An interview with Austen Clark, how ITagree has helped Jera IT

June 14, 2023 |
Will Shaw

Written by
Will Shaw

We could talk all day about the solutions we’re bringing to the channel. But sometimes, it’s better if you can hear how good they are from one of our partners. This is why we interviewed Managing Director, Austen Clark, from Jera IT about ITagree and how it’s changed their business for the better.

About ITagree

ITagree solves an all too common problem for MSPs. Austen himself summed it up well:

A large number of MSPs have never had the opportunity to have access to usable agreements that accurately reflect their service offering.”

In other words, there’s often a lack of clarity in what services are covered by an MSP for any given customer. This can lead to confusion about which services are owed to a customer and which aren’t. This risks potentially damaging customer relationships, and even opens MSPs to potential legal action.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Brigantia and ITagree provide partners with quick and easy access to the tools, contract templates and guidance they need to bring clarity to service agreements. Keep reading to find out how ITagree has helped Austen Clark.

What were the most prevalent issues you faced prior to finding ITagree, and their legal solutions service?

Before finding ITagree, my primary issue was trying to find legal counsel that could give us workable terms and conditions for our business. We encountered issues in trying to sort it ourselves as well as going down the solicitor route.

Doing it ourselves, we tried to find suitable terms and conditions by investigating DIY sources like free sites or other MSPs’ Terms and Conditions, and then adapting those terms for our own use. The inherent issue involved with this is that the terms were often not coherent or fit for purpose.

It’s incredibly difficult to find Terms and Conditions which fit the model of an MSP – particularly the intricacies of managed service provision. I was trying to do it alone, with no specialist knowledge of how the law worked in practice, or if I was even including the right terms within my contracts.

So, from the start, my contracts which had been formulated predominantly using borrowed material, were incorrect and not relevant to the service we were providing.

The other main issue became apparent when I approached the idea of utilising a solicitor. We have previously approached several commercial solicitors. However, in practice, the agreements written by solicitors were repeatedly not fit for purpose, either through misunderstanding of the purpose of the agreements, or the business side of the channel and our position in it.

However, the principal concern involved was cost. In our experience, it was not financially viable to engage with a solicitor who held the sufficient level of expertise required to understand the industry. The level of legal expertise required to correctly draft the contracts and agreements, simply does not exist within the budget of the smaller MSP.

What was the result of these issues?

The combination of these issues meant we still didn’t know where to go to get agreements, we were uncertain of the information they required, and we didn’t know anyone with the expertise to furnish us with information we could rely on.

As a result, we ended up with expensive terms and conditions that didn’t match our business and left us feeling unprotected from the threat of litigation and other issues.

What are the top 3 things ITagree has helped you with?

The first thing is, ITagree has provided us with a financially viable service. We now have access to legal contracts which are specialised for our industry.

Secondly, we’ve found ITagree to be a reliable service. Anne and her team are knowledgeable, experienced and understand what MSPs are trying to achieve with their business and the outline of their relationship with their clients.

The third thing would be relevance. Each agreement is relevant to our business, and accurately reflects the services we provide. So many MSPs use contracts which do not fit the services they provide or fail to capture all the elements of their business, leading to potential revenue leakage and situations where they may be liable for issues beyond their purview.

Is ITagree easy to use – for you and your clients?

Yes. ITagree provides agreements which are structured simply, and thereby easy to both use and deploy amongst all our clients.

I have found that the agreements also provide the correct language to use with our clients. For example, by utilising the terminology contained within the agreements, I am able to explain the delivery of our services to our clients more easily.

Having agreements which are accessible, enables me to provide a structured and ‘defined offering’, which clients may then rely upon, improving marketability.

Have clients been accepting of the new contracts?

Yes. We’ve had no push back at all from clients; everyone has been accepting. By having clarity in a defined offering, when it comes for them to sign, they are very accepting of the terms and conditions within the agreement which we offer in conjunction with the trusted service provision from our company.

It’s made the conversation to get them to sign a written agreement much easier because it is clear and fair.

How have you found using support function of ITagree - the Beacon Forum?

Being able to ask Anne questions and have access to her depth of knowledge is great. Anne provides a knowledge base which is so broad and accessible – she’s a real hidden gem.

What would you tell prospective MSPs thinking about coming aboard the ITagree team?

I’d ask them - when was the last time they looked at their agreements? Where did they get them from? And do they think their agreements are fit for purpose?

If they’re unable to answer any of those questions, I’d tell them they need to find someone who can, someone who has already done most of the work for you, and someone who truly understands the business.

Has ITagree met with your expectations?


Have Brigantia provided you with sufficient support and contact?

The Brigantia way – of having a product executive on the Brigantia end – has been so warmly welcomed by the channel. It has ensured clients always feel fully supported in the NZ/UK divide.

Final thoughts

ITagree is beginning to standardise the industry with clear and concise contracts and agreements that are used by MSPs within the channel. It’s clear from Austen that the transformation and clarity ITagree has brought his business and his clients is invaluable and has addressed key issues facing the channel.

We’d like to thank Austen for taking the time to share his thoughts on the service. If you want to find out more about ITagree, get in contact with Brigantia.

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