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Managed IT Services

Backup to the Future: Managing the Total Cost of Ownership of BDR

Posted by Joseph Tavano on March 22, 2017

Backup to the Future: Managing the Total Cost of Ownership of BDR

“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 this first post, we'll tackle how to manage the total cost of ownership (TCO) of BDR.

When MSPs try to calculate the ROI of a business continuity offering, they often look at the cost of the solution they’re leveraging and compare it to the BDR revenue they’ve captured. If the former is smaller than the latter, then they’re satisfied. And while there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with this approach, many providers may find it difficult to ensure long-term profitability and scalability if they aren’t paying attention to the TCO of the tools they’re leveraging.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

Partner Spotlight: How 2 MSPs Leverage Continuity247 to Overcome Top BDR Challenges

Posted by Lily Teplow on March 17, 2017

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Although backup and disaster recovery (BDR) has become a staple to every MSPs technology stack, many still struggle to develop a profitable and sustainable BDR line of business. Some of the common challenges we hear today include finding the right solution to fit your clients’ needs, or delivering effective data backup to clients across specific industries. Others have a hard time dealing with solutions that have become too cumbersome and time-consuming to manage, or even dealing with disaster recovery scenarios. As an MSP offering BDR services, your goal is to provide clients with reliable data backup and business continuity, but how can you do so when these challenges stand in your way?

Sometimes, the best way to succeed is to learn through others’ success. That’s why we’re sharing the stories of two Continuum partners who faced certain BDR challenges but proceeded to overcome them by leveraging Continuity247, our fully-managed BDR platform. Let's take a closer look!

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Partner Success

Overcoming Cybersecurity Challenges with Managed IT Services

Posted by Lily Teplow on March 16, 2017

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If there is one thing we can be certain about when it comes to cybersecurity, it’s that the landscape will remain dynamic and turbulent over the coming years. Today, news headlines are dominated by cyberattacks and breaches that span across all industries – causing security to be top of mind for almost all businesses. However, these headlines don’t seem to be slowing down, which means that businesses are still struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape.

So, what are the biggest obstacles businesses face in achieving a stronger cybersecurity posture, and how are MSPs best-suited to help clients and prospects overcome these obstacles?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services

How MSPs Can Create a Profitable Cybersecurity-as-a-Service Offering

Posted by Nate Teplow on March 8, 2017

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Cybersecurity has been a concern for businesses ever since they started building digital assets. It’s no new topic in the IT industry, either. Due to an increased reliance on technology and a heightened awareness around breaches, cybersecurity has now become a top priority. It's clear that the demand for cybersecurity services is growing rapidly, but many MSPs still find it difficult to establish an effective and profitable service offering. So, what exactly can MSPs do to get from needing a cybersecurity offering to actually having one?

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Topics: Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Podcast, Managed Security Services

Self-Managed vs. Fully-Managed: How to Maximize Your BDR Profitability

Posted by Ben Barker on March 7, 2017

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When it comes to protecting your clients' systems, there is nothing more important than being able to provide reliable backups. But how much of your own internal resources are being used up to make sure that’s possible? Who is troubleshooting failed backups, performing environmental health checks, testing and verifying systems, and spinning up servers? If you aren't using a fully-managed backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution, the answer is: you are. 

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Webinar Highlights

2017 Cybersecurity Trends and How MSPs Can Capitalize

Posted by Scott Spiro on March 1, 2017

2017 Cybersecurity Trends and How MSPs Can Capitalize.pngOver the last several years, cybersecurity has become one of the most vexing problems for companies of all sizes. Today, business owners know hackers are out to steal information from their networks and endpoints, but few have IT experts with the right experience to fight off cybercriminals. However, this situation creates a ripe opportunity for your MSP.

Before you can meet the needs of existing and potential clients, though, you'll need to understand the emerging cybersecurity trends and how to capitalize on them.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services

What Is the Financial Impact of a Ransomware Attack? [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on February 24, 2017

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Imagine for a moment that you receive a phone call from a client to hear that hundreds of their computers have been infected with ransomware, knocking critical systems offline and putting their organization’s entire operations at risk. What a nightmare, right? Unfortunately, this has been a reality for many unprepared small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as we’ve seen ransomware reach new levels of maturity over the past couple of years.

Ransomware attacks can have a major impact on business continuity, productivity, reputation and much more, and dealing with one is not only time-consuming; it can be extremely costly. SMBs need to be fully aware of the threat posed by ransomware and make strengthening their IT defenses a top priority this year. However, if they’re hesitant or don’t yet have the proper defenses in place, how can you convince them to turn to an MSP like you for help? What other financial impacts could ransomware have on their business and why should they leverage your managed IT services to prevent a business-crippling attack?

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Topics: Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services, MSP Sales Chart

5 Simple Tips for Preventing Ransomware

Posted by Ben Barker on February 23, 2017

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Over the past year, we’ve seen ransomware grow and evolve at a rate we’ve never seen before. In fact, the FBI reported ransomware to be a $1 billion-dollar source of income for cyber criminals in 2016—and this year it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Any company or organization that depends on daily access to critical data—and can’t afford to lose access to it—should be most worried about ransomware. This includes the clients you serve and aim to protect. As an MSP, what exactly should you know about the threat of ransomware, where it’s headed and what steps can be taken to keep your clients protected?

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Topics: Information Security, Webinar Highlights, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services

Scalability, Cybersecurity & Cloud Services: Three eBooks to Support MSP Growth in 2017

Posted by Brandon Garcin on February 21, 2017

Three-eBooks-to-Support-MSP-Growth-in-2017.pngThe managed IT services industry is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on the latest changes, trends and best practices. Today, things like cloud computing, an increasingly-complex cybersecurity landscape and other pressures are forcing MSPs to rethink their approach to service delivery, sales and marketing, and other key aspects of the business.

To help you stay ahead of the curve and set yourself up for success in 2017, we’ve compiled three of our most popular eBooks. Check them out below!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

Client Retention Best Practices for Managed Services Providers

Posted by Lily Teplow on February 14, 2017

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Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! It’s that time of year when love is in the air and certain relationships are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. But before you start considering buying roses by the dozen or stopping by the chocolate store on your way home, there are some relationships you should attend to before leaving the office – your client relationships. Client retention is something that you should be focused on throughout the entire year. Making your clients happy is all about aligning the value of your products and services to your clients’ business priorities and ensuring that you’re delivering on – and even exceeding – your promises. But how exactly can you “show the love” to your clients this year?

On a recent episode of MSP Radio, our hosts sat down with Dee Zepf, VP of Partner Success at Continuum, to chat about how MSPs can implement strategies and processes that ensure you're keeping clients happy, uncovering their issues and improving client retention rates.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Customer Service, Podcast

Three Ways MSPs Can Demonstrate Value to Existing Customers: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on February 13, 2017

The Weekly Byte Episode 42

There’s no denying the importance of effectively demonstrating the value of your services to prospects—but what about existing customers? In this episode of The Weekly Byte, we dive into three ways you can show your value and stay top-of-mind with clients who are already purchasing from you. Tune in now to learn more!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Customer Service, The Weekly Byte

How Continuum’s NOC Can Resolve up to 90% of Issues for You

Posted by Lily Teplow on February 10, 2017

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Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in the morning to find out that a major client issue was proactively identified—and resolved—while you were counting sheep? Or if your technicians were able to spend less time monitoring alerts and focus on more strategic, revenue-driving projects? Fortunately, this isn’t a fantasy scenario—it’s all possible when you leverage Continuum's Network Operations Center (NOC) technicians in conjunction with our IT management platform.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Network Operations Center, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

How to Begin Bringing a Managed Security Services Solution to Market

Posted by Joseph Tavano on January 12, 2017

How to Begin Bringing a Managed Security Services Solution to Market.pngThis year, more and more MSPs will be starting to adopt security services into their portfolio. However, it can be especially daunting to understand where to break into the offering. On a recent episode of MSP Radio, Craig Sharp, MD at Abussi, a UK-based MSP, discusses how to approach security with new and existing customers, what to expect when offering these services and how MSPs are primed to take advantage of this new area of SaaS-based solutions. When considering adding security services to an MSP’s portfolio, here’s what Craig has to say:

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Topics: Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services

Introducing: A Quick Guide to Marketing and Selling Cybersecurity

Posted by Lily Teplow on January 6, 2017

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Have you checked today’s IT headlines yet? I’d bet you couldn’t get past page one without coming across the words ransomware, cybercrime, data breach or the like. As an MSP, you’re constantly tapped into the goings-on in the industry, but can you say the same about your clients? With cyber threats growing more sophisticated year after year, now’s the perfect time to convince business owners that they need to seriously consider their cybersecurity needs.

