Family-run managed service provider Mangano IT has long put “meaningful” relationships at the centre of customer interaction, but now more than ever are they an essential part of channel dynamics.
Despite weathering its own downturn, the Brisbane-based company has striven to help a number of customers that have themselves been adversely affected by the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.
“Genuine partnership is what clients are looking for now,” company managing director Paul Mangano said. “We had several clients that were significantly impacted by COVID. We were very quick to respond to these long-term clients to let them know we were here to help. We believe any goodwill offered now will be returned once they are back up and running again.”
Of course, he added, this approach needed to be balanced with its own viability as a business, although he stressed: “We will support our clients as long as we can.”
Founded by Paul and Robert Mangano in 2005, Mangano IT specialises in serving businesses in South East Queensland across cloud and infrastructure, collaboration, business continuity and disaster recovery, security and domains, alongside traditional MSP services.
Fortunately for the founders, having a diverse income stream has helped steer the firm through the pandemic without major disruption, although Mangano admitted that business “suffered a downturn” during the early months.
“I do believe that COVID demonstrated that value of diverse income streams like project and managed services,” he said. "I suspect that businesses that rely heavily on projects will start to find the market challenging as projects that were already being delivered start to wrap up.
“New projects will come along and not surprisingly I think they will be the type of project that is critical to business operating in this new environment. Ironically, our message of providing secure access to the right data to the right people all the time has never been more relevant.”
During the early downtime, the two Manganos redirected some spare time to improving the company’s business practices, which are hoped to make up for the quieter months. In particular, it’s hoped these changes will set up Mangano IT for whatever the next “new normal”.
“Accordingly, our business priority is to ensure we continue to be fiscally responsible whilst recognising the commercial landscape for many has changed significantly,” Mangano said.
“In my experience, businesses that remain operational still need their managed services delivered. However we do see a slow in the uptake of new project work as many businesses just do not have the money to spend at the moment."
Uncertainty for the future is naturally at the forefront of Mangano IT’s strategy, with Paul Mangano expecting customers will be spending “as little as possible" over the next six-to-nine months.
“Most businesses are focused on ensuring they remain sustainable long term. Given that no one knows how long we all need to operate as we are during COVID, for most it is not the time to spend on anything that can not demonstrate long term value,” he said.
As a result, customer acquisition will be a difficult process in the near future, Mangano anticipates.
“Our team had a few different marketing campaigns targeted at winning new clients that launched just as COVID started,” he explained. “Unfortunately, these campaigns did not deliver a great ROI as it seems many businesses were not willing to move service providers. I believe new client acquisitions will continue to be difficult as people like familiarity during uncertain times.”
Even businesses that required assistance setting up remote working capabilities are now well-positioned, meaning the initial spike for unified communications tools during the early days of the pandemic has largely passed.
In those circumstances, customer retention, as always, will remain critical for the Brisbane provider. As such, the groundwork in establishing those relationships long before the pandemic will serve Mangano IT well, it is hoped.
“Our team aim to set ourselves apart by seeking a depth of partnership resulting in meaningful relationships with clients, partners and vendors,” Mangano said. “Our agility means we move quickly, and we are ready. Finally, our progressive mindset ensures our team are always looking to leverage the best out of our customer’s investment in technology.
“I feel that clients expect partners to ensure they can operate remotely and securely. Although this was a given for some businesses previously, it is now the expectation of many more and will remain the focus for a while.”
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