How do you sell mobile device management (MDM) to small business customers running Apple iOS, Google Android and more? Service Leadership Inc.

Joe Panettieri, Former Editorial Director

June 12, 2012

3 Min Read
Mobile Device Management: How to Profit From MDM

Paul Dippell Service Leadership

How do you sell mobile device management (MDM) to small business customers running Apple iOS, Google Android and more? Service Leadership Inc. President Paul Dippell offered MDM sales guidance during LabTech Automation Nation in Orlando, Fla., today.

“It doesn’t matter where or what the device is; you need to charge for it. It’s labor,” said Dippell. “You’re managing it. And you should charge for it. I’m a little baffled by the discussion.”

Among they key points Dippell added:

  • “I think Bring Your Own Device, BYOD, is not going to last very long.”

  • “If you can layer VDI — virtual desktop infrastructure — out to any device. That sounds like BYOD nirvana. But if my job is IT support and the VDI-enabled laptop runs poorly they’re still going to call me for support.”

  • As a result, Dippell thinks the BYOD trend will collapse and end. (I respectfully disagree, especially as it relates to tablets and smartphones. But Dippell is sharp so I’ll keep his prediction in mind.)

  • “MDM is a great opportunity but set some standards and outline what you will and won’t do for a fair amount [fee].”

  • A user with two panes of glass (say, tablet and laptop) is more than twice as expensive to support than a person with one pane of glass (say, just a laptop) because of the synchronization issues.

  • Focus on vendor management. Figure out home much time it takes to support each vendor’s products each month and determine a 55 percent margin so that you can generate a good profit.

  • The new pricing model is per user per application (no longer per server) per network device per month. That covers you as mobile device management and cloud services take off.

  • Yes, bill for each Microsoft Office 365 application (email, SharePoint, CRM, etc.) you’re supporting.

  • Figure out the cost of your escalation trees for each vendor relationship.

  • Dippell shared a spreadsheet that crunches a bunch of variables (help desk employees, inbound calls per day, daily issues, number of users, number of help desk/NOC employees, average salary of each person, and percent that involves priority support. Using those variables, Dippell helped MSPs to understand how they should be pricing their services a bit better, including MDM services.

  • Attendees were witnessing about 2.9 incidents per user per month.

  • Each help desk call averages out to about $25 in support calls per call. Times 2.9 incidents per user per month and that’s nearly $75 per user per month just in help desk support charges you should be charging. That doesn’t count the upgrades, the software, etc.  The alternative for the customer is chaos, no security and no reliability for IT.

  • If customers can’t see north of $40 per user per month let them be somebody else’s customer. They are a money-losing customer.

  • From here, in terms of MDM, determine which users have two or more panes of glass and charge accordingly. “Figure out where the labor is being spent. If you can describe it and document it you can charge for it.”

That’s all for now from Dippell’s session.

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About the Author(s)

Joe Panettieri

Former Editorial Director, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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