However, selling your managed security services isn’t always an easy task. Your focus and priority is on keeping your clients protected, which makes it difficult to find the time to create your own marketing campaigns. But imagine if you could become a cybersecurity sales expert without doing all the heavy lifting...

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services

An MSPs Introduction to Unified Threat Management

Posted by Lily Teplow on January 5, 2017

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Today’s threat landscape and networking environment are in constant evolution – causing new devices, applications and threats to appear almost daily. Organizations are struggling to face new cyber threats and keep up with the changing landscape. Unfortunately, the stand-alone security technologies they sought for support have become incapable of keeping them completely protected. Your clients now require a multi-layered defense strategy that integrates various technologies into one IT security solution. Until a few years ago, that type of solution didn’t exist.

Very few security technologies leap out of nowhere to occupy a major portion of the market within a few years, yet unified threat management (UTM) is one of those few. As an MSP, what exactly should you know about UTM, what does it protect against and what are its benefits?

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Topics: Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services

How to Develop a Go-to-Market Strategy for BDR

Posted by Mary McCoy on December 22, 2016

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"Marketing is a two-way street. You have to be aware of what potential clients are looking for, and then you have to make them aware of what you offer." 

Do you have a hard time marketing and selling your backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution? In a recent episode of MSP Radio, part one of a two-part series designed to help you define your BDR go-to-market strategy, we answered several frequently asked questions from MSPs facing the same dilemma.

Whether you need guidance establishing the right market to serve or don't know how to differentiate your messaging across audience segments, the following recap should help you yield a higher ROI on current BDR marketing efforts, further enabling long-term business growth and profitability!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

What Single-Screenshot Verification Can't See

Posted by Joseph Tavano on December 15, 2016

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Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is an interesting technology to discuss with clients; when it is working well, there is little to discuss. However, when it is needed, such as in the event of a data loss event, it has to work perfectly—and, it needs to do so before that data loss event. Unlike other MSP technologies, sharing verification with your SMB clients that a BDR platform is working well allows for a natural, ongoing conversation about the BDR solution you provide, and keeps the importance of business continuity top of mind.

But what if your BDR platform’s backup verification isn’t able to provide enough information? What if it can’t capture issues that slip through the cracks? What if backups fail because the verification process missed something?

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

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

Posted by Jacque Rowden on December 6, 2016

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SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed. Just like building a house, it’s important to have a strong foundation in case any larger issues emerge. Sure, your house may stay standing through a few thunderstorms, but what happens when a hurricane rolls through? Will your foundation be strong enough to weather the storm? SLAs provide that same foundation for your managed services business, and if they aren’t built correctly, you may be in trouble when disaster strikes.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Level Agreement

Is the IT Security Gap a Threat to SMBs? [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on December 2, 2016

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Now that it’s officially December, it’s time to sit down and really think about what 2017 will bring. Over the past year we’ve seen higher adoption of virtualization, web applications and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments. As these and similar trends develop, security threats are likely to continue to emerge with unprecedented speed and complexity, putting businesses of all sizes at risk.

Those most impacted, however, are the small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that often lack the resources and expertise to protect themselves against internal and external threats. Due to these rising threats, SMBs are required to shift their security strategy and priorities. But for most, the level of protection doesn’t always match the perceived threat. So how can you protect clients against this gap in IT security?

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Topics: Information Security, Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Managed Security Services, MSP Sales Chart

How to Successfully Execute Your BDR Migration Plan

Posted by Joseph Tavano on November 30, 2016

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In an IT channel that’s constantly in flux, it’s important to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate your technology and solutions. Lifting out any IT platform to switch to another is a large endeavor, but there are particular concerns when migrating from one backup and disaster recovery (BDR) platform to another.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Master Service Agreements & SLAs: How Well Do Yours Hold Up?

Posted by Joseph Tavano on November 23, 2016

With only a few weeks left in 2016, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about plans for the upcoming year. One of the more actionable ways you may be able to adapt your operations in 2017 is to revisit your Master Services Agreements, or MSAs, to make sure you have the most relevant—and profitable—contracts in place for the months and years ahead.

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Topics: Podcast, Service Level Agreement

The Benefits of Working with a BDR Provider That Owns Its Backup Technology

Posted by Ben Austin on November 15, 2016

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Managed services providers (MSPs) are trusted advisors to their clients. By acting as virtual CIO (vCIO), safeguarding the health of IT environments and maximizing the ROI of their clients’ IT budgets, MSPs are responsible for increasing the business efficiency and profitability of the organizations they serve. This relationship often starts with the implied trust of a customer that their MSP will deliver as promised in the sales cycle, and as time rolls by, that trust becomes more tangible based on the actual experience with their MSP.

As this trust grows, so does your responsibility as your clients' MSP. One area that you have significant influence over is the handling and protection of your clients' greatest business asset: their data. This trust is at its apex in the delivery of completely reliable and modern backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

4 Benefits of BDR Powered by Continuous Data Protection

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 10, 2016

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There’s no denying the importance of effective backup and data protection technology in today’s IT landscape. Ensuring that customer information is properly protected – and accessible at all times – is an absolute necessity.

For Managed IT Services Providers (MSPs), the challenge lies in finding the right backup technology that can give them even a slight edge against the competition. True to its name, Continuous Data Protection (CDP) technology can provide exactly that. Here's how.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Which RAID Setups are Most Compatible with Your Backup Solution?

Posted by Joseph Tavano on November 10, 2016

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One of the more technical features of Continuity247® is the flexibility it affords in terms of RAID options for its backup appliance.

For the less technically savvy, RAID is an acronym for a redundant array of independent (or, inexpensive) disks, which affords benefits in terms of performance and redundancy by placing data across multiple disk drives instead of just one. Depending on how they are configured between a variety of disk striping and mirroring techniques, RAIDs can have a variety of benefits useful to the overall performance and stability of a system.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Podcast

11 Ongoing, Tedious Backup Tasks Your Techs Are Sick of

Posted by Mary McCoy on November 2, 2016

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How much time do your technicians spend managing backups for each client?

It's easily a full-time job, and yet, maybe only represents a small fraction of their responsibilities. For most MSPs, backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is just one of many offerings in their service portfolios. Clients rely on your round-the-clock technical support to power their businesses. You provide the peace of mind that the entirety of their IT environment remains secure, efficient and online. Understandably, this level of service can result in long hours and overworked technicians.

But what tasks actually consume so much of their time and effort and how much of it is avoidable? With a booming BDR market and the need for constant data accessibility, you certainly don't want technician bandwidth to be a hindrance to the growth of your business continuity services. Instead, think about how you can more efficiently support this offering internally. You should ask yourself if any of your techs are forced to carry out these 11 times, and more importantly, what this could mean for your business.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Hiring and Recruiting, Continuity247, Workforce Optimization and Employee Retention

Using Backup Verification to Strengthen Client Communications

Posted by Joseph Tavano on November 2, 2016

You have backup verification with your BDR platform, but how are you using it to strengthen your client relationships and grow your business?

