Project Description

Tommy Wald joins Xcellerate in CEO role

Austin, Texas, 20 March 2017. Recently- launched MSP accelerator company Xcellerate has appointed Austin-based Tommy Wald to the position of President and CEO responsible for all North American operations.

Well known and highly regarded in the North American IT community, Tommy Wald is a pioneer in the development of the modern IT managed services provider (MSP). Wald built up his own MSP, RIATA Technologies, and sold it to White Glove in 2011. He became CEO of the combined company, which was the largest MSP in Texas at the time. Wald exited in 2013, following the sale of the business to Ricoh-owned MindSHIFT. He then set up his own angel investor and MSP mentoring company TW Tech Ventures.

Wald says his move to Xcellerate is an opportunity to follow through on his passion, which is helping small MSPs ‘break out’ by giving them access to a full range of services to develop and grow their businesses.

“Xcellerate launched into the North American market last year with a complete blueprint for how to plan, manage and grow an MSP. It brings a real business acceleration focus to MSPs looking to grow and develop their business, using the most innovative and efficient processes and platforms,” Wald says.

“Xcellerate is a potential game changer for MSPs. Our approach is based on standardization, optimization and automation. We have the knowledge and expertise, and provide proven best practices, processes, training and tools, spanning every area of an MSP’s operations and service delivery – from staffing, to marketing and sales, operations, financial and leadership – for an MSP to successfully build a profitable, sustainable business.

“The key difference between Xcellerate and other MSP improvement services out there is that while others help with business improvement in specific areas, Xcellerate addresses the whole MSP business.

“Xcellerate is what I needed when I was setting out in the MSP business. Over the past few years, I’ve been mentoring and coaching other MSPs and I realized there are common voids in their business operations and in how they approach workflow. Xcellerate is right on point in its focus on addressing the whole of an MSP’s business requirements. It offers a whole new way for MSPs to transform their business and really accelerate growth in revenues and profits,” Wald says.

Xcellerate founder Ken Davis says the appointment of Tommy Wald to the CEO role follows a 12-month market testing and service development phase, working with pilot MSP customers.

“With Tommy’s appointment we are now ready to scale the business throughout the US. Appointing a CEO of Tommy’s caliber and with such a genuine passion for MSP business improvement gives us great confidence as we move forward,” Ken Davis said.

An interview with Tommy Wald,  Xcellerate’s new CEO

 Q: Tommy, during your career you’ve built an MSP from the ground up, culminating in a major trade sale to one of the USA’s larger national MSP organizations. More recently through your company TW Tech Ventures you’ve been an angel investor and mentor to MSPs. Why now are you taking up the CEO role at Xcellerate?

A: “The whole idea of Xcellerate is exactly where my vision and passion for the MSP industry has been for many years.  There’s a great fit between Xcellerate and my own experience of how MSPs can achieve rapid growth in revenues and profits.  Xcellerate is truly unique in how it is approaching the needs of MSPs, in terms of its vision, business model, breadth and depth of services, and its culture and values.

“Taking up the CEO role at Xcellerate is more than just a natural career progression for me. It’s an opportunity to put into action a lifetime of experience in the MSP space.  I’ve always shared my best practices, knowledge and ideas to help my MSP peers in and around North America.  This opportunity with Xcellerate will allow me to deliver on that in a greater way and on a larger scale.”

Q: How do you see Xcellerate as being different?

A: “As the name implies, Xcellerate is a business accelerator for MSPs seeking to grow and develop their business using the most innovative, efficient and proven processes and platforms.  There are companies out there that provide services to help MSPs in specific areas of their business. Xcellerate addresses the whole business.

“Our approach is based on standardization, optimization and automation.  We provide the best practices, processes, training, and tools for an MSP to be successful in building a profitable and sustainable business.  But it’s also about belonging and being part of a community – an ecosystem – of like-minded MSP’s who by standing together can be more than the sum of their parts.

“MSPs may get there on their own. But Xcellerate will get them there faster. “

Q: How do MSPs engage with Xcellerate and what is the underlying business model?

A: “There are two levels of engagement. MSPs enter at the Member level, then, by invitation, can move to the full Partner level. Members pay a flat monthly fee. Partners pay based on growth.”

Q: What does a prospective Xcellerate MSP look like? What is the difference between Member and Partner services?

