Just for the second, consider your moderately successful IT company who sees the growing opportunity in managed services, is quickly developing the technology to compliment this burgeoning market and knows the secrets – has in fact the key “sauce” – to managing an excellent managed services business.
Now liken yourself along with your IT business to your owner of a great dining establishment. The restaurant owner is aware that his professional livelihood is made on the “meat and potatoes” of his operation, namely his fine variety of highly quality meats cooked to perfection. And he is convinced that his culinary success is due to the actual key “sauce” he’s created to adorn each entree. He even carries a signature garnish he places together with each entree that means it is highly unique to him as well as a cut above his competition.
This same analogy is applicable to your IT business. Your company is probably starting out shift out from the technology as well as the tools that deliver services to some realization that this managed services customers are the “meat and potatoes” on which your future livelihood will rest. Your “culinary” success is going to be due, largely, for the special “sauce” you create to adorn each managed service you offer. That special “sauce” can be your marketing strategy. The garnish you add on each managed service is one unique fact or aspect of your business -and how you will market it – that sets you aside from your competitors.
So, what are “meat and potatoes” of your company – the managed services you propose to offer customers as you transition to a very good managed service business? How are you planning to marketing those services – what “sauce” or “sauces” are you gonna create to trade them? What “garnish” would you like to put on top – what fact or benefit with your industry is unique enough to split up and differentiate via your competition?
First, when it concerns managed services. This is the “meat and potatoes” within your operation.
To optimize your current performance as a very good managed services business, listed below are five critical factors of the business to understand. Mastery of such “secrets of success” will determine how well you are doing in the marketplace and positively impact your making success and survivability as being a managed services provider (MSP).
Core Technologies. The definition of managed services is expanding from infrastructure management and remote maintenance on the inclusion of software like a service. Selecting the right technology is a key part of an effective MSP strategy. Successful MSPs typically use one of 2 kinds of software solutions – Professional Services Automation Software (PSA) and Remote Monitoring and Management Software (RMM). PSA blends such functions as customer relationship management (CRM), salesforce automation, customer billing and troubleshooting into a single comprehensive platform. RMM allows the MSP to proactively maintain and troubleshoot customer systems and networks off-site.
Emerging Technologies. Up until now, MSPs were able to get down basic PC and server administration. Today’s MSPs face new challenges since the landscape of managed services will continue to evolve. Now these MSPs have to get down cloud and SaaS managements and learn to tap into systems like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Apps, Microsoft Windows Azure and Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Keeping pace using these options requires constant networking. Successful MSPs get this to one of their biggest priorities.
Business Leadership. As you move from as being a technology driven business to as a managed services provider, commitment from your CEO and top management is vital. Managed services will stall or fail completely without it commitment. CEOs don’t have to understand the MSP technologies but their business need to do is this fact:
Promote recurring revenue streams whenever you can instead of quick break fix project work.
Track and improve support services levels in lieu of billable hours.
Schedule frequent meetings to advise customers on those service levels and also to discuss technologies that will further improve overall business performance.
Hiring & Firing, Sales Training & Compensation. The jury remains out on whether MSPs must fire or replace staff since they push into managed services or help existing staff to create more plus more recurring revenue. Sometimes MSPs think it is works better as long as they augment their staff with outside talent, though more often than not this talent are available within their existing rank-and-file. In more traditional IT companies, sales teams usually are paid a one-time commission for special projects revenue. In the managed services market, however, recurring revenue models create new opportunities and new challenges. The biggest challenge is keeping salespeople dedicated to longer-term, ongoing contracts as an alternative to quick-hit project work. Without the proper compensation plans available, salespeople will make half-hearted managed services calls and finish up pitching a fresh technology product instead with the managed services you hope to trade. The best MSP from the most successful managed services business has clearly communicated compensation plans with well-defined goals and priorities that motivate the sales professional to watch out for more business plus more opportunities for managed services from either existing clients or a.
Service Level Agreements. Successful MSPs be aware that without a well-designed and understood service level agreement constantly in place, the clients is going to be expecting one thing plus the MSP another. Using a solid service level agreement shows your client that you know what you’re doing and that you will put both your reputation and wallet behind your word.