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A ‘Gold Rush’ For MSPs: Government And Education

Gina Narcisi

‘We can get our infrastructure built to where it needs to be, but at the same time, you’re going to make some money,’ Holly Davis, founder of business consultancy Komplement, tells MSPs interested in starting a SLED practice.

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Multiple pandemic-related funding programs and the Biden administration’s bipartisan infrastructure deal is offering up trillions of dollars earmarked for IT spending for government entities, utilities, and schools.

But MSPs first have to let their state and local government and education (SLED) customers know the money exists, said Holly Davis, founder of business consultancy Komplement.

“There’s a whole bunch of money out there and I’m not just talking millions and billions, but trillions. You can make so much money having a SLED practice, but think bigger than just SLED, think utilities, too,” Davis told an audience of MSPs at CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange 2022 event on Monday.

[Related: How To Harness Compliance To Boost And Differentiate Security Solutions ]

Through the $1 trillion infrastructure deal signed by President Biden last November, the federal government is injecting money into the purchasing of IT infrastructure and IT modernization projects for government entities and education customers. It’s a significant movement; a “gold rush” that MSPs with SLED practices should become versed in so they can help their customers transform and earn more revenue at the same time, Davis said.

In addition to the Infrastructure Bill that was recently signed, there’s also the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill that expires later this year. Of the $2.2 trillion, approximately $14 billion was given to the Office of Postsecondary Education as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, or HEERF. Organizations can also take advantage of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant funding and Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools (EANS) funds.

“You can go to SLED clients and say, I have the perfect solution for you institution. And I can manage it for you. And you have the money to pay for it,” Davis said.

OneconnectionIT LLC., a Navarre, Fla.-based solution provider, has many hospitality clients and is starting to pursue education customers, said Andres Plaza, CEO of OneconnectionIT.

The aspect of funding is a new concept to OneconnectionIT, Plaza said. “We just won an RFP last week and it’s new to us, but we didn’t know about all this available funding,” he said.

OneconnectionIT will be offering application training and Microsoft Office 365 support to its new education client. Some Federal funding for IT projects specifically targets tribal communities and schools, a potentially exciting area of opportunity for the firm, Plaza said. “I have a totally different view of this [vertical] now,” he added.

For MSPs that haven’t pursued SLED clients in the past, the funds remove some of the most common obstacles. “[These organizations] can’t use the excuse that they don’t have money anymore,” she said. “I’m talking to school districts that actually have said to me: ‘I don’t know what to buy. What do we get first? What are we going to do?’”

MSPs ready to take the plunge into SLED should establish the vertical they’d like to focus on and if they have the right resources to support it, Davis said. “What relationships do you already have? Think about who you know who’s in your community, who your sales team works with and start opening those doors.”

The time is right because there’s a nationwide focus on fixing city and town infrastructure, building sustainability into utilities, and educating children, Davis said.

“We’re hitting the reset button with this gold rush. And it’s all of us — you all and your businesses — and talking and working with these entities that can help. We can get our infrastructure built to where it needs to be, but at the same time, you’re going to make some money,” she told MSPs.

Learn More: XChange
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