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Smart Play for Service Providers: Adding Intelligence

The intersection of business intelligence, business analytics and big data is opening new opportunities for managed service providers and their SMB customers.

May 10, 2016

5 Min Read
Smart Play for Service Providers Adding Intelligence

By Jim Lippie 1

For the last several years, the technology community has been talking about business intelligence (BI), business analytics (BA) and big data.  


For my money, BI and BA are more or less the same; they both aggregate and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) within a given business.


There are many great software packages on the market that pull data from various sources within a business and display data in visually appealing charts and graphs, allowing businesses to better understand the underlying dynamics within their organization, better track results and make more informed decisions that will impact future performance.


Things start to get even more exciting when BI and BA intersect with big data because now you can see how your company’s performance stacks up against other companies of similar size in your industry.


Over the last few months, MSPmentor and Clarity Intelligence Platform have leveraged big data principles to produce the MSPmentor 501 List, which will be announced on May 19, 2016. Based on the aggregation of data points from across the entire managed service provider industry, this year’s 501 list will provide unprecedented highlights and insights.


Until now, BI, BA and big data have benefited mid-market and enterprise companies who have the budget to pay for the software as well as the resources necessary to analyze the data.  Now, service providers (SPs) can equip their SMB clients with the insights BI, BA and big data produce, allowing them to add strategic and consultative value for their clients.


The most successful SPs in the market conduct monthly or quarterly business reviews with their clients. SPs provide a high level overview of the services consumed during this time period, general technology performance and a road map for future improvements (which usually consists of an upgrade/project).


Here’s the problem, SMBs eventually grow tired of hearing about how many viruses were quarantined last month, how much spam was caught or how much more money they need to spend to upgrade their IT infrastructure.


SPs need to utilize this time to demonstrate their value as a trusted advisor who has more to offer than monitoring, and helpdesk.


SPs can go beyond delivering these simple services and instead add real value with business insight type intelligence to their customers, becoming a “trusted advisor”. Matt Toback will discuss ways SPs can offer this service in his HostingCon session, “Service Providers and Metrics: Feed Your Customers”.


He will describe how adding BI services can increase value and stickiness beyond ping, power and pipe and how to use existing technology to do it.

There are also now tools to help SPs move from purely a service provider to the coveted role of “trusted advisor”. This concept has been touted by that industry’s pundits for years, but there have been no tools to enable SPs to easily become one.


Fortunately, that is changing, cloud workspace providers such as itopia and Cloud Jumper (formerly nGenx) are providing platforms that produce BI, BA and big data for the SMB community, delivered exclusively by the SP.


Kaseya – one of the world’s leading RMM companies – is also integrating with the Clarity Intelligence Platform to give their MSP partners the ability to drive more value into their client relationships.


It really doesn’t matter which platform or toolset you prefer, the key is providing SMBs with better information to help them run a better business.  Doing so allows you to go beyond delivering monitoring, management and helpdesk services to add true value.



This article is brought to you by HostingCon, the Cloud and Service Provider Ecosystem event. Join us in New Orleans, Louisiana July 24-28, 2016 to hear Jim and other thought leaders talk about issues and trends in the cloud, hosting and service provider ecosystem.


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