Managed service providers (MSPs) are missing opportunities by not selling more cloud services. Selling cloud provides MSPs the opportunity for greater margins and the ability to support more customers, provided they have the skill sets needed to make it happen.
The key to increasing these margins is for MSPs to deliver more value by wrapping their services around existing cloud services like IaaS.
The Growing Cloud
Worldwide, public cloud services are expected to grow at a 19.4 percent compound annual growth rate. Rest assured, if your company does not help customers make the move to cloud, your competitors will.
"The world will shrink for those MSPs that can't adapt to this new model where you're working more with the end-user customer on how to use technology versus building the technology on a server," says Crystal Bedell with TechTarget.
How Can MSPs Profit from Cloud Services?
One answer is for MSPs to wrap their services around IaaS.
Before your customer makes a purchasing decision, you can help them select the best service for their needs. This includes determining how the service can best integrate into their organization and their data.
Before cloud computing services are selected, you have the opportunity to help with application inventory, solution architecture, data architecture, integration with cloud design, security, and help plan how the company will transition to the cloud.
Make sure you plan for automation. This will let you increase or decrease capacity automatically depending on the customer’s seasonal needs. It will also enable you to right-size their services without losing quality. In addition, automation allows you to complete repetitive tasks automatically and scale easily. This means MSPs can support more processes for each customer without additional labor burden.
During the move to cloud, you have the opportunity to help with provisioning, deployment, data migration, and training to help get the customer started with their new cloud service. You also have the opportunity to upgrade their on-premise network to make sure they have the bandwidth to handle their needs once they move to cloud.
After the move to cloud, don’t think just because the transition is complete that your opportunities are over. This is the time to upsell more ongoing support services. Some of these include go-live transition support, ongoing user support (aka help desk), monitoring and management. If you have analytics staff on-hand, this is also a great time to offer analytics services to help them make the most of their ever-growing amount of cloud data.
Take the opportunity to upsell these value-added services through every step of the customer’s journey into the cloud. And once they’ve made the move, you’re in the perfect position to become their trusted partner for support.
About the Author: Kirill Bensonoff is a seasoned entrepreneur and the founder of Unigma, a unified cloud management platform. Unigma has been featured in a number of publications, and Kirill blogs regularly about cloud, tech and growing your managed services business. He can be reached at [email protected].