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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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[Breaking News] MSP Owners Are Now Taking Vacations – And Actually Enjoying Them!

Posted August 11, 2014by Nate Teplow

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image source: http://momsbasementdotorg.files.wordpress.com/

Managed IT services providers in their natural habitats are well-known workaholics, though it’s hard to say whether this is a product of their environment or their general nature. The idea of any feral MSP letting go of issues long enough to sleep through the night, allowing work-related phone calls to go unanswered for an entire meal or taking off an entire work-free weekend is virtually unheard of. That is, until a recent study came back with some startling revelations.


A New Era for MSPs?

A recent study performed by The Onion recently found a number of surprising statistics:

  • Sunburn rates are up 43% among MSP employees
  • Stress levels have declined 67%
  • Quality of life has gone up 82%
  • PTO utilization rates have increased 48%
  • Relaxing time while on vacation has jumped 74%
  • Average undisturbed sleep cycles have risen by 37%
  • Out-of-office replies have increased by 14%
  • Consumption of drinks with little umbrellas have skyrocketed to an unprecedented 87%

All these numbers point to one thing: MSPs have somehow found a way to relax when they’re not at work. How is this possible?


Tools of the Trade

It seems clear that one of two things has happened: either MSPs no longer care about their jobs, or they’ve found a way to manage all the usual daily problems with a much higher level of efficiency. Since we all know that MSPs are working just as hard as ever during their normal shifts, the latter must be true.

In all seriousness, it’s important to recognize the tools that you can leverage as an MSP. Your work life-balance doesn’t have to suffer because of needy clients or unpredictable technical issues.

Here are a few essential tools that can help you take a more hands-off approach toward running your MSP. Just make sure to wear your sunscreen so those sunburn rates stay down!

  • Remote monitoring and management software (RMM) ensures that technicians are able to increase their productivity and monitor a number of different clients and workstations at the same time. Issues can be resolved before they cause any problems on the client end; RMM handles automated updates, problem detection and reports, and remote resolutions along with other basic maintenance functions.

  • An integrated NOC streamlines the backend troubleshooting process, handling incidence responses and network monitoring for escalated issues. Extensively trained NOC technicians means fewer off-hours calls to management about the best way to resolve problems. Let the NOC act as an extension of your team so that more issues are resolved, tickets are consolidated and you can maintain greater margins for your business.

  • An outsourced IT help desk allows you to have a team in place 24/7 for your clients to call with any questions. You can have peace of mind that there’s a talented team in place to handle your clients’ questions, meaning your clients won’t be calling you while you’re at the movies, on vacation or even just trying to sleep at 2AM. Outsourcing your service desk also eliminates costly staffing and management responsibilities that not many MSPs can afford on their own.

  • Backup and disaster recovery services help MSPs sleep better at night knowing that vital data is protected by enterprise-class backup, replication and recovery protection. With machine virtualization and redundant infrastructures, you can have your clients back up and running within minutes of them suffering an outage, and you can be assured that their data won’t be lost. Just be sure you test and practice your BDR procedures so that you’re ready if/when disaster may strike!


It’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This can be difficult for MSPs, but the solution is to find a platform that allows you to connect and leverage these supporting services. Let yourself live the way that nature intended: turning email alerts off when you leave the office, and finally scheduling that well-deserved trip to Hawaii, without dragging work along for the ride.


Nothing like vacation for a little R&R. Catch up on some light reading!

check-out-the-msp-resource-center

Nate Teplow is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Continuum, currently managing the company's RMM marketing initiatives. Nate's experience spans inbound marketing, content strategy, marketing communications and B2B lead generation. A proud Miami Hurricane alumni, Nate enjoys staying active, traveling to new places and performing A/B tests.

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