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Empowering Your MSP Business to Grow and Prosper—One Post at a Time

5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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3 Benefits of Having an RMM Solution with a Network Operations Center Fully at Your Command

Posted October 8, 2015by Mary McCoy

Alright, you have RMM monitoring all of your clients' servers, but maybe you and your techs are the ones managing every alert and ticket. Alternatively, you've recognized the value of people-powered technology and have backed your IT team with a Network Operations Center (NOC), but you're still burdened with low value tasks that prevent you from acquiring and supporting new business, your employees from realizing their full potential and your clients from maintaining uptime and profitability. Any of these scenarios describe you? Read on.


1. You Can Offload Even More Routine, Time-Consuming Tasks

Have you ever thought about how great it would be if you weren't stuck wasting time and local resources on small issues, like:

  • Antivirus (AV) scans and infection remediations 
  • Rollup installations and configurations 
  • Expired web certificate updates
  • Exchange troubleshooting
  • Email delivery issues

You're not alone! You can't be expected to grow your business if you constantly struggle to stay afloat as you drown in tickets. Still, assignments like troubleshooting VMware and correcting performance issues on VMs and host machines have to be completed. If not your inhouse team of technicians, who can you rely on to get this done? When you couple your remote monitoring and management (RMM) services with a fully-staffed, highly-trained Network Operations Center (NOC), these NOC members become a part of your IT support team. They're there to make sure maintenance tasks are addressed 24x7x365. Time is finite. It's not just that embracing this managed IT services approach saves you time, it helps you spend it in the right way. 

Your Employees Can Engage Strategically with Your Clients

There's an added benefit to offloading these tasks to an offsite team, one that outweighs the opportunity cost of managing all of the updates, installs, rollups, configurations, patchings, etc. on your own. By eliminating such time-sucks, you can get more out of your current staff. You'll find that transitioning your technicians to take on more of a virtual CIO (VCIO) or consultant role will boost your bottom line. Maybe you wish more customers would take advantage of your backup and disaster recovery (BDR) offering, but you haven't had a chance to present your case with compelling stats or case studies. When your techs are free to spend more time connecting and guiding partners in all of their technology decisions, they untap upsell opportunities and establish enough trust to gain referrals. You offer remote IT service, not remote customer service. There's a difference.

 

2. You Can Change the Way You Hire

There's no doubt that we're facing a shortage of IT talent today. According to IT Talent Wars and the Gig Economy Survey recently conducted by Appirio in conjunction with Wakefield Research: 

  • At least 25% of projects are abandoned altogether because of IT capacity limitations, and projects that are eventually finished are delayed an average of 5 months.
  • More than one-third of HR budgets are dedicated specifically to recruiting and retaining technical talent.

These are the staffing hurdles countless MSPs navigate. By leveraging a NOC with technicians representing each of the skillsets, certifications, and degrees of technical expertise client work demands, you can make sure their issues are resolved in a timely manner and without having to train existing employees to understand areas outside of their core competencies. This makes it easier for you to offer more services, helping you scale your business, but it also impacts your employee retention rate. Your techs won't be forced to learn a whole new skill in next to no time. This benefits you because you'll be able to better apply their talents to other, more revenue-driving projects, thus growing your business. It benefits your employees because these techs can assume more responsibilities and goal ownership, thus helping them grow within the company. But what about your clients? That brings us to our third benefit...


3. You Can Exceed Client Expectations by Delivering Full Problem Resolution

When you fully invest in your NOC partnership, you deliver customers a full premium solution. That means that they can always count on you for their IT support. As an example, say a client server goes offline in the middle of the night, regardless of alert or issue. Rather than scramble to troubleshoot what happened and how to resolve the matter the next morning, you can spare that client this costly downtime by instead, depending on your NOC to reboot the server remotely before said client is any the wiser. 

You Won't Have to Worry about Falling Short with Your Service Levels

As you learn in our MSP Guide to Managed Services SLAs white paper, your service level agreements (SLAs) should outline your company's problem management policy. Problems will vary in their levels of severity, but each should have its own response time. You don't want to delay handling one client's issue because you're stuck remediating another's. That's not scalable, and your customers will be frustrated that their needs aren't met. If, for example, your AV solution detects a virus at one client's site, and a server goes offline at another, neither client will have to wait for you to get in touch with them and ease their worries since the NOC can start fixing the problem, at any time of the day or night. That's service delivery for all!

 

October is the Month of the NOC

All month long we're celebrating the 650+ members of our Network Operations Center who make it possible for our partners to effectively grow and scale their businesses. As part of our integrated RMM and NOC platform, partners can choose between three different levels of RMM server care: Essential, Preferred, and Elite. If you're a Continuum partner that hasn't fully leveraged our highest offering, check out these testimonials from those who have: 



Happy NOCtober!

click-here-to-download-rmm-server-care-levels-explained-datasheet

Meet Mary! Mary McCoy is a Demand Generation Programs Manager at Continuum, where she's worked for over two years. Mary primarily manages the MSP Blog and has consulted with hundreds of partners, lending website, blog and social media support. Before that, she graduated from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) with a BA in Economics and served as digital marketing intern for Citi Performing Arts Center (Citi Center), spearheading the nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday social media campaign. Like her school’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, Mary believes learning never ends. She considers herself a passionate, lifelong student of content creation and inbound marketing.

RMM 101: Must-haves for Your IT Management Solution
MSP Guide to Managed Services SLAs  [white paper]
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