The Secret to MSP Success…

Anyone familiar the role of a managed service provider understands all-too-well the pressure of finding a way to do more with less. It’s really all about efficiency and scalability. The more effective your performance, the more success you’ll achieve. The problem is, achieving this isn’t always easy, particularly when there are tight budgetary constraints involved, because for many organizations, hiring additional staff simply isn’t feasible. The solution? Intelligent automation, and leveraging it to win the race and position yourself firmly at the head of the pack.

Most MSPs agree that when it comes to intense competition and budgetary restrictions, the best and only solution is to invest in intelligent automation. In fact, this is even the case with enterprises that do not struggle with cash flow issues. Even those that can afford to hire additional staff, doing so will inevitably impact the bottom line. By taking a step back and allowing technology to do the heavy lifting, on the other hand, scalability is achieved without the added expenditure of increasing personnel.

Outsourcing or relocating operation centers to other areas of the world may provide a slight advantage in terms of overall cost, but it won’t necessarily level the economic playing field. The ultimate goal of every MSP is to successfully deliver as many quality services as possible while simultaneously utilizing the fewest resources…hence, doing more with less. Tapping into foreign markets and moving your IT department will not achieve this. Only automation will.

That said, it’s also critically important that key decision makers perform their due diligence when choosing an intelligent automation platform to employ. Those who have been most successful in this so-called “survival of the fittest” contest have provided some insight into what to consider during the selection process. Most importantly, keep the concept of scalability in mind. Make sure you choose a product that will be able to bridge the past with the future, integrating with legacy systems while also adapting with your changing business needs as they occur. Flexibility is key.

It’s also incredibly important that the automation platform you choose is robust but easy to implement and use. Remember, you’re going to be relying on this system to handle not just simple, repetitive tasks but also complex workflows that are critical to the success of your entire organization. Do your homework and make sure the product you ultimately select is comprehensive enough to handle anything and everything your business may need, not just today but in the future as well.

There’s no question that intelligent automation is fast becoming the central part of many successful MSP operations, and only those organizations that embrace and act on this will continue to remain competitive. Don’t get left behind! Get on track to a profitable future by investing in AI-powered automation.

Get started today by launching your free 30 day trial of Ayehu. 

Attn: MSPs – Want to Maximize Efficiency and Gain Competitive Advantage? Here’s how.

In years past, businesses had little choice when it came to managing their own internal IT operations. For many, the only feasible option was outsourcing. Today, with so many advancements in technology, the concept of outsourcing has shifted and more companies are bringing these services in-house. So, how can Managed Service Providers compete and stay profitable? The answer is simple. MSPs must find a way to maximize efficiency while delivering the highest value proposition to their customers. And here’s how.

Do More with Less

The first step in staying successful as an MSP is finding a way to get the most out of your employees while also keeping expenditure down. While hiring more staff may seem like the logical solution to staying on top of tasks and delivering exceptional client service, doing so would be too cost prohibitive for most firms – especially in today’s highly competitive landscape.

As an alternative, MSPs can turn to technology and leverage the various tools available to them to help boost productivity without the need to bring on additional employees. Intelligent automation, for example, an excellent solution to this dilemma, as it can eliminat many of the day to day tasks from your team’s to-do list. Not only will this allow you to keep staffing lean, but it also frees up those who would normally handle those repetitive workflows to focus on other, more meaningful business initiatives.

By automating activities such as incident management, the program itself can handle much of the process without the need for human intervention. This improves response time and efficiency levels, which ultimately enhances SLA to the clients.

Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

One of the reasons the managed service provider industry is considered so risky is because tech advancements, such as cloud hosting, have made managing operations in-house easier and more affordable. To counteract this, MSPs must make what they have to offer too valuable to refuse. Beyond just taking on the task of handling IT operations for a company in real-time, these firms must remain one step ahead. This means taking a proactive approach and identifying and addressing issues even before they occur.