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

Why Small Medical Practices Struggle with HIPAA Compliance [CHART]

Posted by Lily Teplow on October 21, 2016

Why Small Medical Practices Struggle with HIPAA Compliance.jpgDo you serve clients in the healthcare industry? As their MSP, you’re well aware that these organizations have a responsibility to their customers and patients to maintain the security of their data – which means that they must be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant. HIPAA has completely changed the way electronic medical and health records are created, received, modified, transmitted or stored, yet many practices still struggle to become and remain HIPAA compliant. Not only do they face exorbitant fines for violating HIPAA law, healthcare companies also can’t afford to lose clients’ trust in their ability to safeguard patient information. So how can your managed IT services help them do just that?

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Healthcare IT, MSP Sales Chart

5 Ways to Maximize the ROI from Your Continuum Partnership

Posted by Brent Whitfield on October 20, 2016

As CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc., I've been providing IT support in Los Angeles since 1993. Central to our managed IT services solution for almost 10 years, Continuum's IT management platform has helped us transform our business growth. After being recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP Mentor and featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business, partners are always asking me how we do it. In fact, the topic is so popular it was one of the top 10 rated sessions at Navigate 2016! Well, the secret to getting more out of your Continuum partnership really all starts with applying the following five best practices: 

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management, Network Operations Center

Use Backup Verification to Build Client Confidence

Posted by Joseph Tavano on October 19, 2016

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Backup Verification is more than just another status report—it can prove the value of your business and differentiate you from your competition. Here are a few ways to get started talking about it with your clients.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247, Podcast

How to Ensure Disaster Readiness as Hurricane Matthew Approaches

Posted by Mary McCoy on October 6, 2016

How to Ensure Disaster Readiness as Hurricane Matthew Approaches
Hurricane Matthew is expected to make U.S. landfall starting today continuing into the weekend, with forecasters predicting it will strengthen to a Category 4 storm by the time it hits the Southeast. If you're an MSP operating in Florida, coastal Georgia or the Carolinas, now's the time to reach out to clients and enact your business continuity plans.

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Topics: Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

4 Simple Steps to Evaluating Cloud IaaS

Posted by Meg Swanson on October 4, 2016

When you make decisions about extending your infrastructure footprint into the cloud, you do so very intentionally. You hunt down analyst reports, ask peers for recommendations, and seek out quantitative research to compare the seemingly endless array of cloud-based options. But how can you be sure that you’re getting the most relevant information for your business case?

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Continuity247

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of September 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on September 30, 2016

Autumn is officially in full swing! But before we break out the Halloween decorations, let’s take a look back at the MSP blog posts you couldn’t get enough of this past month! We covered a lot in September, including inbound marketing best practices, how to sell your managed IT services, MSP pricing and much more! Here’s a roundup of the top five posts:

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Help Desk, Pricing and Packaging

From Ants in Your Scanner to Printer Troubleshooting: How Our Help Desk Absorbs Daily Customer Support

Posted by Mary McCoy on September 6, 2016

Are your technicians on call around the clock, working nights, weekends and holidays? Are they forced to field tickets that are a waste of their valuable time and talents? You know which ones I'm talking about: password resets, new user set-ups and even the occasional printer troubleshoot. Fortunately, our partners don't have to sweat these low value, time-consuming tasks. With Level 1 and 2 support available during business hours, after hours, or with 24x7 coverage, our U.S.-based Help Desk and its 190+ certified technicians absorb all of these demands. 

But just what kind of requests have they freed our MSP partners from having to handle in-house? We asked a few of our Help Desk technicians to recount some of their more memorable client tickets for your reading pleasure. Here are 5 tedious and mundane tasks our Help Desk took off partners' hands last month:

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Topics: Help Desk, Customer Service

4 Overlooked But Proven Methods for Nailing Your Next Quarterly Business Review (QBR)

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on September 1, 2016

When done right, quarterly business reviews (QBRs) provide you the opportunity to demonstrate the value of your managed IT services, advise and upsell clients on new or unused technology and support, assess overall client satisfaction and more. But before you even meet with clients, you need to put together a game plan for how you'll conduct your QBRs. Otherwise, this sometimes rare opportunity to reconnect with customers and strengthen existing relationships can deteriorate into the kind of "kicking the tires" conversation that's a waste of everyone's time. To prevent this and get the most out of your next round of business reviews, here are four often overlooked essentials that I've had success with in my own experience as an MSP.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Customer Service

The Internet of Things and Untapped MSP Opportunities

Posted by Joseph Tavano on August 24, 2016

How can MSPs gain traction in new areas of technology, such as the Internet of Things? Intel's Eric Townsend sits down with Nate Teplow and Joe Tavano to talk about this, the MSP channel, and much more.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Podcast, Internet of Things

Are You using a Smart RMM Platform?

Posted by Joseph Tavano on August 18, 2016

MSPs know a thing or two about alerts; they are a perennial hallmark of remote monitoring platforms. Alerts are what give MSPs insight into the networks they service and inform them on what needs attention.

But as an MSP business grows and the number of endpoints that are covered expands, the number of alerts generated can wind up being overwhelming.

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management, Network Operations Center

How to Discuss (and Sell) Cloud Services to SMBs

Posted by Joseph Tavano on August 17, 2016

What are SMBs looking for when they say they're interested in cloud services? Chris Rimer of IBM sits down with Nate Teplow and Joe Tavano to discuss this and much more.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Podcast

3 Factors to Consider When Evaluating RMM Providers

Posted by Joseph Tavano on August 11, 2016

In the business of remote monitoring and management (RMM), it seems like there are new options in the marketplace every year. Solutions, platforms, features, and integrations are released, re-named, re-aligned and re-branded to increase adoption in the channel. However, if you’re an MSP who’s in the market to choose an RMM provider (or switch to a new one), it can be overwhelming to sort through it all.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Remote Monitoring and Management, Network Operations Center

Why You Need to Offer 24x7x365 IT Support

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on August 10, 2016

If you're an MSP and you’re not providing 24x7x365 IT support, you're cheating your clients out of services they really need to keep their businesses afloat and stay productive.

Still, many MSPs only offer 9am-5pm Monday-Friday coverage over round-the-clock managed IT services. Why? More often than not, MSPs favor extending the support window, but simply don’t have the bandwidth or internal resources needed. Rather than stretch yourself and your technicians thin, you’re forced into only providing coverage during normal week day business hours.

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management, Help Desk, Customer Service

IT & MSPs: Does It Make Sense to Build It All Yourself?

Posted by George Bardissi on August 4, 2016


When I first started my MSP back in the early 2000’s the “guys” that were really progressive were renting data-center space, installing servers, managing the back-end and providing hosted solutions to their customers – all before the marketing term “cloud” even picked up traction. Back then, not many businesses were willing to go down this road on their own because it was a massive investment of time and capital. Moreover, ongoing labor was needed to make that happen, and many were still concentrated on on-prem solutions.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing, Navigate 2016

Social Media Phishing (and How to Teach your Clients about it)

Posted by Joseph Tavano on July 27, 2016

It's not enough to set up security software. Your clients need your expertise, experience, and training to understand the full spectrum of security threats. Here are a few ways to get started.

