The benefits of adopting the managed service provider (MSP) business model are compelling. After all, predictable, recurring revenue; deeper engagement with clients; and a trusted advisor relationship that generates further business opportunities all sound like everything a successful services business could want. However, for some, it still means braving uncharted territory.
IT solutions providers interested in switching to the MSP model face a number of decisions. Before you do anything else, you have to define your service offerings. There are so many companies who offer products in the primary MSP categories, so it’s important to take your time in performing a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of various products.
Plain and simple, you need automation tools. These include professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) software, which are the backbone of every MSP’s business. Pay close attention not to just features, but the pricing structure and integrations with the other tools you plan to use.
Another challenge can be finding the right timing to migrate existing customers. The process of transitioning current customers can be a minefield of logistical issues, particularly if those customers purchased different products on a staggered schedule. In those cases, you must consider not just what your full managed services offering will look like, but how to get existing customers onto a monthly bundle.
Differentiating Your Business
Remote monitoring is a standard part of the traditional MSP portfolio. Disaster recovery, such as a secure backup system, is also a leading service to pitch to customers, since disasters of all types can hit an organization at any time, and have the potential to cripple their business operations. So what’s going to make you stand out? You might not think so, but many MSPs are leading with another equally important service: endpoint security.
Computers, mobile devices, and servers will always need protection, but modern businesses face a variety of new challenges. Cybercriminals have only increased their efforts at causing mischief, launching new and creative ransomware with startling frequency at companies around the globe. Additionally, many organizations in the healthcare, financial, and retail segments have compliance mandates for handling sensitive data, which typically include endpoint security. In short, the time is right for starting a conversation about security.
The MSP model is about efficiency gains, so choose a provider that helps reduce your TCO. Look for a security offering that doesn’t need a local server, offers flexible monthly billing, and consider a solution that’s cloud-based so it won’t impact system performance. The security application you choose should be effective, lightweight, and have no noticeable impact when running.
Should disaster strike, it’s also very important to have a solution that can remediate systems automatically, reducing the burden on your IT staff. On the topic reducing burdens, the solution should also include PSA or RMM integration, or a management console that can automate routine tasks and give you the granular visibility you need to oversee all your customers in one place.
Making the Switch to the MSP Model
While adding managed services might seem daunting, it’s a powerful way for resellers to add new revenue streams to the business while transitioning into a hybrid or full MSP model. Keeping costs down on monthly contracts gives MSPs a big advantage today, and if the managed services model didn’t work for both customers and IT solution providers, it wouldn’t have seen the adoption and success it has experienced in recent years. Although the transition isn’t easy, it holds a lot of promise. IT solution providers in transition can rest assured that their best and most profitable years are ahead.
Read this case study to find out how SLPowers, an MSP managing 76 different companies with over 2,000 endpoints, got its start in the reseller realm, moved to managed services, and leveraged next-generation endpoint protection to improve customer satisfaction, lower costs, and increase profitability
Or, take a free, no-risk, no-conflict 30-day trial of Webroot SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection with the Global Site Manager to see the solution SLPowers chose in action.