting everything together. So if you’re looking at that individual customer and looking at those seven seats and where there’s opportunity to specialize, and when you start to see commonalities across clients.

There’s a opportunity in my region to get really smart in compliance, to get really smart in these job roles that others aren’t. Obviously, I’m going to be really smart in the product categories. I’m always going to be smarter than perhaps other people around the table, but, to make more of the multiplier, to go from one to one to two to one on the multiplier, I’m going to cherry pick other areas of opportunity.

And it probably won’t be the same, from each client or each, territory. It’s, I’m going to have to be smart in terms of how I do it.

And you’ve been analyzing and reporting on and forecasting this evolution of marketplaces, how fast they’re growing and how much business flows through them and it’s accelerating. What are the implications of that phenomenon for MSPs, the risks and the opportunities, and how can they navigate this to, to to compete and remain successful and grow?

Yeah, this is a good example where as a futurist, we continue to be wrong. Why? Because we keep under calling. We think we’re being aggressive and then we’re not. So we said there’d be $45 billion of cloud marketplace activity by 2025. That happened at the end of last year. So we beat our prediction by two years.

We thought that AWS would become a top 10 distributor joining the likes of TD Cynics and Ingram and Arrow and D& H and all the others, by 2025, they’re already there. They’re already climbing the list. I mentioned there’s four companies, CrowdStrike, Palo Alto, Splunk, and Snowflake that issued press releases in the last 30 or 60 days, mentioning a billion dollar plus business just going through one marketplace.

You only have to be at 5 billion to reach the top 10 list of the 500 biggest distributors, and they’re already there. So we keep, missing our predictions because when things are growing at 86 percent compounded, and they’re doubling almost every year, it’s exponential and hard kind of for the human brain to comprehend how fast things really are growing.

But these are the things that are happening, each day and it’s serving this new buyer. Again, this was not just a crystal ball. It was I knew this buyer is into subscription consumption models. I know that subscriptions work better on a digital marketplace than a true, traditional procurement method.

I know that they love amazon. com and Alibaba. Like we knew all this. It wasn’t new to anyone. It’s just how fast it’s happening. Was new to all of us. And the question again, it parallels to the other things we’re talking about today, as there’s a race to zero on margin and when it gets to the point where it’s no longer profitable to take on the risk and to take the effort to go and collect money.

We got to get our business away from that and maybe do the work outside of that, the multiplier outside of collecting money. And I know that today, because when we hang out in Redmond with Microsoft and with AWS in Seattle, Google in in San Francisco, when we hang out at Salesforce tower, we know that 30 percent of the deals that happen on their marketplace is a partner clicking by on behalf of the customer.

So that’s a big stat. And they know that too, that the partner literally has their finger on the trigger. Talk about importance, but it makes more sense for the customer when they’re buying a seven layer [01:00:00] stack to put that all together in one place, you want to add a user, you just click a mouse, take away a user, click a mouse.

You don’t have to go get the reseller to go make seven special offers get them signed up with seven different vendors and do all the special bidding and wait, weeks upon weeks to get a, it literally happens in real time and all the participants in the marketplaces now have all the special offers, distributors, sellers of records, multi partner officers.

So the toolkits are now there where you can make the equivalent margin by letting somebody else collect the money. So it’s actually a net positive for partners. It’s a net positive to the customer. And vendors are loving life, being able to do the one to man. When it’s a seven layer stack and there’s a security dollar being dragged for every infrastructure dollar, now they’re sitting back, loving this.

Wall Street is sitting back, loving this. And again this is going to be a larger and more material part of what happens, but it’s not just the hyperscalers. There’s seven layers of marketplaces. All the big distributors I’ve mentioned have built really capable marketplaces. And 73 percent of our industry today is indirect.

So there’s a greater likelihood that procurement just goes, keeps doing the same thing, but now has the digital tools to back it all up. It’s not on fax machines and PDFs and docusigns anymore. It’s all through digital means. That’s distributors. The fastest growing, distributor isn’t a distributor at all.

It’s Pax8. They don’t own warehouses. They don’t deliver hardware. They’re the fastest growing company in the world in this space. But there’s 99 other Pax8 Lite companies. Around the world, you’ve got Intel, the, what were master agent tech solution broke brokers or distributors, they consolidate from 25 of them down to four or five.