The best tool for this task is again automation. By leveraging a robust intelligent automation product, preferably one that can be integrated with other existing systems. That way, things like alert management can be streamlined to maximum efficiency. This reduces human error and allows problems to be corrected at a much faster rate. When you can effectively demonstrate to a company that is considering hosting IT in-house that your services are much more valuable, you’ll win the battle for survival.

Ayehu for MSPs

To stay afloat in an increasingly volatile, cut-throat environment and disprove the impending “outsourcing is dead” theory, MSPs must continue to adapt. Performance will need to be at its highest with cost at its lowest. The only logical solution to this is intelligent automation. This will provide the edge you need to remain ahead of the pack in the months and years to come.

Are you an Managed Service Provider that is feeling the pressure to perform better? Are you ready to experience what the right automation platform can do for your business? Download your free 30-day trial of Ayehu today!
eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Managed Service Providers: Could this be hindering your growth?

Making the transition from basic IT support to a full-fledged Managed Service Provider isn’t necessarily easy. There will inevitably be a number of obstacles to overcome along the way. Thankfully, many have gone before and essentially paved the way for newer players to enter the field. Learning in advance what challenges you can expect and the best way to meet those challenges head on will help you avoid potential pitfalls that might otherwise become a barrier to growth. Let’s take a closer look at the three most common issues today’s MSPs struggle with.

Fear of Change

Let’s face it. Making a major change to your business model is scary. What if things don’t work out? Will you be able to recover? The reality is, however, that success requires a certain degree of risk. If your team is feeling particularly leery of making the shift to Managed Service Provider and/or pursuing aggressive growth initiatives, the key will be communication. Be open, honest and transparent. Acknowledge the uncertainty many of your staff members are experiencing and take the time to address those concerns and put them to rest.

Additionally, there may also be an underlying fear that switching to managed services will result in the loss of business. Chances are very good that this will, indeed happen, as not everyone is suited for an MSP level of support. Understand, however, that while you may very well end up saying goodbye to a small portion of your customers, over time you will gain others to replace them. It’s just part of the shift.

Lack of Differentiation

Without question, the Managed Service Provider field is highly saturated. The organizations that thrive are those that have found a way to stand out from the competition. This is especially critical for those just entering the marketplace. If potential clients can get the same service from an established player that they already know and trust, why would they take a chance on you? It’s up to you to convince them otherwise.

To do so, you must identify what new and better services your company can offer. For instance, if your prospects are seeking growth themselves, focus on services that help maximize efficiency and empower them to achieve those goals. If you’re unsure of what angle to take, tap into your sales team to find out what they’re hearing in the field. Or, better yet – ask your clients and prospects directly.

Underpricing

Finally, there is the challenge of how to appropriately price your services. In fact, making a switch from fixed price to a more profitable pricing model can be a difficult transition. This is often compounded by a mere lack of full understanding and a subsequent underestimation of the true value of the services you will now be providing.

At the end of the day, you want your customers to pay you what you’re worth. If you are undervaluing your services, chances are you are also underpricing yourself, which means you will not be able to achieve sustainable growth. Be honest and do your homework. Figure out what you are worth and what you will need to make in order to bring your business to the next level and then implement the necessary changes to make it happen.

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of what may be standing in your way, it’s time to get to work turning things around. Here are a few helpful pointers, to overcome these common issues:

  • Evaluate your current business plan and strategy, as well as team member skills and abilities.
  • Utilize technology and tools, like intelligent automation, to make service delivery much more efficient.
  • Build technical credibility through key certifications and specializations.
  • Understand your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Keep in close contact with customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities. 

Making the transition from basic IT support to full-fledged managed service provider may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with a well thought out plan backed by a confident team and advanced technology, you will be well positioned to compete in today’s fast growing market.

Want to experience the power of intelligent automation backed by AI technology? For a limited time only, get a free 30 day trial of Ayehu by clicking here.

