Serguei Beloussov, founder and CEO of Burlington, Mass.-based Acronis, shares three suggestions he'd apply if he were launching an MSP today. The global firm provides backup and disaster recovery software.
1. Automation means communication – In every service provider business it's extremely important to leverage the fact that you serve multiple customers, and the best way to leverage this is to have automation. Also, automation improves communication with a customer. One of the problems in any service provider business is that you're third-party. But you're replacing an internal person, someone who's on-premise and communicates in-person. So, unless you have tools, you will always have less communication with the customer.
2. Upsell to reduce customer churn – The more services you offer, the better. Try to sign up customers for multiple services, because the more services the customer buys, the less the turn. The main advantage of being a service provider is recurring, predictable revenues. But they're only recurring and predictable if you have very small turn. The best way to decrease the turn is to actually have multiple services managed.
3. Seek to provide services in-house, when possible – The more services you provide, the better. You can manage on-premise infrastructure and you can manage the service which is provided by somebody else's on-premise software. That's, of course, good, but it's even better if you can provide some service yourself. Then you have even smaller turn because the service is provided by you and the customer, if they decide to switch their MSP, they will have to also switch the service or even multiple services.
Editor’s note: Comments are edited to improve readability.