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Topics: Cybersecurity and Threat Management, Podcast, Managed Security Services

5 Guidelines to Crafting a Strong Service Level Agreement

Posted by Lauren Peyton on July 26, 2016

A well-written service level agreement (SLA) can protect your MSP business from legal action, as well as ensure that you and your clients share a common understanding of service expectations. SLAs form the foundation that is necessary in building strong client relationships, so it’s essential that they are clear and well-constructed.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Level Agreement

HIPAA 2016 - New Audits Under Way

Posted by Mary Crogan on July 21, 2016

According to HealthcareInfoSecurity.com, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which is responsible for HIPAA enforcement, has launched phase two of their HIPAA Audit Program in an effort to review the policies and procedures adopted by covered entities and their business associates.

If the OCR auditors come knocking, will you and/or your clients be ready?

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Topics: Industry News, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

Why HIPAA Compliance is the Next Big Revenue Opportunity for MSPs

Posted by Joseph Tavano on July 20, 2016

While HIPAA Compliance and Security a big buzzwords these days, there is actually a massive opportunity out there for MSPs to re-position their business to offer both security and compliance services to the SMB market. But how can you be sure it’s worth the time investment?

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Topics: HIPAA, Podcast

Data Casualties in Healthcare Cyber Attacks [CHART]

Posted by Mary McCoy on July 15, 2016

Do you have any upcoming, in-person meetings with prospects in the healthcare vertical that you're hoping to close into clients? If so, you're probably working out your plan of attack. Distributing printed collateral is smart, but I recommend you also develop a formal, company-branded presentation that draws your audience in. In developing the content for your deck, keep it as customer-centric as possible. What's going to resonate with the audience you pitch to? What do they need to know in order to understand the value of your managed IT services?

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Data Protection, Information Security, Healthcare IT, MSP Sales Chart

Top 3 Onboarding Pitfalls to Avoid

Posted by Michael Lannon on July 14, 2016


Sometimes the smallest changes have the biggest impact. This is especially true when it comes to your client onboarding program. I’ve personally noticed it’s possible to reduce churn simply by standardizing an email address and signature, or adding an extra qualifying stage. Below are the top three onboarding pitfalls I’ve recognized throughout the years and how to avoid them.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Customer Service, Client Acquisition and Management

HIPAA Business Associate Violation Results in $650K Fine

Posted by Mary McCoy on July 7, 2016

The HIPAA Security Rule is in full effect! The first Business Associate HIPAA penalty made news Tuesday, following a data breach incident two years prior. Who's atoning for this cardinal data sin? The Catholic Health Care Services (CHCS) of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization now forced to pay a $650,000 fine. As a business associate legally obligated to adhere to federal regulation, CHCS is being held financially responsible for the breach of six nursing facilities, compromising 412 patients' Protected Health Information (PHI).

While many MSPs are compelled and encouraged to meet the demand for HIPAA compliance by serving the lucrative healthcare vertical, let this ruling serve as a wake-up call that there are costly consequences when MSPs themselves aren't compliant. What led to this unprecedented turn of events, and how can you prevent your MSP practice from suffering the same fate? Here's the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, our data breach MSP debrief!

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Topics: Industry News, Information Security, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Healthcare IT, Data Loss

Ransomware Meets Healthcare: How We Protect Patient Data

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on July 6, 2016

This month a hacker with the handle "Dark Overlord" has been making news after successfully stealing thousands of healthcare records and holding them for ransom. According to Boing Boing, Dark Overlord was able to acquire 48,000 records from a healthcare organization in Farmington, Missouri; hundreds of thousands from Atlanta, Georgia and the Central/Midwest US as well as nine million patient insurance details. As if that weren't enough, on Tuesday the notorious hacker also stole the information of 34,000 New York healthcare patients. And just what kind of payout is up for grabs for greedy ransomware authors looking to exploit healthcare institutions? Dark Overlord is demanding 750 Bitcoin (or $513,682.50)! So what does this mean for MSPs?

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Topics: Data Protection, HIPAA, Healthcare IT, Continuity247

10 Mistakes to Avoid with Your MSP Service Delivery

Posted by Charles Love on June 30, 2016


When it comes to IT service delivery there is a lot that can either go right or wrong. An optimal client experience can increase retention rates and the average lifetime value of a customer. One single negative client experience, however, can send customers into the arms of your fiercest competitor. So how can we prevent this from happening? How can you create a culture of client satisfaction for your whole MSP operation and enhance service delivery? Eschewing these 10 common pitfalls is a start...

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Customer Service

From the Backup Archives: 5 Must-Read BDR Blog Posts

Posted by Mike Wojcik on June 20, 2016

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is like life-insurance for a small business. Outages can be costly, and it is up to MSPs to ensure that their clients are protected in case of a data disaster. With cyber threats becoming more and more prevalent, BDR is a front-of-mind issue for MSPs. Side note: that's why we have a whole session devoted to marketing and selling BDR at our annual user conference, Navigate, which kicks off in 100 days!

With the lucrative potential involved with adding business continuity as a revenue stream, what better time for us to head into the Backup Archive and dig out these must-read blog posts on BDR? These articles cover a wide range of topics, including fully-managed BDR solutions, business continuity planning, the advantages of cloud computing and more. So dive in and make sure your clients are doing the most they can to keep their information safe and secure! 

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Topics: Data Protection, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Client Onboarding Tips for a Successful and Seamless Transition

Posted by Michael Lannon on June 16, 2016

When acquiring a new client, the first 90 days is the most crucial period in ensuring their success with your managed IT services. Communication, support, and training during this time will set the tone for a successful and rewarding relationship and help drive future opportunities. However, without a solid onboarding foundation you risk confusing and even losing that new client. Here are a few things I’ve learned to help you create a successful onboarding program.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Customer Service, Client Acquisition and Management

MSP Service Delivery: How to Go the Extra Mile

Posted by Charles Love on June 7, 2016


Service delivery is just like the Force: We all have it in us, but some are stronger with it than others.

As the Director of Service Delivery for Untangled Solutions in California, I’ve been closely involved with the IT service delivery business since 1997, back before the days of “the cloud” or “managed services.” It was a vastly different world back then, with real live modems and without Google. My kids, who freak out when they can’t download hundreds of photos from Imgur in a second, don’t know how good they have it.

But the principles of service delivery remain similar, and one key consideration remains the same: the importance of going the extra mile. In this article, I won’t go into the bits and bytes or blinking lights of service delivery, but instead will focus on business principles that will empower you and your team for great things.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Customer Service

Watch These People Try to Explain the Cloud [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on June 3, 2016

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The cloud can be a mysterious and confusing concept, even for those in tech and IT services. And while there’s no denying the advantages presented by cloud computing, it’s not always easy to actually explain what the cloud is to colleagues, peers or potential customers.

To find out once and for all what the cloud actually is, our own Brody Rhombus hit the streets of Boston and asked people how they define it, how it works and how they’re using it. Not surprisingly, the responses were pretty mixed – and some were pretty hilarious. Tune in now to find out what we learned!

P.S. In reality, these people are no different than your clients and end users. If you're trying to sell cloud-based IT services and solutions, you need to know how to effectively define your offerings and speak their language. If you’re looking for real advice on how to explain cloud computing to your prospects and customers, check out our eBook below.

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Topics: Data Protection, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, IT Community

Top 3 Questions MSPs Have About HIPAA Compliance

Posted by Nick Bruno on June 1, 2016

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance is a complex, but critical issue for many businesses. For many of these businesses who outsource their IT management needs, the onus for ensuring HIPAA compliance falls on these managed services providers (MSPs), like yourself. Your clients in the healthcare industry will likely pepper you with lots of questions and concerns around staying HIPAA compliant and avoiding the costly consequences of a HIPAA violation.

Here are the three most commonly asked questions about HIPAA compliance for MSPs. 

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

HIPAA Compliance Checklist - Updated for 2016

Posted by Gareth Goh on May 20, 2016

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance is designed to protect patient privacy and set standards for how medical records can be shared and how they must be safeguarded. HIPAA compliance isn’t just for those directly within the healthcare industry, however - in fact, nearly anyone dealing with electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) including doctors, hospital technicians and yes, the healthcare Managed IT Services Providers (MSPs) who manage hospital computers and networks in the cloud are required to be HIPAA compliant.

