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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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How Increased Data Mobility Can Strengthen Your 2016 MSP Business Plan

Posted January 4, 2016by Lily Teplow

How Increased Data Mobility Can Strengthen Your 2016 MSP Business Plan.jpg

People use (excuse me, depend on) anywhere between 2-3 devices on average, and the number is steadily increasing, expected to hit 4.3 by 2020. With the holidays behind us, I am sure many of you are finally getting comfortable with your new gadgets, but how comfortable are you with clients introducing these new toys into the office? Are you positive you can trust their use of personal devices in a professional setting? 

More data mobility means there's a greater market need for managed IT security. Embrace this opportunity as you map out your 2016 business plan. By introducing new services and solutions you may not have ever thought to include in your product portfolio, you'll attract new clients and retain existing customers, all while growing your revenue and profitability! 


The Need to Adapt in an Increasingly Mobile World

It is undeniable that technology has evolved at a rapid rate and simply having one connected device is old news. Your clients, like all users, turn to mobile devices – cell phones, laptops, tablets etc. – to pass time in waiting rooms, sift through social media updates and swiftly respond to important emails they’ve been anticipating. Consider this comScore graph which depicts the convergence (and dominance) of mobile with desktop usage:

Mobile-stats-vs-desktop-users-global-550x405.png

image source: http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/

Sure, the Internet of Things (IoT) and emergence of new endpoints makes it easy to stay connected on-the-go. There’s a caveat, however. An increasingly mobile world means more data, with more reliance on networks, connections and security.

  

New Services and Products to Take a Hard Look at in 2016: 

You know, and likely offer, the existing products and services that drive the managed IT services market - i.e. remote monitoring and management (RMM), backup and disaster recovery (BDR and business continuity, help desk client support and cloud computing.

But with the scope of IT infrastructure ever-expanding and the need for stricter data security, what new opportunities are out there that you've yet to explore? You could be leaving money on the table by not recognizing the value of being your clients' all-in-one IT solution. Expand your portfolio with:

Collaboration Tools

This is huge, since data is everywhere! People expect their cellphone, laptop, tablet and work desktops to work quickly, smoothly, and interchangeably. By providing collaboration tools with business-grade security, MSPs create offerings that are more competitive due to the increase of accessibility, communication and data protection between both employees and clients. With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), compliance measures and corporate IP, file sync and share solutions are collaboration tools that are in especially high demand. Clients want their company data to be easily accessible, audited, fast, and most importantly, secure. As Ray reminds us in a previous blog post about new managed IT services to add, email is not the way you want clients transferring important and sensitive files. By introducing file sync and share as a new IT service, you can ensure their corporate data is encrypted, safe and separated from personal accounts.

Security

What is the point of relying on the accessibility of modern technology if you have to constantly be reminded of potentially losing everything? With all of the coverage of recent data breaches pervading the mainstream media, your clients understand the importance of data security. As explained in the webinar, in an attempt to convince users to invest in their proactive IT solution, MSPs often lead with cybersecurity as a service. It's been known to really pay off too! Clients, particularly those bound to federal regulations, clearly understand the longterm business value of securing their data with a trusted solution. Recognizing this and adding security as an additional revenue stream, will only grow your profitability.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

The MDM market is burgeoning at an accelerated pace with multiple devices carried per person, both personally and professionally. With the ongoing and seemingly unstoppable trend of BYOD characterizing the modern workplace, the line between personal and corporate data has become blurred and managing all of this information, understandably complex. Complex, yet more necessary now than ever before. By adding Mobile Device Management (MDM) as a new service offering, MSPs have the ability to remotely wipe an individual’s data when he or she leaves the company or when a device is compromised. 

When looking for an MDM tool to offer clients, here are some features to look for:

  • Synchronization and sharing between files
  • Security for data
  • Interchangeable support between personal and corporate devices
  • Ability to maintain and manage the application 

Compliance as a Service

This is one of the most recent revenue streams that is providing huge margins. Since the switch from file cabinets to electronic medical records (EMRs), doctors and other healthcare providers have the ability to store and manage patient data seamlessly. Unfortunately, the data that lies within a doctor’s tablet, in addition to all of his or her employee’s devices, can add up to one giant HIPAA violation if necessary security precautions and protocol aren’t followed. Recalling the need for MDM, devices that are compromised are often referred to as $50,000 cellphones due to the hefty fines associated with HIPAA. HIPAA is just one form of compliance, however. PCI Security Standards apply to all organizations that store, process, or transmit cardholder data. Any clients that accept payment cards are required to be PCI compliant. 

Your clients need help! This year's your chance to renew your commitment to being their trusted IT advisor and help them become and stay compliant. Continuum has partnered with RapidFire Tools to offer a PCI and HIPAA Assessment MSPs can then use with end-users. The modules are proving to sell themselves and offer extreme margins in the pre and post work projects generated.  

What it Takes to be on Top this Year

In order to stay ahead of the competition and make the most out of 2016, MSPs must be a trusted advisor and an all-purpose IT provider by creating a one-stop-shop for their clients. By including additional services and products like the ones described here and others discussed in the webinar, MSPs will start out the year with a solid business plan, growing revenue and forming lasting customer relations with clients who'll appreciate this shared interest in helping them meet their own 2016 business goals.

Meet Lily Teplow! After majoring in Communications and French, Lily graduated from South Carolina's Furman University and now takes on her new role as Content Marketing Associate and Blog Manager at Continuum. In her spare time, Lily enjoys singing, traveling, and cheering on her favorite Boston sports teams!

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