They’re building a huge digital capabilities, getting into security, getting into managed services. They’re crossing over quickly. You have the big resets, the CDWs and the SHIs insights, coffee centers, investing billions on digital marketplace technologies. You have Marketplace development firms, 150 of them, AppDirects, Miracles, Vendastas, raising hundreds of millions of dollars building these capabilities.

And then finally, you’ve got the managed services, PSA and RMM, ConnectWise and Kaseya and Datto enable others who are building huge capabilities in terms of digital procurement, Marketplace type of functionality. There’s seven stories there outside of AWS and Microsoft’s Marketplace. Are gonna drive this future buyer and again, net additional to the partner.

Jay I knew going in, this was going to be a fascinating conversation and sure enough it was, I really appreciate you making some time for us. A lot of food for thought in that conversation there for Erick and me and I’m sure for everybody in the audience. Great stuff.

Thank you again very much for joining us. Jay, for folks in the audience who want to read your blog keep up with you on social media where would you point folks who want to know more about you and get in touch? Yeah, so I’ve got three screens full of windows open here probably any which way you wanted to, you could send me a note on Facebook, you could note on LinkedIn, on Twitter send me an email whichever which way, they’re all published or you could publish them here and I do, if you have a specific question or a specific number in your circumstance, let me That I can go find for you and help you happy to do that.

If it’s, a couple of minutes to go track something down always happy to help. Hey, you’re such a giver. We really appreciate having you on, appreciate your guidance. And we look forward to having you on again. I could have had any other questions unpacking what you shared with us today.

So thank you so much for sharing. And congratulations to MSP chat for being one of the top channel podcasts in the world. As just published today. Thank you for recognizing us, Jay, we appreciate you, and we’ll catch up with you on the road. Alright, take care. Alright folks, stick around, we’re gonna take a quick break here when we come back on the other side.

Erick and I will share a few final thoughts about this very interesting conversation with Jay McBain. Maybe have a little fun, wrap up the show. So stick around, we’re gonna be Right back.

All right. Welcome back to part three of this episode of the MSP chat podcast I’m still Digesting all that food for thought from our conversation with Jay McBain And I’m sure you can see I set it up as this was a something I wanted to do with him on the podcast ever since That presentation [01:05:00] at NerdioCon because the thing that really struck me being in the audience that day was all of the stuff he was talking about with us, all these changes in the market, all these developments individually, they’re very interesting, but what’s striking about them to me collectively is this is an entirely new industry.

Different way for an MSP to do business. You just think about the implications of all of those different phenomena that he was talking about there and we’re talking about a serious mindset change that an MSP is going to have to make. And so I’m glad we were at least able to start. Getting people thinking about what it means to sell to the millennials, what it means that there are seven points of contact in the deal that marketplaces are exploding, et cetera.

Yeah, you’re right, rich. They call Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, and I’m going to name Jay McBain, the Oracle of the channel. Just because you and I have known Jay for many years and have had many conversations and he never. fails to amaze me in his grasp of the changing market conditions.

and understanding how to analyze and assess and deliver some really valuable guidance. And the one thing that he, that I picked up on that he mentioned was like, we predicted this was going to happen at this date, but it’s happening so much faster. I’ve got to think rich that some of this acceleration, is an after effect or, a causation of COVID, this rush to the cloud and a marketplace and people, buying stuff.

The other thing that really struck me rich was just how much more mature. And MSP needs to be today to take advantage of all of this. If, back when I had my MSP, it was blocking and tackling, like we were figuring this stuff out. We didn’t have the tools to make the tools. If my, our first thinking system was something I coded in Microsoft access, poured it over to SQL later, and then we ended up with, connect wise and our arm and tool and things like that.

But today. It’s not only about if you really want to grow a in a successful MSP practice and be competitive And maximize your margins and look at what services you should be delivering much more properly and understanding that at the end of the day, you’re not going to get any commissions other than, covering like Jay said several times, the cost of a credit card processing fee, right?

To resell stuff. You’ve got to think differently and take advantage. And one thing that we run out of time to get to, because like I said, I could have just gone so much deeper in the things that he was talking about is. The connection between instead of an MSP, like seeing this market, these marketplaces as a competitive threat, but not so when he said I forget what the statistic was, but a high percentage of the transactions that are going through those marketplaces.