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How Intelligent Automation Can Boost Profitability for Managed Service Providers

How Intelligent Automation Can Boost Profitability for Managed Service ProvidersOne of the biggest challenges managed service providers (MSPs) face today is striking a balance between routine processes and procedures and the more value-added services that also bring in more revenue. Like it or not, time is extremely limited. Furthermore, in order to meet the stringent demands all managed service providers face, the business itself must be operated as efficiently as possible. Intelligent automation is the solution that can help optimize allocation of resources, thereby creating additional opportunities for more profitability.

There’s really no way to completely eliminate many of the many manual, repetitive tasks that are a necessary component of a managed service provider’s day to day work. The problem is, if you’re not completing these things fast enough and with few to no errors, your business will not be able to stand up against the fierce competition. By automating these tasks and workflows, all of the required work will be completed more quickly and accurately, allowing your company to do more with less and provide the highest level of service available.

Contrary to popular belief, automation isn’t meant to eliminate human workers, and there’s no reason to believe that such a revolution will take place in the MSP realm any time soon. What it does do, however, is empower technicians by allowing them to focus their talents and abilities on more lucrative projects. Meanwhile, the mundane work is handled by machine, the two working in tandem toward the same shared goal. This results in a much more streamlined and productive operation that is run at maximum efficiency and output – something all managed service providers strive for.

Not only can intelligent automation work in conjunction with human technicians, but the right tool can also be integrated with other existing systems and applications to further enhance and extend their capabilities. Whether it’s monitoring software, a helpdesk platform or something else, seamless integration with a comprehensive intelligent automation platform can provide greater visibility and control to further promote and sustain fully optimized, unified operations.

Key benefits of using intelligent automation to support managed service providers include:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Enhanced accuracy
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Better adherence to service level agreements (SLAs)

Obviously, all of these areas can be directly linked to the business’ overarching goals and objectives. The better your company performs, the greater degree of competitive advantage you’ll be able to maintain. Consistently standing out from the many other managed service providers in such a saturated marketplace is something all firms aspire to do, and intelligent automation can be the catalyst for achieving that goal. And because your talented techs will be freed up to work on more complex tasks and projects, you’ll be able to capture new and better ways to increase profits over time.

How does your company stack up against the rest? Could intelligent automation be the missing piece of the puzzle that will drive your business to the next level? Launch your free product demo today and experience for yourself what a significant and positive impact automation can have on your future success.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s

How to Choose the Right Partner for Your MSP Business

How to Choose the Right Partner for Your MSP BusinessBuilding a profitable managed service provider business requires striking a delicate balance between adding value for your clientele and also adding value for your organization. If the scales tip too far in either direction, your business could easily topple. Part of keeping things in balance involves selecting the right partners who will support and help you achieve your MSP business goals. Here are a few tips to ensure a good fit.

Identify and understand your customers’ needs.

You can’t expect to meet (and hopefully exceed) the needs of your clients if you don’t have a clear and accurate understanding of what those needs are. Do they employ any IT staff in-house or do they rely entirely on your company? Do they have an eCommerce side to their business? Do they work with particularly large files? Different clients will have different needs and require MSP support for different reasons. Understanding these various needs will help you choose a partner that will help you address those needs.

Set your own business goals.

Once you have a clear understanding of what your clients expect from you, the next important step is identifying your organizational goals. Again, the objective is to strike a balance between delivering the best possible service at the lowest cost to save your customers money while also finding a way to do more with less so you can remain profitable. This is why choosing the right vendor is so important. For instance, a partner offering intelligent automation can allow you to work on limited staff to keep operating costs at a minimum while still delivering a high degree of service to your MSP clients.

Schedule a meet and greet.

There are plenty of MSP partners on the market today. Your task will be to shortlist the ones with offerings that most closely align with your clients’ needs and your business goals. Once you’ve got a few narrowed down, it’s a good idea to schedule a meeting with each of them. A great way to meet potential vendors and get a feel for who they are and what they offer is to attend industry events where they are presenting or performing demos. (For instance, Ayehu sponsors, attends and presents at a wide variety of events, offering demos of our intelligent automation powered by AI.) This will give you an opportunity to meet the team, see the product in action and ask any questions you may have.

Make sure it integrates.

One key factor to consider when weighing your options is whether a partner’s product will integrate well with your existing systems, programs and applications. There’s really no point in adopting a technology if it will remain isolated from the rest of your infrastructure. Look for a product, like Ayehu, that integrates easily, seamlessly and quickly with everything from Solarwinds to VMware to Twilio and any other platform you currently rely on. The goal should be to plug and play with as little disruption as possible.

Understand the service requirements for implementation.

The last question you should ask is whether your technicians will need special skills to deliver the solution and, if so, what those skills are. For instance, will your team need to worry about coding or scripting? (Ideally, an MSP solution that requires no coding and offers out-of-the-box templates and functionality should be at the top of your list.) If there is a learning curve, will training be provided? You’ll also want to determine the level of human intervention required. Remember, less is always more in this instance.

Ready to move to the next step? Ayehu’s intelligent automation solution, powered by AI, is designed to help bring your MSP business to the next level. You can be up and running in just minutes, saving time, delivering a higher level of service and freeing up your staff to focus on more critical tasks. But don’t take our word for it. Take Ayehu for a test drive today and experience it for yourself by clicking here!

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s

MSPs: Your Continued Profitability Depends on THIS…

MSPs: Your Continued Profitability Depends on THIS...Anyone who understands the role of a managed service provider (MSP) understands the importance of doing more with less. It’s really all about scale and common sense. The more efficient and effective your performance, the more success you’ll achieve. The problem is, achieving a high level of scalability isn’t always possible when budget is involved, because for many organizations, hiring additional staff simply isn’t feasible. The solution? IT automation, and leveraging it to win the race and become the head of the pack.

MSP experts agree that when it comes to stiff competition and budgetary restrictions, the best and only solution is to invest in automation. This is the case even with enterprises that do not struggle with cash flow issues. Even if you can afford to hire additional staff, doing so will inevitably impact your bottom line. If you take a step back and allow technology to do the heavy lifting for you, on the other hand, you’ve got scalability without the added expenditure of beefing up personnel.

The ability to outsource and even relocate operation centers to other areas of the world may provide a slight advantage in terms of overall cost, but it won’t necessarily level the economic playing field. The ultimate goal of every MSP is to deliver as many quality services as possible while utilizing the fewest number of employees…hence, doing more with less. Tapping into foreign markets and moving your IT department will not achieve this. Only automation will.

That said, it’s also critically important that key decision makers do their due diligence when choosing an IT automation product to work with. Those who have been most successful in this battle of the fittest have provided some insight into what to be careful of during the selection process. Most importantly, keep the concept of scalability in mind. Make sure you choose a product that will be able to bridge the past with the future, integrating with legacy systems while also adapting with your changing business needs as they occur. Flexibility is key.

It’s also extremely important that the IT automation platform you choose be robust. Remember, you’re going to be relying on this system to handle not just simple, repetitive tasks but also things that are critical to the success of your entire organization, such as incident management and advanced workflow performance.  Do your homework and make sure the product you ultimately select is comprehensive enough to handle anything your business may need.

As we move forward, there’s no question that IT automation will become the central part of any successful MSPs strategy, and only those organizations that embrace and act on this will continue to remain competitive. Don’t get left in the dust! Get your MSP on track to a competitive and lucrative future by investing in automation.

Schedule your free live demo today to see it in action!

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s

MSPs: Overcoming Common Challenges to Achieve Growth

MSPs: Overcoming Common Challenges to Achieve GrowthMaking the transition from basic IT support to the more lucrative role of Managed Service Provider (MSP) isn’t always as easy as it seems. Achieving growth from there can take even longer. So why, with automation becoming such a mainstream accepted tool in the IT world, is becoming a successful MSP so challenging? We thought it might be helpful to uncover some of the most common challenges hindering MSP growth and, more importantly, what can be done to overcome them.

Challenge #1 – Being Too General – Many managed service providers out there that are struggling to achieve growth and ongoing success are missing the mark because they’re not positioning themselves as the gurus they truly are. Obtaining the appropriate certifications and credentials and honing your individual service offerings is key. Additionally, selling these services either by competency or by vertical can boost business tremendously and increase the amount of revenue you could be earning.

Challenge #2 – Not Differentiating from Break/Fix IT Support – The main driver keeping this barrier in place is fear. Many IT pros want to transition to selling managed services, but they hesitate for fear that they’ll lose some of their customers. In reality, not every client is suited for a managed service provider vs. break/fix type of support. But while you may, indeed, lose a small segment of business, you will gain it back and then some over time. Understanding and accepting this fact can help overcome the uneasiness and make the shift a little bit easier to make.

Challenge #3 – Underpricing Themselves – Switching from fixed price and/or cost plus pricing to a more realistic and profitable pricing model can be challenging, particularly if you don’t fully understand the true value of your services or, more importantly, how willing your customers are to pay what you’re worth. If you’re undervaluing and underpricing yourself, you will not be able to realize growth. In fact, you may even price yourself out of the industry all together.

Now that you know what may be standing in your way, here are a few helpful tips for overcoming these common barriers to growth:

  • Evaluate your existing business plan and MSP strategy, the strength of your software, and the skills and abilities of your team members.
  • Leverage technology and tools, such as automation, to buckle up your service delivery and make it much more efficient.
  • Keep a close eye on the market and your finger on the pulse of your customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities.
  • Develop and foster specialties by obtaining certifications, etc. in areas where your customers are.
  • Assess and modify your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Establish a specific goal (i.e. 20% growth in 12 months) and develop a strategy for achieving that goal over the designated time frame.

Making the shift from one-off, break/fix IT support to a qualified, highly sought after Managed Service Provider isn’t as difficult as you may think. By understanding what factors might be hindering your ability to change and grow and applying the above advice for overcoming those obstacles, you’ll be well on your way to securing your position in the profitable MSP world.

Want to learn how the right IT process automation platform can help propel your Managed Service Provider career forward into a successful future? Start your free 30 day trial today!

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

Attention MSPs! How to Streamline Operations in 4 Easy Steps

Attention MSPs! How to Streamline Operations in 4 Easy StepsToday’s IT automation platforms offer sophisticated solutions in easy-to-use, out-of-the-box products that are affordable and scalable to suit just about any industry and business need. Yet, there is still work to be done if we are to truly get the most out of IT automation in its current form – particularly if you are in the highly competitive field of MSPs. Here are 4 key steps to manage your IT services efficiently and cost effectively.

  1. Be Proactive – Of course you know what to do in the event that one of your client’s infrastructure is compromised, but wouldn’t it make more sense to stay one step ahead of the game? That way, instead of having to waste time, resources and money putting out fires, you could resolve issues before they developed into serious problems. Take patch management for example. If you’re handling this manually, vulnerabilities in the days following a new release could be placing your clients at risk and making your job much more complicated than it has to be. IT automation, on the other hand, allows you to take a proactive approach to patch releases, speeding the process and reducing risk.
  2. Develop and Implement Standards – By developing a check list of technology standards that can be applied across multiple devices and clients, you can remove much of the guess work from the trouble-shooting process. This will improve customer service levels and streamline your own internal operations. For instance, you can create a list of back-up and anti-virus processes, recommended amounts of memory, standard applications and configurations, etc. You can then automate the process of auditing these standards accordingly.
  3. Manage Policies – In addition to common standards, there are also a number of policies that must be managed properly, particularly in terms of IT usage governance. It’s critical to ensure that all users remain in compliance with the policies of your customers. Common policy areas include password refresh, application usage, allowable downloads and access security. By setting up a policy management plan that is proactive and automated, you can prevent unwanted actions and reduce the number of tickets you and your team will have to field.
  4. Review and Optimize Regularly – While implementing the three steps listed above will dramatically improve productivity and performance, you’ll never get your incoming trouble tickets down to zero (nor should you want to). By reviewing your existing tickets regularly, however, you can effectively identify other areas where IT automation could help. What pain points are regularly causing you problems that you might be able to streamline for better results? You may also find through routine reviews that adjusting your standards and policy management in certain ways could further reduce the excess workload that your team is currently carrying.

Today’s MSPs struggle with the challenge of doing more with less. As IT issues become more and more complex, the ability to stay on top of the needs of your clients without having to increase expenditure will be critical to your future success. IT automation, in conjjunction with the 4 key steps listed above, can help position you right where you need to be to stay ahead of the pack.

Not sure how to keep afloat in an increasingly competitive field? Check out our free IT Process Automation Survival Guide.

How MSPs Can Thrive In The Intelligent Machine Age

http://www.channelpartnersonline.com/blogs/peertopeer/2017/04/how-msps-can-thrive-in-the-intelligent-machine-ag.aspx

This article was originally published as a guest post on Channel Partners.

The age of intelligent machines and automation is upon us. Because they eliminate the need for humans to perform simple (and not so simple) tasks, machines and bots are a boon to managed service providers and IT outsourcers. Fail to take advantage of automation, and you will eventually be unable to compete.

The threat isn’t existential yet — the MSP market is expected to reach $242.45 billion by 2021, so there’s plenty of work to go around. But the competitive landscape is shifting, enterprise IT environments are becoming increasingly complex, and forward-thinking solutions providers are taking steps to get on board with automation and standardization because they understand that they’ll be essential to staying in the game.

For often talent-strapped MSPs and managed security service providers, without automation, bringing disparate technologies and systems online while moving resources to the cloud equals a complicated, manual IT workload. Add to this the escalating urgency to contain costs while improving service levels, and it’s no surprise that managed service providers of all types are worried.

Of course, managing innovation, complexity and cost is not a new problem. For decades, we’ve seen technologies come and go with the expectation that we’ll make it work, no matter the cost. That’s partly how IT has gained notoriety for being a “cost center.” But in reality, IT is not a cost center — it’s a resource hog. The more complex technology becomes, the more specialized and general IT resources we need to add, because it’s not as if the legacy stuff goes away.

This model cannot be sustained. MSPs must take steps to improve efficiencies in their own companies and for customers. Top priorities include delivering on SLAs, cost containment, connecting disparate systems from one client environment to the next and onboarding new customers using a repeatable and seamless process. All that requires automation.

Take the task of onboarding a customer that uses one ITSM system while the MSP uses another. Several issues arise — not the least of which is the sheer scale of human resources needed to align the two systems or switch the customer over. An MSP that can’t replicate tasks and workflows across its customer base can’t control costs.

The bottom line is that MSPs need to find a way to become not only experts in IT and security operations but also aces in efficiency. Thus it follows that intelligent automation will become the MSP’s best friend.

ROI Factors to Consider               

A wide range of intelligent automation solutions exist today, and the choices can be overwhelming. However, to get on successful track, consider these key ROI factors when evaluating options:

  • Technology features: How does the solution apply machine learning, artificial intelligence and other technology that adds value to what you are trying to achieve? What is the supplier’s road map?
  • Ease of use: Solutions that require no coding and minimal training will save you significant time and headache. Choose options that can deliver enterprise-level functionality and that virtually anyone on the IT staff can be successful with out of the gate.
  • Integration: Solutions that don’t integrate with existing systems will create a whole new set of challenges. Opt for those that offer integration out of the gate and open APIs for future flexibility.
  • Cost efficiency: MSPs must improve efficiencies through technology. With the rise of IT automation, more effective use of limited resources reduces costs and increases ROI.

