PSAs and Strategic Growth for MSPs: Top 5 Myths Debunked
Many new MSPs start their business with an accounting product, a calendaring tool and a prayer, but they soon realize that they can do more–much more–in terms of managing the health of their business with a solution that gives them control over and visibility into their entire business process from prospect to invoice.
Unfortunately, many MSPs feel that once they select their PSA tool that they are then locked in with that selection for all eternity. But as with any technology decision made five, 10, or even 15 years ago, it should be routinely re-visited in light of developments in technology, your business needs and the MSP market dynamics as a whole.
This re-evaluation is just as important to the continued health and wellbeing of your MSP as was the initial PSA selection. Here are the top five PSA myths that might be standing in the way of you achieving even more business success:
- Migrating from one PSA solution to another is a Herculean effort.
Somehow this myth got started and has taken deep root. Perhaps because first-generation PSA tools are built on 10- to 20-year-old technology with inherent limitations? Even so, that doesn’t mean that switching from one PSA to another needs to be a superhuman undertaking. In fact, Kaseya PSA Migrator provides all the technology and assistance needed for any user to easily and seamlessly migrate to Kaseya Business Management Solution (BMS) from any other PSA, and in less than a week on average.
- Complicated = Advanced
I get it–I really do. If it takes a specialized sysadmin to make changes to a piece of technology, there is a natural human inclination to think that this technology must be more advanced. And this instinct gets kicked into overdrive when the technology is something you’ve spent years mastering and coaxing into doing things your way.
But, as we all know, complicated can just mean complex, bloated, out-of-date coding that makes the simplest changes cumbersome and frustrating. Many early-generation PSAs are actually a conglomeration of two, three or even four layers of systems and platforms. This means that the systems are complicated to manage because of how the systems came to be–not due to any inherent advancement in the functionality of the system.
Newer solutions, such as BMS, are built on modern platforms that allow processes to be simpler and more transparent. Users don’t have to drill down four or more levels to create new customers and opportunities, for example. Going from business process to business process is intuitive and natural and doesn’t need involved training for all users–from sales people, to project managers, to accounting–to do their jobs.
Even better, reports and dashboards are easily customized to fit your needs–without the help of dedicated (and expensive) sysadmins.
- You need to choose between open best of breed or closed integrated solutions.
In today’s world, you no longer have to choose between an open, best-of-breed solution or a closed, integrated solution suite. The reign of closed solution suites is over, shifting to the rise of open, heterogeneous software ecosystems. As Jim Lundy, analyst for Aragon Research, writes, “The shift we are talking about is the realization by many of the largest Tech Titans that closed systems and ones that don’t interoperate are dead. The new model that is evolving is one of cooperation (partnering), cloud and app level integration.”
These new ecosystems–supporting heterogeneous solutions–are enabled by a broad technology shift that makes integration between systems, and even between cloud and on-premises solutions, far less cumbersome than it used to be. Simon Griffiths from Flowgear points out, “Integration has become easier, more cost effective, quicker to implement, and more flexible. Because of this, the advantages that integrated suites used to have no longer apply.”
This means you should buy the PSA solution that is right for your business–period. Look for a PSA vendor that doesn’t put you in a false bind, but allows you to select whichever solution provides the best fit for your MSP’s needs with the confidence that the PSA solution will play well others.
- The PSA you select has no relationship to your MRR growth.
Sure, your PSA selection is important to how you run your business operations, but does your PSA choice also impact the growth of your business? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
Most importantly, if you spend less money on your PSA solution, then you can invest more money in other key aspects of your business, such as hiring more sales people or creating new services to address the evolving needs of your SMB customers. The same goes for the money and time that some PSA tools require you to spend for ongoing sysadmin support and staff training. Freeing up staff time and money from ongoing support and training allows you to invest those resources in growing your clientele and business.
In addition, a PSA solution that has been developed with MSPs in mind can radically improve many business processes, including stronger project management capabilities. To win the large and lucrative outsourced projects (like network/server monitoring, security outsourcing) that SMBs are opening up to MSPs, MSPs must effectively demonstrate the ability to scope and manage complex transition projects. Assuming your MSP can demonstrate externally and internally that you can manage these transition projects flawlessly, you’ll be able to secure and deliver on the very lucrative managed service contracts to outsource large-scale operations with the larger SMBs.
- Migrating from one PSA solution to another will disrupt your business.
Usually, this myth is used to keep MSPs afraid of moving to a new PSA for reasons outlined in the other myths: It will be a Herculean task that will take forever; you will never be able to replicate all your unique business processes and reports; the new PSA won’t play well with your other solutions; and you won’t gain much from all this effort at the end of the day anyway.
As you can see, none of these fears is true, so this myth is also false.
In fact, switching to a modern PSA will very likely:
- Be simple and take under a week
- Deliver a simpler, more customizable business solution
- Provide streamlined and intuitive functionality that will make your staff more productive and spend less time issuing proposals and invoices, and more time servicing your customers and selling to your prospects
- Release both capital and operating expenses that can be invested in staff and services to invest in business growth
Check out how Kaseya can help you transition from a first-generation legacy PSA product to a modern PSA in less than a week.
Joining Kaseya in 2012, Miguel Lopez brings more than 20 years of experience to his role as SVP, Managed Service Providers (MSPs). In this position, he consults daily with MSPs to help them solve their clients’ business problems with technology solutions. Prior to joining Kaseya, Miguel served as the director of consulting services for All Covered, a nationwide technology services company that is a division of Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Inc. In 2008, All Covered acquired NetCor Technologies, a leading MSP that Miguel founded and managed since 1997. NetCor specialized in serving highly regulated industries such as healthcare, CPAs, law firms and retail companies.
Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship.