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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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Why a Fully-Managed IT Platform Knocks it Out of the Park!

Posted April 4, 2016by Ben Barker

The shortstop is the captain of the infield. The center fielder is the captain of the outfield. But the manager of a baseball team is the captain of the ship. When baseball's Opening Day kicked off, there wasn't a single player that filled out the lineup card. That is the job of the manager. Without the manager, the players would be left to make crucial decisions that would force them to spend less time focusing on what they do best, playing the game.

So what does any of this have to do with managed IT services? As an MSP business owner, you have a few choices when it comes to the platforms that you use for your service offerings. Whether it is remote monitoring and management (RMM) or backup and disaster recovery (BDR), you need to decide if you want to self-manage your solutions, or have them fully managed for you. 

What's Best for the Team?

Being a HUGE baseball and Boston Red Sox fan, I love David Ortiz. In my opinion, David Ortiz is the best hitter in the history of the team. Time and time again, Big Papi has come up with the big hit to deliver for his team and help them along their path to the ultimate goal, a World Series championship. Do you know why David Ortiz has been so successful? It's because very early on, the Red Sox identified his strength. Ortiz's strength happened to be hitting. So, they made him a designated hitter. They allowed Ortiz to focus on the thing that he did best in order to put the team in the best position for success. Can you imagine if on top of hitting, David had to focus on filling out a lineup card, making pitching changes and running drills before games? He wouldn't have as much time to spend focusing on the thing that he does best.

The same goes for you and your employees. Your techs should be focused on making site visits and solving the complex issues of your clients. This is what they are best at and what they should be spending the most time on. If they are spending all of their time on the day-to-day maintenance of your solutions platform, they're not going to be able to refine their craft.

 

Position Your Team for Success

Now, I'm certainly not trying to advise you to put your employees in a silo and have them only be able to do one thing. When you use a fully-managed solution, you free up more time to allow your employees to grow. Nobody makes this point better than one of my favorite Red Sox players of all-time, Tim Wakefield. When Wakefield came into the league with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was an outfielder. As a position player, Tim struggled mightily and his career was in jeopardy because of it. However, the Pirates could see that Wakefield was a hard worker, so they allowed him to work on making the transition to pitcher. Because of the time that Wakefield had, he was able to develop a knuckleball. 19 years later, Tim Wakefield is considered to be one of the best knuckleballers of all-time. 

Using a fully-managed solution allows you to optimize what projects and job-related strengths your employees focus on. Perhaps someone on your team has a knack for social media marketing. By allowing them to venture into this lead generation and relationship building channel, you could be uncovering untapped revenue. 

In baseball, managers will never go away. Players will never be relied upon to fulfill the duties of the manager. Take this same approach in your business. Let the players play. 

Business-Continuity-the-MSPs-guide-to-backup-and-disaster-recovery

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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