A: “The ‘ideal’ Xcellerate Member – and eventually Partner – will likely have less than ten staff. They typically have started out in an MSP market niche where they have domain expertise. The common factor is that they are surviving in a niche based on local relationships with two or three foundation accounts with whom they do 60 to 80 percent of their business. They spend most of their time working on their customers’ businesses, and they are good at it. They are not so good at working on their own business. Xcellerate’s role is to give the MSP the means to break out and grow by giving them the best practices, the tools, the mentoring, and the coaching they need to succeed.

“The journey begins with the Xcellerate Member MSP Blueprint. This Blueprint takes into account where the MSP is on their journey – their level of operational maturity – and customizes their development priorities.  The MSP Blueprint sets the course and the priorities for each individual Member to grow and eventually to become a Partner.

“Each Member is provided unlimited access to the Xcellerate Member Portal that contains all the key best practices based on the industry’s best and most proven processes.  The Xcellerate Member Portal provides a centralized platform for accessing these best practices and corresponds back to each Members’ individual Xcellerate Member MSP Blueprint.

“The overall goal for each Xcellerate Member is to standardize, optimize and automate to the Xcellerate Way© of building an MSP.  By doing so, the Member can be confident that they are on the road to profitability and success.

“Becoming an Xcellerate Partner is the next step for some Xcellerate Members.  Partners are curated Members that have adopted the Xcellerate Way and built their business operations on our standards and methodologies.  The key advantages to becoming an Xcellerate Partner include:

  • Unlimited staffing and recruiting services.
  • Unlimited digital marketing services.
  • Platforms and tools customized to the industry workflow.

“In addition, Xcellerate Partners gains benefits that flow from being part of a vibrant Xcellerate Partner community that promotes collaboration and peer partnering.  Xcellerate Partners will be authorized to carry the “Powered by Xcellerate” logo and brand which is a quality mark that ensures industry best practices in all areas. This is a true partnership.

“The cost to the Partner at this level is based on a fee structure that scales as the Partner grows.  As the Partner grows, so will associated Xcellerate fees; and vice versa.”

Q: Which service areas deliver the biggest value?

A:  “We believe one of the single biggest challenges and hurdles to MSP growth is recruiting and staffing. At the end of the day, an MSP is not just a technology company, it is a ‘people’ company.  Our people are what distinguish us the most from our competition.  Our people are often the ‘secret sauce’ that keeps our clients engaged and coming back. And one good hire can make a huge, positive difference to a business.

“On the other hand, a bad hire is one of the most expensive and disruptive events that can negatively impact your company.  Traditionally, MSPs are not very good at recruiting and staffing.  We do the best we can but most often time make hiring decisions based on personal judgements that don’t always work out. This is where Xcellerate comes in.

“A key Xcellerate Partner benefit is unlimited services for recruiting, screening and finding the best candidate for their MSP.  Xcellerate is able to do this by implementing unique processes and procedures that are focused exclusively on the job descriptions and behaviors unique to MSP staffing roles.

“Marketing is another big challenge for MSPs. As a previous owner of an MSP which started small, I can say ‘we suck at marketing’.  We do it when we have time and we try and do it ourselves.  We treat marketing as an ad hoc activity and participate mostly in marketing campaigns defined by our favorite product vendors or distributors.

“Xcellerate’s digital marketing services provide for all the elements of today’s marketing: web, social, mobile and email.  Members get the support and services sized to their business, including prospect database development and lead generation campaigns. Our Partners are provided with a contemporary, fully optimized website with rich content and blogs; each Partner has a local look and feel.  For Partners, Xcellerate provides unlimited services for marketing campaigns, electronic newsletters, press releases, web site content, SEO, social marketing and other key digital marketing services. “

Q: You are based in Austin. Is that geography relevant? What is the current position with Xcellerate’s customer base and delivery capability and what does the planned trajectory of the business look like?

A: “Xcellerate has good momentum currently with just under 30 Members and Partners on board.  The plan is to grow the Xcellerate community throughout North America and then into the UK.  Xcellerate is funded with private equity from investors in New Zealand.  This funding provides Xcellerate with the capital to scale and invest in the services to our Members and Partners. Xcellerate has completed a year-long development and marketing testing phase. The infrastructure is in place and Xcellerate is ready to scale rapidly.”

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