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

Posted March 7, 2017by Ben Barker

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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. 

Did you know that our partners report spending up to 50 percent of their time troubleshooting failed backups when using only internal support? Having to constantly figure out where, why and how backups have failed can be extremely time-consuming, and not to mention unpredictable. This challenge is exactly what we aimed to address in our recent webinar, Increase BDR Profitability and Win Big Business. BDR has become an essential MSP offering, but what are some obstacles in building a highly-profitable offering and how can MSPs overcome them and accelerate growth by leveraging a fully-managed BDR solution?

The Problem with Self-Managed Solutions

When you can't truly predict the amount of time and resources you'll have to spend on backups, you can't truly predict the profitability of your BDR contracts. One month, you could spend five hours of labor on backups. Another month, it could be closer to 20 hours, even with the same exact number of clients and employees. When the amount of time that you’re spending on backups increases, you can't exactly go back to that client and change the terms of the contract. 

Essentially, how much time your technicians are spending on backups comes down to two things:

1. How reliable is your BDR solution?

If your solution isn't 100 percent bulletproof, you're going to have to pull your technicians off of other jobs to support and troubleshoot failed backups. Who is going to pick up the slack on the projects that they’re putting on the back-burner? Having to juggle high-value projects along with tending to backup issues is not ideal for your technicians or your profitability.

2. How many clients are you managing?

Think about the number of clients you have right now and how much time you are spending working with their backups. What happens if you were to add 10 more clients tomorrow? Or 20 more? Your staff has a fixed labor capacity. Once you hit that capacity, plus one, you're forced to either hire a new technician (even if you don't really need one) or overwork your current staff. Now, we all know that finding and hiring technical talent is no walk in the park. But what’s the alternative? You might have to turn down the new business. I think it's safe to say that the end goal for most businesses is to take on more clients, not to turn them away. Does your current backup solution allow for you to attain that goal?

The Full-Managed Difference

A fully-managed backup solution solves for all of the issues that a self-managed solution creates. For example, when MSPs leverage Continuity247, Continuum's fully-managed BDR solution, they gain access to our powerful Network Operations Center (NOC). The NOC is the key to success in allowing MSPs to ramp up their operational growth. Instead of overworking your staff, hiring new technicians or turning away new clients, leveraging the NOC allows you to take on new business and scale as you grow.

With the traditional labor model, your staff is either being overworked or underutilized, depending on the unpredictable IT demands. This means that you’ll either have unhappy employees who are more likely to look for work elsewhere, or you'll be cutting into your profit margins.

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With a fully-managed solution you are able to offload those time-consuming backup tasks to the NOC. That way, you can allow your in-house staff to focus on the high-value projects that make you more profitable.

Additionally, allowing the NOC to manage your backups gives you the opportunity to elevate and empower your internal technicians. Meet with your staff and gain a better understanding of their career goals and aspirations. Re-align your organization for growth in a way that makes your current staff more integral to the success of your business. The organizational chart below is a suggestion for one way that you can transition your staff into higher-value roles.

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Again, this is just a suggestion for one way that you could organize your staff. It is likely that your staff and capacity will cause this chart to look different. However, the point remains the same, when you can offload the daily, time-consuming maintenance associated with backups to the NOC, you're able to better organize your business for growth.

Click here to start your free trial of Continuum's fully-managed backup solution, Continuity247!


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Ben is a member of Continuum's marketing team. He specializes in blog content as well as video production. Ben is a graduate of Emerson College and a huge Boston sports fan.


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