What does that mean for YOU?

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Topics: Industry News, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

Why Office Equipment Dealerships Should Sell Managed IT Services

Posted by Brandon Garcin on May 19, 2016

The technology needs of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are evolving. The introduction of cloud computing, unprecedented access to web-based solutions and software, and an increasing reliance on outsourcing of core services are all changing the way SMBs conduct business today.

Emerging technologies have developed so quickly, however, that the market is already becoming saturated and solutions are commoditizing. The SMB challenge now lies in identifying which specific services and partnerships are best-suited to
help them achieve business goals and objectives. 

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Topics: Office Equipment

How to Improve Your SLAs with More Precise Terms

Posted by Charles Love on May 13, 2016

Let’s talk about those dreaded service-level agreement (SLA) terms you agree to with your customers. You know, the topics and terms that can lead to very heated discussions in industry peer groups. This is such a contentious issue because everyone views them differently and has a different and usually strong opinion on them.

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Topics: Network Operations Center, Help Desk, Customer Service

4 Types of Content that Boost Customer Retention

Posted by Ben Austin on May 6, 2016

“If you don’t know what you want, you will be unlikely to get it.” -Ben Horowitz-

The first step is determining what “customer success” looks like in your organization. You need to understand who is responsible for customer satisfaction (likely everyone in your organization), what metrics are most indicative of success in your organization, and how you can incentivize those responsible for driving customer growth based on those metrics or goals.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service

3 Ways Clients Can Assist Your Tech Support Team

Posted by Matt Mainhart on April 29, 2016

As your technicians will likely attest to, providing technical support is a two-way street. When clients request your IT services, they can expedite the process and allow your staff to efficiently work toward a resolution. IT technicians aren't mind readers. When clients hop on the phone or submit a ticket, these techs need to be able to understand and recreate the issue in their minds. They need direction before they can begin to fix the problem. 

So how can you help end users work alongside your support team to close out tickets in optimal time? Here's the next round of tech quick tips. View the client-facing content below, and then download for your own marketing needs!

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Topics: Customer Service, Client Quick Tips

4 Can't-Ignore Steps to Mastering Your MSP Vertical

Posted by Mike Barnes on April 27, 2016


In Which of These 3 MSP Pricing Strategies is Right for You?, I explained the types of pricing packages available to MSPs, how to choose a pricing package that works best for you and how to fit it into your existing model. Now let’s look at an area that can be the source of a new revenue stream: positioning your MSP as a vertical market specialist.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, HIPAA, Healthcare IT, Navigate 2016

Managed IT & Cloud Services Marketing: Navigating the Buyer's Journey

Posted by Todd Hussey on April 22, 2016

Now that you have transformed your premise-based IT solutions to the cloud, and your product-focused business to a recurring revenue services model, there is one more transformation you must make. You must transform your marketing approach in order to attract and engage new prospective buyers of your cloud services.

To compete effectively in the age of digital marketing, it is vital that you fully leverage your website as a vehicle to find, nurture, qualify and convert new opportunities for your cloud solutions. Your website is a powerful asset that can function as a sales and marketing engine to drive new deals at a very low cost of acquisition - assuming you know a few basic principles of online marketing.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, Cloud Computing

When Technicians Throw Your CSAT Score a Curve Ball...

Posted by David Russell on April 21, 2016

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Fred Wannabe started his day by calling one of his first clients. He wanted to confirm their satisfaction with the work a technician had completed onsite at their location the day before. What he heard almost made him vomit... 

Fred is a seasoned veteran of the computer industry. He founded his managed IT services business as a break/fix PC repair shop more than 10 years ago. His company has done okay, but lately he's decided to accelerate growth and profits. The business had leveled off. Things had become a bit stale and employees were less engaged than in the past. He wanted a change.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Customer Service

Change How You Measure These 3 Managed IT Services Benchmarks!

Posted by Ray Vrabel on April 13, 2016

Looking to change how you measure company benchmarks, specifically when it comes to techs, salespeople and help desk staff? If you think you can use the same measurement tools you were using before you implemented a managed IT services model, then you are doing yourself – and your employees and customers – a disservice.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Sales and Marketing, Help Desk

3 Ways to Stay Secure When Using the Cloud

Posted by Matt Mainhart on March 30, 2016

Last month, I wrote a blog post about how to better understand the cloud, what it is and what it does. This time, I'm covering how your clients can stay secure once they move to the cloud. Having the ability to connect from anywhere certainly has its advantages, but only if potential security risks are managed and thwarted. Do your clients know how to keep themselves and their company data safe in the cloud? Share these useful tips to help ease their transition and demonstrate your authority as their strategic business advisor!

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Topics: Tech Quick Tips, Cloud Computing, Client Quick Tips

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of February 2016

Posted by Lily Teplow on March 1, 2016

Spring is in the air, folks! Although most of us won’t miss the icy weather and all that snow, let’s take a look back on the month of February to recap our most read MSP blog posts. We covered a lot of topics this past month, including how to protect clients against Locky ransomware, a breakdown of the three main pricing packages and the difference between a fully-managed help desk and a network operations center (NOC). We even put a managed IT services twist on some of our favorite romantic comedies!

So without further ado, here are the top 5 MSP blog posts our readers couldn’t get enough of this February!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Data Protection, Network Operations Center, Help Desk

Helping Clients Understand Cloud Computing and Cloud Technology

Posted by Matt Mainhart on February 17, 2016

What is the cloud? Does my data really sit on fluffy white clouds and float above the world? What happens when an airplane drives through my spreadsheet, or a bird gets stuck in my document?

The scope of cloud technology and cloud computing is growing, as is its adoption. Your prospects and clients could be using it right now and not even know it. When working with the right IT services provider, cloud technology helps small-to-medium-sized businesses scale up the IT needs of their companies much faster than setting up new hardware.

But what does this term “cloud” mean to your clients?

We wrote a whole eBook about how to explain the cloud to your clients, but here are four quick tips to help them better understand the role the cloud plays in their workday. Download our white label version at the end to use in your next email send!

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Topics: Sales and Marketing, Cloud Computing, Client Quick Tips

What's the Future of the MSP in a Cloud World?

Posted by Geoff McQueen, CEO of Accelo on February 16, 2016

After years of hyperbole and derision, most technology professionals would now agree that the cloud has moved well beyond the hype curve and is now firmly in the heart of the industry - and will, along with mobile, be the dominant force shaping our sector for the foreseeable future.

Just as the likes of Dell eroded the profit margins of VARs in the late 90's and helped create the MSP revolution, the direct-service SaaS model of products like Office365 promises to disrupt the MSP business model in the years to come.

After working with hundreds of MSPs around the world from my base in the heart of tech disruption here in San Francisco, I've identified a number of patterns that smart MSPs are getting out in front of - while none of us have a crystal ball, I hope these are useful for you and your business!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Cloud Computing

How to Get Technician Buy-In for an Outsourced Network Operations Center (NOC)

Posted by Matthew Waters on February 11, 2016

Have you considered changing your managed IT services business model to cut and smooth labor expenses, thereby growing profit margins? If you have, you've likely thought about the advantages of working with a Network Operations Center (NOC), a team of highly certified technicians and engineers that you pay a monthly fixed cost for. This all sounds good, right? Unfortunately, not everyone at your company may be as easily sold. Your technicians may feel threatened that they'll be let go and replaced with this new team of experts. How do you get past this? Luckily, I've talked to many partners who've been able to with remarkable success!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Network Operations Center

What is the Difference between a Fully-Managed Help Desk and Network Operations Center (NOC)?

