How MSPs Can Differentiate Their Offerings in a Crowded Field

December 10, 2018

3 Min Read

How MSPs Can Differentiate Their Offerings in a Crowded Field

According to Market Research Future, the managed services industry is expected to continue growing through 2022 at a CAGR of 11 percent, driven in large part by a rise in BYOD, digital information and security around digital information, and the increased use of heterogeneous networks. MSP market growth is good for MSPs, of course, but it also means a more competitive landscape. Here are some ways to differentiate your offerings from the crowd.

Give the People What They Want

MSPs that can meet all of a customer’s needs—no matter the customer’s size, industry or business goals—stand out in a crowd. By strategically leveraging the services of cloud providers, MSPs can effectively build, deploy, run and manage specific workloads. Perhaps more importantly, effective use of cloud services enables MSPs to fully support customers as their needs, staffing and business goals change over time.

Keep Customers Up and Running

Companies turn to MSPs not just for support, but for unwavering support. That can be challenging to provide, given the increasing complexity (and changeable nature) of technology, not to mention a constant barrage of security and privacy threats. Any MSP can keep customers up and running some of the time; an MSP that can do it all of the time will stand out today. This requires airtight SLAs, 24×7 monitoring and alerting, multi-tier support, and more. MSPs that don’t have the resources and skills to provide this level of service should look to partner with trusted (and time-tested) vendors that do.

Provide End User Training

A company is only as productive—and secure—as its employees. MSPs that provide not only technology but also training on how to use the technology effectively and safely will stand out from the crowd. MSPs that provide training on an ongoing basis, working with end users to evolve and expand their expertise as technology and business needs change, will stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Identify Where You Are Lagging

The best way to stand out from the crowd is to identify the areas in which you don’t. In other words, what services are your competitors offering that you aren’t? In what way are competitors engaging with customers that you haven’t? What guarantees are your competitors offering that you can’t? One way to identify gaps is to go through the exercise of creating an MSP “short list” comprising your competitors and yourself. Evaluate those on the list the way a customer that is looking to engage with an MSP would. Where do you stand out? Where do you lag behind? Your customers are another source of information. Speak with them one on one, and/or conduct a survey that includes questions like: “What products and services do you wish we would offer?” and “What could we be doing better?” Then, find a way to fill the gaps and then some, either on your own or by partnering.

Be Customers’ Eyes and Ears

It can be difficult for any company, but especially an SMB, to keep on top of the technological, regulatory, political, industry-specific and other information important to the business, let alone figure out what is most important to the business. MSPs can differentiate themselves by working with customers on an ongoing basis to set and adjust goals based on the most current technology and operational models.

There are many ways that MSPs can differentiate their offerings in a growing market, but everything should be grounded in helping customers grow to their full potential. This means that MSPs must figure out how to stretch themselves to exceed expectations—or be just a face in the MSP crowd.

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