Machine learning, along with other advanced technologies, has helped to propel the adoption and implementation of intelligent automation. By applying machine learning to IT process automation, manual, repetitive tasks are eliminated while gaining the benefit of intelligent suggestions and recommendations based on past history. Combined, this results in major efficiency gains, significant cost reduction, and greatly improved service delivery.

Machine learning also has the potential to enable an MSP to shift its focus to value-added services, realize increased margins and improve SLAs for a truly competitive differentiation. When used appropriately, automation and machine learning can equip MSPs to not only remain competitive, but blaze a path for future success.

To view the original article, please click here.

MSPs, What’s Holding You Back? Overcoming Common Barriers to Growth to Scale and Succeed

http://www.msptoday.com/topics/from-the-experts/articles/430971-msps-whats-holding-back-overcoming-common-barriers-growth.htm

Article originally published as a guest post on MSP Today.

Moving up the stack from basic IT support to a full-fledged MSP isn’t necessarily an easy transition. There will inevitably be a number of obstacles to overcome along the way. Thankfully, many have gone before and essentially paved the way for newer players to enter the field. Learning in advance what challenges you can expect and the best way to meet those challenges head on will help you avoid potential pitfalls that might otherwise become a barrier to growth. Let’s take a closer look at the three most common issues today’s MSPs struggle with.

Fear of Change

Let’s face it. Making a major change to your business model is scary. What if things don’t work out? Will you be able to recover? The reality is, however, that success requires a certain degree of risk. If your team is feeling particularly leery of making the shift to MSP and/or pursuing aggressive growth initiatives, the key will be communication. Be open, honest and transparent. Acknowledge the uncertainty many of your staff members are experiencing and take the time to address those concerns and put them to rest.

Additionally, there may also be an underlying fear that switching to managed services will result in the loss of business. Chances are very good that this will, indeed happen, as not everyone is suited for an MSP level of support. Understand, however, that while you may very well end up saying goodbye to a small portion of your customers, over time you will gain others to replace them. It’s just part of the shift.

Lack of Differentiation

Without question, the MSP field is highly saturated. The organizations that thrive are those that have found a way to stand out from the competition. This is especially critical for those just entering the marketplace. If potential clients can get the same service from an established player that they already know and trust, why would they take a chance on you? It’s up to you to convince them otherwise.

To do so, you must identify what new and better services your company can offer. For instance, if your prospects are seeking growth themselves, focus on services that help maximize efficiency and empower them to achieve those goals. If you’re unsure of what angle to take, tap into your sales team to find out what they’re hearing in the field. Or, better yet – ask your clients and prospects directly.

Underpricing

Finally, there is the challenge of how to appropriately price your services. In fact, making a switch from fixed price to a more profitable pricing model can be a difficult transition. This is often compounded by a mere lack of full understanding and a subsequent underestimation of the true value of the services you will now be providing.

At the end of the day, you want your customers to pay you what you’re worth. If you are undervaluing your services, chances are you are also underpricing yourself, which means you will not be able to achieve sustainable growth. Be honest and do your homework. Figure out what you are worth and what you will need to make in order to bring your business to the next level and then implement the necessary changes to make it happen.

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of what may be standing in your way, it’s time to get to work turning things around. Here are a few helpful pointers, to overcome these common issues:

  • Evaluate your current business plan and strategy, as well as team member skills and abilities.
  • Utilize technology and tools, like automation, to make service delivery much more efficient.
  • Build technical credibility through key certifications and specializations.
  • Understand your pricing model to ensure that it properly supports your level of service.
  • Keep in close contact with customers to recognize and capitalize on trends and opportunities.

Making the transition from basic IT support to full-fledged managed services may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, with a well thought out plan backed by a confident team and advanced technology, you will be well positioned to compete in today’s fast growing market.