Posted by Lily Teplow on February 4, 2016

It can be difficult to manage technical support and front-line user support inhouse, so many MSPs look to third-party options and offerings to help absorb some of these tasks. When doing so, it's important to know the difference between an outsourced Network Operations Center (NOC) and Help Desk in a fully-managed - meaning support is integrated with your IT management platform - business model. So what is the main difference? A fully-managed help desk is where all the end-client interaction takes place, whereas a fully-managed NOC provides back-end maintenance, problem resolution and support for the MSP.

Let’s examine both solutions more closely.

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management, Network Operations Center, Help Desk

3 Myths About Outsourcing That Are Slowing You Down

Posted by Shannon Mayer on January 8, 2016

In our last “Better Call an MSP" post, Ray discussed how to mitigate the damage when malware and viruses attack. This time, let’s discuss something that too often has had a negative connotation surrounding it—outsourcing. I really think this is an area that many MSPs are overlooking, as I argue in this post. Here are some of the most common myths about outsourcing and why you should consider this approach as you continue to grow and scale your business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Network Operations Center

Do You Spend Too Much Time and Money Maintaining Your Managed IT Services Tools?

Posted by Ben Barker on January 7, 2016

People use tools to make their jobs easier. A carpenter might use a SKILSAW to more easily complete a project, a director may take advantage of an Arri 35mm camera to shoot a movie and you might seek out remote monitoring and management (RMM) software to more easily monitor your clients' endpoints. When these tools work properly, you are able to complete projects much more effectively than you would be able to without them. But what happens when things go wrong?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Remote Monitoring and Management, Network Operations Center

The Top 3 Verticals to Pursue in 2016

Posted by Ben Barker on December 28, 2015

The Top 3 Verticals to Pursue in 2016

With a new year comes new opportunities. As an MSP, you've probably evaluated the services and pricing that you'll offer your clients and prospects in 2016. Of course, the hope is that each year will bring more success than the last. So what else can you do to make sure that your company sees growth over the next 12 months? If you're a member of a peer group, like HTG, you probably already know that many MSPs hone in on specific verticals and really strive to dominate those spaces. This is a surefire way to make 2016 a year to remember. But how do you know which verticals to target?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Data Protection, Healthcare IT

5 Ways Your Healthcare Clients Can Avoid a Data Breach

Posted by Mary Crogan on December 24, 2015

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A HIPAA risk assessment helps you identify potential issues and the steps you can take on behalf of your healthcare clients to reduce the risk of a data breach. But is it enough, does the statute and the assessment framework cover all of the potential threats? The answer is no.

A reader commented on a recent blog post, stating that “HIPAA consulting is about avoiding fines" whereas "security consulting, separate from HIPAA, is about keeping your data from being exposed.” As a managed IT services provider, it’s up to you to think beyond HIPAA compliance measures and ensure your healthcare clients and their data are truly protected.

Here are 5 recommendations you can share that not only help prevent a data breach, but demonstrate your value and reinforce your role as your clients' trusted IT advisor:

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Topics: Data Protection, Information Security, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

Top 2016 Cloud Computing Predictions Straight from IT Experts

Posted by Mary McCoy on December 21, 2015

Before you hunker down to watch the ball drop with noisemakers (man, those things are annoying) and a bottle of bubbly this New Years Eve, consider that 90% of organizations surveyed in the 2015 State of the Cloud Survey by RightScale are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service. Clearly, cloud computing adoption is on the rise, but what's in store for 2016 and what can MSPs do about it?

Louis Armstrong reminds us of the cloud every year when he croons "I see trees of green, and clouds of white," but we wanted to dive deeper into the cloud discussion. We asked a slew of IT experts what they expected and compiled their answers here!

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Explaining the Advantages of Cloud Computing

Posted by Mary McCoy on December 17, 2015

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So you're trying to get existing or prospective clients to move to the cloud, but they're skeptical and resist. Perhaps they think cloud computing and cloud storage are just some fad that will disappear as fast as it rolled in. Sure, the cloud has become a bit of a buzzword, but that's because those who use it rarely understand what it actually is or does. It's as mystical to them as a unicorn galloping in a forest while pigs fly overhead.

In order to convince more businesses to move to the cloud, you have to convince them of its business value.

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Topics: Information Security, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery

Don’t Abandon Your SLA. Sharpen IT!

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on December 2, 2015

Don’t Abandon Your Service Level Agreement (SLA). Sharpen IT!

image source: http://filmschoolrejects.com/features/oral-history-tommy-boy.php

I recently read Joe Panettieri's Channel E2E article which questioned if MSPs should abandon their service level agreements (SLAs). He cites a thesis from TruMethods Owner Gary Pica and CTO Bob Penland, which argues that MSPs should focus less on their SLA guarantees to customers and more on their proactive support and care. The two argue that SLAs are often used to prove how good MSPs are "in reactive mode," which isn't good enough.

Now, I will concede that the principle behind this theory is one I agree with. By offering threat detection and monitoring services, I'm able to reduce the number of tickets that a customer generates, thus avoiding costly downtime and demonstrating that I'm able to expertly prevent problems from developing into huge issues. Also, by maintaining the health of client endpoints, servers and networks, my team is able to deliver faster resolution times that keep clients happy, all while driving our own business costs down.

But my customers still need to know how quickly my team and I will respond when an issue does occur and be reassured of how effectively we'll serve them. The same applies for you and your MSP business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Customer Service

Healthcare is in Dire Need of HIPAA Compliant MSPs

Posted by J. David Sims on November 23, 2015

Healthcare is in Dire Need of HIPAA Compliant MSPs


In a recent KPMG survey of 223 healthcare executives, a full 80 percent stated that their information technology had been compromised by cyber attacks.

Let’s think about this for two seconds… 80 percent!!! Possibly, a portion of the remaining 20 percent had not yet known that they were a part of the 80 percent. After all, how many clients have you taken on only to find that their network was being compromised or had been compromised?

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Topics: Information Security, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

Making the Leap to Managed IT Services: MSPradio 68

Posted by Nate Teplow on November 18, 2015

A lot of companies recognize the opportunity to offer managed IT services to their clients, but that transition is easier said than done. There's a lot you need to consider, including new technology, new training, organizational changes and more.

On this episode of MSPradio, we chat with Milton Bartley, CEO, President & Co-Founder of ImageQuest, about how he has been able to successfully reposition his office equipment business into a true technology solution provider.

Tune in now to learn how you can effectively and successfully make the leap to managed IT services!

Have any thoughts to share or want to be on an upcoming show? Email us at mspradio@continuum.net

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Office Equipment, Podcast

Confessions of a Formerly Burned-Out Technician

Posted by Tonya Barnett on November 17, 2015

I started my IT career as a technician, originally working in a high volume call center-type help desk, and then later moving to a desktop support/system admin position for a local IT company closer to home. Within a few years, I found myself at a dead end with no vertical movement within the company. I was not learning anymore, as each person had a niche and refused to train anyone else on that product, which left me and my fellow technicians feeling rather bored with large gaps in our trainings. I enjoyed my job, but my growth was stagnant, and I wasn't being challenged with any new issues. Can any of you relate?

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management, Help Desk

VIDEO: The Great Cloud Debate 2015

Posted by Tim Lewis on November 10, 2015

The presidential primary debate season is well underway with another Republican debate taking place tonight – and while we’re not expecting the candidates to spend too much time focusing on IT, there’s no shortage of tech issues to debate today.

In the spirit of the political season, we’ve put together our own debate around one of today’s leading IT topics – the cloud. Watch below as public, private and hybrid clouds each make their case for why they should be the go-to platform of choice and debate the merits of their respective architectures!

