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Sooraj Shah

Contributing Editor

Sooraj Shah is Contributing Editor of New Statesman Tech with a focus on C-level IT leader interviews. He is also a freelance technology journalist.

MeinAdmin CEO: Why I dumped the break/fix model for managed services

When Patrick Jäger founded MeinAdmin back in 2006 as a retail business, with a break/fix model in which small and medium businesses (SMBs) would pay a fee for a service as and when necessary. They carried on with this model for 12 years until Jäger decided to spin off the company into a managed services provider (MSP).

This year, the German company completely shut down its break/fix side of the business. Jäger explains that the reason he decided to go down the managed services route was because of a meeting with a number of other MSP owners at a conference.

“They were founders who told me some stories and they looked really happy; I wanted to hear how it was possible to get that happy, because in the past it was really hard for me to get to these kinds of events as my mobile would be ringing all of the time, with customers telling me about their problems,” he says.

“[The other founders] said that not only you can monitor problems but automate those problems that are happening in a business – and so we started to look into this type of model,” he says.

The model would effectively enable the company to earn more revenue. Previously, customers would wait to encounter a problem before getting in touch with MeinAdmin, and the company wouldn’t make any money if there were no issues. Now, it is their duty to protect their customers before a problem is there.

The company has an ambitious growth strategy through acquisitions of smaller companies. Last year, it acquired a small company with five employees, which takes its employee base to 17 people, with 40 customers.

MeinAdmin has two offices and plans to open a third office as it is looking to acquire another company this year.

“Our growth strategy is to ‘own’ smaller companies who adopt a ‘break and fix’ model and make them ready for the future by improving their technical knowledge and brand marketing,” Jäger says.

Another change of plan

The pandemic meant that MeinAdmin had to close all of its offices in mid-March, but Jäger said that the switch to remote working hasn’t required a lot of work, nor has it had a big impact on productivity. 

Bigger changes were required for the services and way it worked with its customers.

Firstly, MeinAdmin changed its stance on not providing hardware to customers – it now provides notebooks for a weekly fee, for example. There have also been contractual changes to help customers during a tough period.

“It’s an uncertain time and there a lot of customers who are losing money, and so we decided to take away the minimum contract duration of two to three years, so companies were able to add private notebooks and return them when they go back to the office, for example,” Jäger said.

In addition, the company is giving the opportunity for customers to pay fees at a later time.

By helping customers now, Jäger wants to ensure he can maintain a healthy relationship with businesses that extend beyond the pandemic.