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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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9 Revenue Streams MSPs Must Offer in 2015: Part 1

Posted January 8, 2015by Ray Vrabel

msp-tool-belt-blog-1
Want to stay ahead of the competition? The solution is simple: expand your product and services offering. Maybe you provide remote monitoring and management, but what about mobile device management (MDM)? Have you ventured to the cloud yet? There are nine lucrative solutions to include in your managed IT services bundle this year, each sure to increase revenue! Below, I cover 4 - check back on Friday's blog for Part 2.


1. 24x7 Proactive Monitoring and Maintenance of Desktops and Servers:

This is really a no-brainer and something every MSP should be offering because break/fix isn’t as stable, predictable or profitable. If your clients are running 24x7 shops, you need to have a system in place that is reliable and consistent, as standardization and optimization are key. I have spoken with MSPs who previously didn’t have 24x7 monitoring because they “didn’t think their clients needed it." However, with more business being done remotely and after hours, there is really no such thing anymore as a traditional “9-5" operation. If you can only afford to add one of these revenue streams to your value stack, this should be the one. I don’t think there is an SMB who has experienced an IT emergency in the middle of the night who wants to wait for the IT guy to show up to the office at 9 a.m. while the dental office tries to figure out what appointments they have coming in and how they’ll send patient information to the insurance agency.

 2. Mobile Device Management:

As BYOD becomes more prevalent within SMBs, MSPs need to manage these devices more so than ever, especially as people become more connected, and everyone is bringing their own PCs, smartphones and tablets into the workplace. For instance, do you have a plan in place to locate lost/stolen devices and to wipe their data once they are reported by the employee? Also, what about control policies and malicious programs entering your network? Do you have a protocol to deal with these types of attacks? This is happening more and more, particularly as malicious viruses and threats are on the rise. Because of compliance, particularly in highly sensitive verticals like healthcare and financial services, you need to manage those tablets and phones.

Related: The EMM Market Will Double by 2018: How MSPs Can Take Advantage

3. Cloud

Cloud is an evolution, not a revolution. It has arrived and is here to stay. As a competitive MSP, have a strategy and the talent, as well as a vendor partner, to help you deliver this technology. Even if your clients aren’t using cloud, you should be discussing it with them and getting them familiar with this alternative. A good time to discuss this is when warranties are up for renewal and/or when it’s time for a hardware refresh. It’s also a good topic to bring up during regular business reviews.

Other thoughts regarding the cloud include: hosted servers, hosted desktops and hosted apps; for instance Office 365, which houses all of your apps (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel) in the cloud for easy retrieval, as well as document sharing and collaboration. Have an “in" when it comes to the cloud, accomplished by partnering with the right vendor that can help you define this offering.

Related: 16 Sweet Stats Every MSP Should Know About the Cloud

4. Help Desk

Another revenue stream is 365x24x7 IT help desk support for clients’ PCs, tablets and other mobile devices. Every end user needs some type of support, and if you give them the best experience, they help sell your value to the CFO/CEO on why the company needs to utilize your IT services. This translates back to mobile device management; if you aren’t monitoring your devices, then it becomes hard to help someone if you don’t have control over their other devices. It’s very hard to troubleshoot email problems when you only support the email client or phone.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

The preceding blog post was taken from Ray's guest series on Channel Partners Peer-to-Peer Blog.


Want more from Ray? We've repurposed his blog posts into the following eBook!

Ray Vrabel is Continuum's Director of Technical Account Management and participates in product and service growth initiatives, and also manages Continuum's Technical Account Management team, which supports over 3,500 partners worldwide. Prior to Continuum, Ray joined Zenith Infotech in 2005 and held several positions including Service Desk Manager, Sr. Technical Account Manager and Sr. Manager of Service Operations. He currently has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry, specializing in Managed Services, Disaster Recovery, and Cloud Solutions. Prior to Continuum and Zenith, Ray worked at ANH Refractories, a world-class provider of Refractories products, in their Service Desk Department supporting 53 locations and 1,500 employees. Ray also worked for a startup venture at Body Media a pioneer in wearable body monitoring systems as a technical lead in their Technical Customer Support Department. Ray holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Technology Support and Training from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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