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Topics: Information Security, Cloud Computing, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Video

How to Offer Disruptive Telecom Technology & Attract More Clients

Posted by George Bardissi on October 26, 2015

The abundance of telecommunications technologies available at our fingertips enables even the smallest of businesses to communicate at an enterprise level. That is, with the features afforded by today’s IP-enabled phone systems, business leaders can communicate faster, more frequently and over a myriad of channels.

As an IT/Managed Services Provider (MSP), you need to be able to cater to your customers with the technology that you offer. Imagine, a fledgling startup that needs to stay connected with its new slew of vendors, as well as maintain relationships with potential stakeholders. With a legacy PBX (that takes up dedicated office space and transmits phone calls over copper wires), this business owner might have significant trouble staying abreast of rapid updates and managing a large influx of calls and messages. One dedicated office phone line and an archaic receiver and dial pad isn’t enough to help this entrepreneur stay afloat.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Navigate 2015, Telecom

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

Posted by Mary McCoy on October 8, 2015

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.

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management, Network Operations Center

The Do's and Don'ts of Help Desk Customer Service

Posted by Madelyn Newman on October 7, 2015

Your customers are the key to your success. Without happy customers, your business is doomed from the start. How can you keep clients engaged and business booming? The key is great customer service, and your first line of defense is a top-of-the-line help desk.

By providing your IT help desk with the right tools to be successful, you’ll build stronger relationships and establish yourself as a trusted advisor. Developing the proper skill set in your help desk isn’t always easy, but by empowering your team with these best practices, you’ll ensure spot-on customer service at all times.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts that will empower your help desk to provide excellent service all the time.

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Topics: Help Desk, Customer Service, Navigate 2015

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of September

Posted by Lily Teplow on October 1, 2015


To me, October has always seemed like the hallmark of autumn. I'll bet that if you walk into your local supermarket, you'll find that everything has become pumpkin flavored, and Halloween decorations have already taken over isle 5. With the first of October already upon us, it's the perfect time to recap our most read MSPblog posts of September!

From marketing your services to clients, to reducing technician turnover, we've covered a lot of topics this past month. Start your autumn off right with this roundup of our top 5 blog posts from September. Enjoy!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Sales and Marketing, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

How Using Pre-Built Scripts Helps MSPs Deliver Quicker Remediation

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on September 17, 2015


When providing end user support either remotely or onsite often times, your end users encounter similar troubles day in and day out. It's just a different set of circumstances - the names have been changed but the problems remain the same. 
 

As your client base increases and you continue to encounter these recurring issues, time becomes more of a premium. To be a successful managed services provider, you have to offer quick remediation. 

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management, Network Operations Center

So You Think You Know HIPAA, Huh? Answer These 10 Questions!

Posted by Mary McCoy on September 3, 2015


HIPAA. It's that acronym you always want to spell with two P's even though you know it stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The law has been around since 1996, but as our digital footprint grows, so do new rules and compliance regulations. That's where MSPs factor in. Healthcare organizations need the strictest security standards and HIPAA-compliant data protection. Are you capitalizing on this market need? Whether you're already serving the healthcare vertical or considering following in the footsteps of successful IT solutions providers before you and offering compliant services, you and your employees should know the ins and outs of HIPAA. It's time for a temperature check...

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Topics: HIPAA, Healthcare IT

5 Principles of Effective Help Desk Management

Posted by Madelyn Newman on August 31, 2015


Face it: your help desk is the face of your company. It's step one for customers looking for answers to their immediate questions, whether big or small. Your customer service is typically judged on clients’ help desk interactions, so you can’t afford to let things slide.

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Topics: Help Desk, Navigate 2015

5 Cases of Companies that Successfully Pivoted Business Models

Posted by Mary McCoy on July 21, 2015

(and one case of a well-known brand that failed to stay relevant with the changing times)

Does your business model make sense? Just because it did at one time doesn't mean it still does now. No one understands this better than these five companies that went back to the drawing board to reestablish their claim on their respective markets, or those markets they broke into as a result of recognizing a different need that their products or services could solve. As MSPs, it may be time to rethink the way you do business.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Network Operations Center

3 Reasons Why MSPs Should Target Healthcare in 2016

Posted by Jon Senger on July 20, 2015

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As an MSP, you’re well acquainted with the daily challenges of managing your clients’ critical business solutions while also growing your own business. With the unrelenting grind to meet clients’ needs first, it’s sometimes only at industry events like Navigate that you have an opportunity to learn about new strategies that can help drive your business forward. Over the last year, I’ve focused my energies on growing my expertise in the healthcare field because of the increasing need healthcare providers now have to protect patient information due to the more stringent compliance requirements recently imposed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

As a growth-focused advisor to MSPs, here are the three key reasons why I view the healthcare industry as a major growth opportunity in 2016 and beyond:

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Topics: Navigate 2015, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

VIDEO: Escaping the JAWS of IT

Posted by Tim Lewis on July 7, 2015

Have you ever thought to yourself, I wonder what the movie Jaws would be like if it were about a virus and not a shark? So have we. To celebrate Shark Week, we decided to recreate the film's iconic town meeting scene, but with an IT twist. Join us as Chief Information Officer Brody Rhombus struggles to keep his office afloat after a horrifying virus attack endangers the livelihood of his clients' devices. In a role heralded by critics as "an unparalleled display of true acting grit," Glenn Barley reprises his role as Blake Break-Fix (Quint), a down-and-dirty Break-Fix type with a big head and a bad attitude. How will Brody handle this summer's scariest threat? Will the attacks continue? What will become of the end users of Amity Island?

Check out our latest cinematic masterpiece, and add "leverage the expertise and efficiency of a Network Operations Center (NOC)" to your MSP Summer BuckIT List!

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Topics: Network Operations Center, Video

Boosting Your MSP Business with Cloud PBX

Posted by George Bardissi on July 6, 2015

Over the course of the last decade we’ve seen a huge amount of change take place in the technology and telecommunications industries. A raft of new buzzwords have been introduced – the cloud, big data, etc. – and with them the need to better inform clients on how tech can help to change their business. For IT support companies, we’ve also seen a fundamental shift from the reactive break-fix model to the more proactive managed IT services.

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Topics: Navigate 2015, Telecom

Why Dunder Mifflin Should Have Offered Managed IT Services

Posted by Ben Barker on June 30, 2015

When you're running a business, you want to put yourself in the best possible position to succeed. Often times, opportunities to improve your business can go unnoticed. Not taking advantage of these opportunities can end up hurting you and possibly even running you out of business.

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Topics: Office Equipment

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of May 2015

Posted by Lily Teplow on June 2, 2015

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Now that all the May flowers are in full bloom, it's hard to believe that it's already June! A lot was covered on the MSPblog this past month, including myth-busting, tips on how to optimize service delivery, and even a tribute to Star Wars. To keep this spring from flying by too quickly, we thought we'd recap last month's top blog posts for you.

Here are May's must-reads!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Information Security, HIPAA, Cybersecurity and Threat Management

What Does It Mean To Be HIPAA Compliant?

Posted by J. David Sims on May 26, 2015

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If you’ve been around the IT business world, there’s an increasing likelihood that you’ve run across the term HIPAA or HIPAA Compliant.  Previously I wrote about how the healthcare IT niche is rapidly growing into the “next big thing” for MSPs. I also spoke about understanding the basics of HIPAA on a podcast episode with Nate Teplow. Now, I’d like to explore exactly what it means to be HIPAA compliant.

So what does this have to do with IT professionals?

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Topics: Data Protection, HIPAA, Healthcare IT

Telecoms: A Threat or Opportunity for MSPs?

