July 14, 2021
10 Questions With: Jim Turner of Frontline Managed Services
Gain MSP insights in this interview from June 25, 2021.
Hello, My Name Is — Jim Turner, EVP of Business Development, Frontline Managed Services
I was the CEO of Hilltop Consultants for just over 17 years. Hilltop Consultants was acquired last October, and now we are now Frontline Managed Services.
While I am based out of the Washington, DC area, Frontline has offices across the United States, as well as Toronto, London, and offices in India. In fact, we recently announced our expansion into Hawaii and are opening a location in Hyderabad, India to go along with our growing Goa, India office.
How I Became an MSP — After several years working for IBM and then as a contractor for the US Government, I took a position with a legal-focused IT consulting firm that worked with law firms in Washington, DC. After four years of working for that firm, I decided to start my own consulting firm. This firm evolved into Hilltop Consultants.
At the time that we were acquired, we were one of the largest legal vertical-focused MSPs, and with Frontline Managed Services, we are the largest legal MSP – serving more than 700 firms around the world.
Being an MSP Is Amazing Because — My job is amazing because of the people I get to work with. We have great employees, and I love working with law firms and their teams to add value and make their businesses, attorneys, and clients more successful.
Being an MSP is Tough Because — The most challenging part of being an MSP is the fragmentation of the market. The next Jim Turner is always coming around the corner to start a competing business.
There are so many tools and partners available that it is easy for new MSPs to appear almost every night. This can create downward pressure on pricing and profitability. That’s why it is important to specialize and differentiate your MSP from the small competitors that can undercharge clients and undercompensate their teams.
It’s also why Frontline Managed Services has made a commitment to constantly growing and innovating, to ensure that our clients have the best service and platform available.
Managing Managed Services Across 10 Locations — Our best practices and technical standards are the same no matter in which city they are applied. Our centralized back office makes us run very efficiently and consistently – in the same way our operational support services help our clients’ firms run well regardless of their footprint.
We do need to adapt our sales and marketing for different cities. Did you know that it is easier to take a client to breakfast in Atlanta, but in Philadelphia, they are more likely to meet for drinks after work? The traffic in each city makes a big difference.
Core Philosophy — We are the largest legal MSP on the planet. We know law firms like no other MSP, and our service to them reflects that.
We go beyond the technology and work with law firms on the business of practicing law. We offer Managed Financial Services, Managed Administrative Services, and Managed IT Services for law firms. There is no other MSP that can do this, and nobody does it at the scale that we can or with the quality solutions we provide.
Therefore, we say that “We are out front, on every front,” and are constantly evolving and growing to stay that way.
Notable News — The continued consolidation of the managed services space is interesting, as are the continually escalating cyberattacks upon businesses that are critical to the US economy.
Law firms are frequent targets of cybercriminals, so these stories are important to follow as we advise and support our clients’ security profile
My Craziest Day — My recent trip to Wallingford, CT for Datto Marketing & Sales Day was memorable. Everything went right, from the travel and accommodations to the event, and even the time I spent in the bubble with old friends, “competitors” that became new friends, and even the Datto team that ran the event. I am usually against living in a bubble, but the Datto Bubble was a lot of fun!
Where We’re Headed Next — There will be some major security incidents that will affect small MSPs that are not doing enough to protect their clients and even their internal systems. I expect more consolidation of MSPs as the small owners realize that there is more safety in numbers.
Off Duty — I like to do bootcamp workouts, throw big parties in my backyard, and travel!