If I Were Launching an MSP Now | Michael Gold
Michael Gold, CEO of Mountain View, Calif.-based Intermedia, shares three suggestions he’d apply if he were launching an MSP from scratch today:
1. Don’t be an order taker – Don’t just let the customer call up and say “this is what I want the process to be,” and be done with it.
Understand the need – the problem that the customer is trying to solve – and deliver that.
New managed service providers should really set themselves up and reinforce that they are a trusted advisor; that they are an outsourced IT department, that they are experts in this area, and they can provide the solutions that address the problems and the needs that the customer has.
In setting themselves up not as an order taker but as a solution provider, as an MSP, how you present yourself, how you market yourself is really critical.
2. Add value; don’t just resell – Differentiating your services to customers is critical in achieving profitability, especially when everybody is set up to resell things like Office 365.
There’s an established price for Office 365 in the market, there’s an established discount in the market for the resellers of it, and the profit opportunity for an MSP is quite limited if you’re just reselling.
You have to resell, plus add additional value on top of it to run a profitable business.
Specialization in verticals, doing an implementation and on-boarding of those cloud services, being able to provide around-the-clock, 24/7 support, are all ways of differentiating.
Additionally, finding other solutions – other applications that could be integrated and offered as a package in creative ways – is another way for an MSP to add value.
3. Be cloud-only – If I was starting a business today, I would go right to being a pure play cloud provider.
I wouldn’t worry about anything other than cloud applications.
That would ensure that I, as an MSP, was always providing the latest and greatest in a capital-efficient manner, in an easy to manage manner, and in a way that I could run a business profitably.
Editor’s note: Comments are edited to improve readability.
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