Posted by Ray Vrabel on May 14, 2015

In last month’s “Better Call an MSP” blog post, I discussed how to manage potentially non-profitable clients. This month, I discuss concerns that I have recently been hearing within our industry on how telecommunications companies (or telecoms) are being deemed a threat to solution providers. Frankly, it has been my experience that MSPs do not need to feel threatened by telecoms, and if there is talk that telecoms are set to move into the managed services game, it won’t be for some time. Further, if this shift does gradually happen, there are ways that MSPs and telecoms can work together, rather than against each other. Check out some of the questions I have posed below that may help to ease concerns and generate potential opportunity.

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Topics: Telecom

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: The Benefits of Having Employees Identify with a Team

Posted by Ben Barker on May 5, 2015

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If you walked into your office and asked your employees what team they were on, what would they say? Would they reply with the name of your business? Would they even know how to answer? Having your employees identify with a team can be HUGELY beneficial to your business and the overall happiness of your employees. However, that team should not simply be the name of the company or an individual department. It should be more than that. Giving employees the chance to build team names, logos and personalities around the groups that they are working in can provide a stronger sense of identity and purpose behind their work.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Help Desk

5 Security and Compliance Issues and How to Approach Them: Navigate 2014 Panel Flashback

Posted by Mary McCoy on May 5, 2015

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If security is the responsibility of everyone within an organization, not just the MSP that's serving that business, how do you get your clients to take compliance regulations seriously? How does BYOD increase security risks in verticals like healthcare? What don't your clients understand about data storage and information sharing?

Last year at our inaugural user conference, Navigate, we assembled some of the brightest minds in IT security and compliance to answer these very questions. To get our partners excited about Navigate 2015 in Vegas, we're taking a look back at one of our most engaging panel discussions from the event. Even if you're not a partner, you'll want to learn how your MSP peers navigate this ever-changing dimension of managed IT services, especially if you're serving one of the main verticals.

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Topics: Information Security, Navigate 2015, HIPAA

RESULTS ARE IN: MSPs Would Rather...[Infographic]

Posted by Stephanie Moncayo on April 23, 2015

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If you subscribe to our blog or have it bookmarked, you may have seen our MSP edition of Would You Rather. We were overwhelmed by the amount of responses we received and knew we had to share! Between the two rounds, we asked you and your peers to answer sixteen questions, some proving more difficult to answer than others. After a whopping 1,400+ responses flooded in, we're excited to share the best results with the MSP community and encourage you to share with your networks! When it comes to mind-numbing IT tasks, nightmare-inducing cyber threats or time-consuming projects, how do you fair comparatively? The following infographic is just a snapshot of your daily life working in managed IT services, but we hope you enjoy!

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Topics: Help Desk

Would You Rather MSP Edition: Round 2

Posted by Stephanie Moncayo on April 17, 2015

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image source: http://samuraiminister.deviantart.com/art/Superman-vs-Captain-America-307327298

Last week’s MSP Edition of Would You Rather was a total success and we hope you enjoyed our questions as much as we enjoyed reviewing your answers. Shockingly enough, getting hit with a shovel was no big deal for a lot of you when you had to choose between that and getting hit with Cryptolocker. We'll recap the results from our first round of questions next week, but there's still more fun to be had! Are you ready to play Round 2?

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Help Desk

How You Can Benefit From Joining a Peer Group: MSPtv Episode 41

Posted by Tim Lewis on April 14, 2015

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Having the right resources to turn to is essential for you to succeed as a business. However, sometimes these resources just aren't enough. Maybe you've hit a wall - you're not sure what you can do to continue your business's success and growth. Have you thought of joining a peer group? Continuum partner and HTG member, Scott Spiro, President & CEO of Computer Solutions Group, joins us in the Boston studio to reaffirm that being a part of a peer group like HTG can significantly affect your business, and your well being, in a positive way. Tune in!

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Help Desk, Video

More Than Managing Clicks: 3 Essential Components of Managed Services for Copier Dealers

Posted by Juliana "JC" McKee on April 8, 2015

Being a copier dealership just isn’t the same in 2015. Whether we want to admit it or not, deep down, it’s a fact that all Office Equipment Dealers (OEDs) know all too well – and when I say deep down, I’m talking about the bottom line.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Office Equipment

Why Should OE Dealers Consider Managed IT Services? MSPtv Episode 38

Posted by Tim Lewis on March 10, 2015

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If you're still on the fence about adding managed IT services to your hardware-centric business, fear no more! The benefits greatly outweigh the disadvantages. However, it's not something you can just jump right into as an Office Equipment (OE) dealer or Telecom provider. The focus of a sales conversation can drastically change depending on who you're talking to. For example, an office manager may have different motives than a system administrator. Matt Hubbell, Senior Account Manager at Continuum, sits down with us to explain how to approach these different types of prospects, why you should consider adding managed IT services to your arsenal, and how to best retain your clients. Tune in! 


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Topics: Cloud Computing, Office Equipment, Video

The IT Opportunity for Office Equipment Dealers [eBook]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on February 19, 2015

For many office equipment dealers (OEDs) today, traditional lines of business involving hardware, toner, and paper are dwindling. Part of the problem is that over time, office equipment has become part of a much larger and more complex network environment – and SMBs are looking for a partner who can provide one-stop shopping and support across that entire environment. 

The good news for OEDs is that they’ve spent years nurturing relationships and developing large client bases – and today, they’re poised to move further into the network and take advantage of new business opportunities; particularly those that offer predictable recurring revenue, like managed IT services (also known as managed network services).

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Office Equipment

Congrats to Gordon Flesch - Winner of imageSource Magazine's 2014 Perfect Image Award

Posted by Nate Teplow on May 20, 2014

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From left to right: Michael Amiri (Continuum), Mitch Morgan (Growth Achievement Partners), Jeff Dotzler (Gordon Flesch), Chris Ryne (Growth Achievement Partners), Mark Connolly (Continuum)

Here at Continuum, we feel one of the greatest rewards is seeing our partners’ success with their own business goals. That’s one reason we’re so excited for the Gordon Flesch Company (GFC), an independent office technology solutions provider that was recently awarded the 2014 Perfect Image Award by imageSource Magazine. This endorsement is issued as recognition of outstanding excellence in office technology and solutions; GVC won in the Outstanding Managed Services Program category.

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Industry News, Office Equipment

ITEX 2014 Recap: MSP Awards, Cloud Presentations, and More!

Posted by Nate Teplow on March 20, 2014

itex-show-gordon-flesch-image-logWhat happens in Vegas, doesn’t stay in Vegas where this team is concerned. We recently got back from an exciting three-day trip to Las Vegas for ITEX 2014, the premiere conference for office equipment dealers. The event took place March 11-13 at the Rio All-Suite Resort & Casino, where industry leaders met to share their thoughts and discuss the future of the OE industry. Continuum made a splash with presentations, awards, and tweet-worthy moments. Read more for our ITEX recap!

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Topics: Industry News, Office Equipment

MSPtv Episode 10: How Office Equipment Resellers Can Break Into Managed IT Services

Posted by Scott Glidden on January 3, 2014

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The managed services market is set to grow rapidly in 2014 and many office equipment resellers are looking to break into managed services as a way to grow their revenue stream. In this episode of MSPtv, Mark Connolly, Continumm's VP of Sales, sits down with Mitch Morgan and Chris Ryne of Growth Achievement Partners to discuss how office equipment providers can establish themselves in the managed services market and take advantage of such a quickly growing industry. 

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Topics: Office Equipment, Video

6 Points Your MSP Service Level Agreement Should Cover

Posted by Rob Autor on September 25, 2013

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A strong and comprehensive service-level agreement (SLA) is essential to the health of your MSP.  A well-written one can protect your MSP from legal action, misunderstandings, and client dissatisfaction.  A poorly-crafted one can expose you to costly complaints and lawsuits down the road. 

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Service Level Agreement

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