Are being done by the trusted advisor MSPs themselves. So wow, saving themselves a lot of labor costs and things like that. Saying, Oh no, I’m going to use these marketplaces to my advantage for my clients. that is just a table stakes to deliver these higher value services, right? To be one of the seven, trusted relationships in that client’s circle of trust, if you will, just so much to unpack.

I’m still, And I’m going to follow up quickly on something you said there because it, this is actually a thought that popped into my head at NerdioCon listening to Jay. You were talking about how much more mature the MSP has to be and how they have to understand the implications of these trends Jay is talking about.

And I remember taking down a note as I was listening to Jay that the vendors out there, Have to totally rethink what it means to enable your partners because a lot of them are teaching outdated skills and passing along outdated techniques. MSPs, you are ultimately responsible for adapting to this change marketplace, but vendors should be helping with that.

And I, I don’t know, as we sit here, Erick. How many of them are thinking through the kinds of issues Jay is talking about and building those into their partner program? Yeah, so many more follow on questions. I wish we had time to cover you know on this episode we’ll have Jay back and keep you know and keep learning and sharing from him is great.

Great interview. And it leaves us with time for just one last thing, folks. And cosplay, it can be fun. Cosplay can be a good time. Erick, did you know that cosplay could be dangerous? It turned out to be for a guy in Aberdeen, Scotland, not too long ago, who was on his way to some sort of.

for Star Wars fans and he was dressed up head to toes as a stormtrooper. Including the prop gun with him. And by [01:10:00] golly, it’s dangerous out there these days, folks. Somebody else at the train station sees this guy waiting there for the train with a weapon and contacts the police. And there was some to do there before this guy was able to explain to the officers who responded no this gun’s a prop.

And if this outfit I’m wearing looks familiar, it’s Not because I’m a terrorist, it’s actually from a movie that you’ve probably seen. Yeah, and I don’t really know what to recommend to anyone who’s into cosplay, actually. Except, you want to be careful, at least, with a weapon. Even a lightsaber Erick, might frighten somebody at the subway station.

I gotta tell you, you want to avoid any imperial entanglements in general. A Stormtrooper sent in with a blaster, it’s a very interesting story and yeah, they’re probably that person that did that was probably the. One, 1, 000, the 1 percent that does not recognize what a storm trooper is.

And and thinking that’s a real blast or a real weapon, rich I am an aficionado of going to these events, we go to wonder con, we go to comic con, And we do a little cosplay ourselves. And now what’s been happening is when you go in and you have a crop like this, a lightsaber, a blaster, I have star Wars, a Star Trek phaser kind of thing they, you need to check in at the prop table and they tag it they check it out and they go, yeah, because who knows?

I’m sure it’s because of where, what we’ve seen in, in all of these Bad situations with people, shooting places up and things like that. So there is a heightened awareness around this, but but yeah, walking around just like in general dressed up with a weapon.

And a lot of times, these fake props and tools will have a red cap on the end. Like you see those, you can’t buy a kid, a toy gun. And even a six shooter, if you’re going to play Cowboys and Indians, at the end of it, there’s this red cap that kind of designates it.

But boy, oh boy like I said, if you don’t know what Star Wars is there’s probably, tons and tons of movies and series and all kinds of merchandising for you to catch up on that stuff with. Okay. So yeah, whoever dialed 911 or its equivalent in Scotland now has that to look forward to.

They can actually get into the Star Wars universe and understand why this guy was dressed that way. Folks, that is all the time we’ve got for you on MSP chat this week. Thank you so much for joining us. We’re going to be back again in a week’s time with another episode for you. In the meantime, if you are listening to the audio version of this podcast but you’re curious to check out the video, we are on YouTube and you will find us there.

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This program is produced by the great Russ Johns. Russ would be happy to produce your podcast as well and do a bang up job for you. If you want to learn more about him and get in touch, please visit russjohns. com. You want to know more about Channel Master the business responsible for this podcast, you will find everything you need to know at www.

channelmaster. com. So once again, we thank you folks for joining us. We’re going to see you again in a week. Until then, please remember, you can’t spell channel without M S B.