GMS Live Expert seeks to expand MSP channel for outsourced help desk

GMS Live Expert offers MSPs boutique services around their help desk support offering. The Toronto-based company has ramped up its recruitment efforts, which included exhibiting at last week’s CompTIA ChannelCon.


Dan Goldstein, GMS Live Expert’s Director of Channel Strategy

GMS Live Expert – the MSP-focused division of Greater Toronto-area based Global Mentoring Solutions – has been in business for seven years, and has close to 200 MSP partners. Now, however, the company is focusing on ramping up the numbers of its MSP channel partners. They were present at CompTIA’s ChannelCon event in Hollywood FLA to that end.

The parent company, Global Mentoring Solutions, was founded 18 years ago in Unionville ON by Wayne Goldstein.

“He figured out there was an opportunity to sell e-learning support services,” said Dan Goldstein, GMS Live Expert’s Director of Channel Strategy. The next progression was OEM work, providing outsourced help desk support for several major vendors, notably Intel and Dell.

“We still have all those lines of business,” Goldstein said. “We do all the outsourced help desk work for Bell Canada as well. We are essentially their level 2 and level 3 support.”

GMS Live Expert, a division of Global Mentoring Solutions. was formed specifically to create an MSP channel. It received a boost when GMS acquired Boston area-based Dove Help Desk, and its U.S.-based business, in 2012.

“We have been growing strong ever since that acquisition,” Goldstein said. If the Bell Canada deal is excluded, between 90-95 per cent of the MSP channel business is in the U.S., with the rest in Canada.”

GMS Live Expert’s presence at ChannelCon is part of their strategy to ramp up their number of MSP partners.

“We are a long time CompTIA member, but are only just now getting more involved to build the business,” Goldstein said. “A lot of our business is referral based, and it helps enormously to be discussed in the forums. This show is new for us, as an exhibitor.” It follows up similar work they have been doing at ASCII events.

Another key component in the company’s strategy was the hiring this year of longtime Level Platforms Platform Development Manager Danny Obaseki as GMS’s Director, Business Development, where his focus is on expanding the growth of MSP services.

“This was a very strategic hire for us,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein stressed that GMS Live Expert’s value proposition stems in part from the boutique approach they take with partners.

“We put in a lot of effort to create those 1 to 1 relationships,” he said. “The majority of partners we meet with though phone or video calls, ideally on a weekly basis, or monthly at worst. We work hard to continually update documentation. Our business development team doesn’t just walk away afterwards, and are involved in dealing with partners.”

Goldstein also said their metrics are strong.

“We are managing over 100,000 MSP users, with a Live Answer percentage of 85 per cent – meaning that the caller connects with a live rep in under 60 seconds 85 per cent of the time. 93 per cent of the issues are resolved by us alone. The other 7 per cent, we wind up talking bi-directionally with the partner through the ticket.”

Goldstein said that the tricky thing in managing their growth is forecasting the growth in demand, because they are service based.

“We have to be careful with forecasting to staff up and stay ahead of demand,” he said. “We typically start people on the telco side for training because the telco customers are more ‘mom and pop shops.’ The work is more simple – password resets and reset the router stuff. With the MSP customers, its typically more complex.”

A full NOC service is likely on the horizon for later this year.

“While we do some NOC services now, we have been hearing a lot from partners about expanding into a full NOC,” Goldstein said. “We are looking to be able to expand this into a complete NOC solution by the end of the year, and are piloting it now with selected partners, to figure out how to provide them with the most value from a NOC perspective.”