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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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Backup to the Future Part III: BDR Commoditization Means Less MSP Differentiation

Posted April 5, 2017by Joseph Tavano

Backup to the Future Part III: BDR Commoditization Means Less MSP Differentiation

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is now an essential product for every managed IT services provider (MSP). However, in today’s world of commoditized BDR, how can you break away and differentiate yourself from your competition?

“Backup to the Future” is a blog series that explores the state of the backup and disaster recovery as a service today—and the challenges that come with offering it—and looks forward to the ongoing new paradigms that are dramatically transforming the sector into tomorrow. Through this eight-part series, you’ll learn the forces that are shaping the business models for MSPs offering BDR today, and how to evolve to take on new business more efficiently and more profitably for long-term success. In the first post of this series, we discussed how many current BDR solutions that MSPs use today are restricting their growth and scalability. Now, it’s time to consider how exactly BDR has become so commoditized and what that means for your MSP business.

In today’s IT channel, BDR has become an essential offering that’s included in almost every MSP’s portfolio. It’s not an add-on or an optional service—it’s a must-have. Uptime is now critical for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and users demand always-on access to data and applications. The risks and damages associated with a data loss incident or downtime event are too severe to be ignored, and a dangerous cybersecurity landscape has exacerbated the need for effective business continuity planning as a last line of defense against ransomware and other malicious attacks.

Considering these rapid changes, the traditional, off-the-shelf software that SMBs have relied on in the past just no longer cuts it. As a result, businesses are seeking outsourced providers to deploy, manage and troubleshoot their systems to ensure uptime and true business continuity in the event of a disaster. SMBs don’t care how the tech works; only that it does.

This has made BDR a lucrative line of business for MSPs in recent years, because organizations are more willing to pay a premium for such services when they understand and appreciate the value that comes with them.

The Perpetuity Myth

It’s easy to fall into a mindset that if something is successful, it shouldn’t be changed and will continue to run successfully in perpetuity. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to technology. The fact is that the same BDR platforms that brought success in recent memory will not necessarily set you up for future success and allow you to profitability grow and scale your BDR line of business while keeping operational costs to a minimum.

It’s not widely advertised, but many of the BDR solutions in today’s market are all built using the same engine and technology foundation. Vendors continue to add tweaks and enhancements to their respective offerings in an attempt to differentiate and keep their solution unique, but they too are struggling to keep up with the rate of change that the industry is experiencing.

Looking to the future, it’s clear that what got us here won’t get us there. There are many ways forward in the IT channel; choosing the right one to optimize your profits, operations and service delivery while keeping an edge on your competition requires an ability to adapt and evolve.

Taking the Best Way Forward

With Continuity247, Continuum isn’t looking to just compete in the BDR marketplace; we’re working to redefine what a business continuity partnership can achieve for MSPs. Continuity247 is built to meet the needs of MSPs and their clients, while tactically addressing several significant challenges this industry is facing relating to labor and a growing IT skills gap, time-intensive management of traditional BDR technologies, and others. With our 2014 acquisition of R1Soft, a proven backup platform protecting 250,000 servers in the web hosting market, we took ownership of a rock-solid IP and built on top of it a new solution that can meet the needs of the modern MSP and SMB both today and tomorrow.

Combined with the strength and expertise of the Continuum NOC, Continuity247 is the only backup and disaster recovery platform that empowers MSPs to maximize profit margin while freeing in-house resources to focus on higher-priority work. And because it’s coupled with a robust feature set and exclusive technology that stands ahead of the pack, the way forward in an industry that is now commoditized has become clear—MSPs that want long-term, sustainable growth and profitability in BDR, the time to step back and re-evaluate your portfolio is now.

Click here to read part four of this series!


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Joseph Tavano is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Continuum, with more than 12 years of experience in content creation and editorial in various disciplines. He is the author of numerous eBooks, eGuides, blog posts and other collateral that enable Continuum partners and IT service providers in the channel to make their businesses stronger and grow their profits. He is also the producer of the Continuum Podcast Network, which publishes multiple shows every week and reaches tens of thousands of IT professionals every year. A native of Boston, he holds bachelors in English and History from Suffolk University and resides in Salem, Massachusetts.

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