What Does It Mean to Be a Premium MSP?


Rashaad BajwaPremium. It’s a word you hear a lot in the service sector, and I admit, it’s an adjective we use pretty often at Integris. It’s a concept I’ve been thinking deeply about lately, as our company continues to grow.

Why? Because Integris grew by more than 700 percent in 2021 and more than doubled our workforce. We’ve acquired many MSPs now, and the people who work for them. It’s the kind of rapid change that begs the question—what do we want this company to be? For me at least, that answer is premium.

It’s just one word. But I prefer to think of it as a rallying cry that makes the road ahead look remarkably clear.


Matching our Walk and our Talk

It’s exciting times at Integris, the early days, when we’re able to build a company from the ground up, the way we want it to be. And the best part? We’re not doing it from zero. We’ve been very careful to buy successful MSPs that share our business values and a drive for excellence.

That’s been an extraordinary opportunity for us. Every time we merge a new company into our own, we can cherry-pick all their efficiencies and collected wisdom to create one set of centralized best practices for our company. It allowed us to ask ourselves the question:

How can we take these best practices and create a truly different MSP—one that offers the best people, products, and service to our customers?

Better yet, how can we create a company that’s premium, and have it be more than just a slogan? How can we infuse that into everything we do as a company? As we’ve gone through this pivotal growth year, we’re starting to coalesce around some key “premium” strategies for the company. And for us, the most important of those strategies is “putting people first.”


Putting People First—and Meaning It

This is something all companies say, yet very few actually do. We’re leaning hard into this corporate value because we believe it benefits this company—and our customers—in every possible way.

Let me explain how that works, in practical terms.

  • Integris offers top pay and benefits.
  • This helps us win the war for top tech talent, so we can hire the best employees with the best certifications, qualifications, and service-minded temperament.
  • We offer those employees paths to promotions, pay for their certifications, and give them the ability to build jobs around their ideas and strengths.
  • We empower those employees to think outside the box, be creative, and do what it takes to “do the job right”
  • Our turnover goes down. Our employee engagement goes up. And we control churn while we do a better job for our clients.

We’re already starting to see this idea bear fruit. As we’ve acquired other MSPs, we’ve kept their people. And in very large numbers, they’re sticking with us, even though they have many, many other opportunities in this competitive market. They’re truly becoming one national team. It’s exciting to watch.

And that leads to the next piece in the premium puzzle:  offering more—and better—strategic advice for our clients.


Premium Advice that Gets Premium Results for our Clients

MSPs that supply advice to their clients are nothing new. But I’d like to think that we’re positioning ourselves to provide the kind of deep thinking and strategic planning that helps our clients stay ahead of the curve.

In my opinion, our vCIOs are second to none. Every client is assigned one, so they get the strategic leadership they need on their account. We’ve added a new layer of independent leadership, too: our vCISOs, a resource we’re just taken to all our offices nationwide. We’ve invested so much in these high-end cybersecurity experts, that some have even asked—are you an MSSP now? (Managed Security Service Provider)

The answer to that is both yes, and no. Yes, we’re offering managed security services. But no, it’s not all we do. I like to think of us as having an MSSP service, wrapped in the overall care for your whole IT infrastructure that you get from an MSP.


Staying Close to the Communities We Serve

It would be easy, as we grow, to simply send all our services to a national bank of experts and make our local offices a shell. But staying “premium” means that we have to maintain that “local MSP” level of personal service, backed up by national resources.

The engineers who show up at your business to handle a service launch are going to be the same people who designed your network last year. The vCIO who manages your account will be the same one that’s stuck with you all this time, too.

I believe our clients gain something important when their service is done by local experts. They’re always served by people who understand their business, from the ground up. They go to the same business clubs. You’ll find them supporting the same causes and sharing the same headaches. Our people understand where you’re coming from because they come from there, too. Being national doesn’t mean we’re going to abandon our mission for local service. We’re doubling down on it.


A Future Where We’re Better, Every day

Putting people first.

Focusing on strategic excellence.

Staying close to our communities.

I truly believe if we do these things, we won’t just be a “premium” MSP. We’ll have a company with an empowered workforce, driving continuous improvement for our customers. We’ll put ourselves on the path to continuous growth and improvement.

It’s a journey I’m looking forward to taking. Aren’t you?

Rashaad is the Founder & CEO of Integris. In 1997, he founded Domain, an organization that merged with partners to become Integris in 2021. In his role, Rashaad has driven the vision and growth of Integris into the national IT provider it is today.

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