The ABCs of Managed Services Success (Part I)
Every successful MSP business should offer three critical deliverables that apply to almost any IT VAR / Reseller business, but each can be crafted and honed to perfection as part of a managed services practice. Over the next several months I plan to leverage my ongoing guest blog to explore each of those items in more depth and discuss ways to create opportunities from each deliverable. In this post, I’d like to introduce these concepts and get the discussion started. What are the ABCs of MSP success? They are…
… AVAILABILITY, BACKUP, & CONSULTATIVE VALUE.
A is for Availability: The (unattainable) goal is 100% uptime of the network – here are the questions you need to be ready to answer:
- Is the network up and running?
- Are the employees who work at your customers’ locations able to do their job effectively every day?
- Is the resilience of the customer’s network appropriate to their uptime requirements and budget? In other words, can they take a licking and keep on ticking affordably?
- Are you able to effectively measure uptime and do you have a methodology to report that performance to the appropriate decision makers at each customer location?
- Finally, can you prove your value on a quarterly basis – demonstrating how much their uptime increased as a result of your efforts?
We will dig into the details and solutions in next month’s blog.
B is for Backup (Data Protection and Restoration): You should be 100% certain that you will be able to retrieve your customer’s data in the event that it is lost.
- Have you done an in depth evaluation of your customer’s uptime requirements and compared that with their budget so you can deliver a solution that fits their needs?
- Do you have the ability to restore your customer’s data that meets your SLA requirements, and have you tested (regularly) your ability to do so?
- Do you have the ability to remotely restore a single file for a client on short notice?
- Can you measure your effectiveness and provide a detailed report on the value your customer received as a result of your efforts?
Check back for Part II for more details on how to answer these questions definitively.
C is for Consultative Value: The ability to help your customer increase revenue, save money, or establish a competitive advantage as a result of their relationship with you.
- Do you have vertical expertise that allows you to separate your business from your competition?
- Have you clearly defined your deliverables and established the processes and procedures to consistently deliver value? (If not, read last month’s MSPmentor blog post).
- Can you measure the value you provide on a quarterly basis and effectively report it to your clients?
Check back for Part III for answers to these questions.
In summary, this list of questions can be a good evaluative tool if you are looking for ways to strengthen your managed services business. If you are trying to build out your MSP practice, there will be a number of topics to support that goal in the following months as well. Post any questions you would like to see addressed here and, in the meantime, if you want to learn more about MSP best practices, check out CompTIA’s newly released MSP Partners Trustmark Credential.