Managed Data Analytics: Lucrative Recurring Revenue ‘Right Under The Nose’ Of MSPs
‘You all have the data, and it’s up to us to refine that data and provide that visualization for the C-level people to understand what’s currently going on in their organizations,’ one MSPs says of the managed data analytics opportunity.
MSPs have an easy way to create new recurring revenue streams by making use of data they already are collecting to give their customers deeper insight into their business. It’s an opportunity that’s been hiding in plain sight, according to three MSPs.
“It’s a whole new line of business for me that came up almost by accident [using] information I needed anyway … and it was right under my nose,” said Marcial Velez, CEO of Xperteks, a New York City-based MSP.
Data analytics is one of the most sought-after services that businesses are looking for today. Xperteks was using dashboards to collect and study its customers’ data until a customer showed interest in having his own dashboard to understand his business better. Xperteks is now making custom customer-facing dashboards that allow Velez and his team to go deep into the vertical to understand the data these customers care about, he said.
“You all have the data and it’s up to us to refine that data and provide that visualization for the C-level people to understand what’s currently going on in their organizations,” Velez told an audience of MSPs at CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange NexGen 2022 conference in Orlando, Fla..
In a post-pandemic world punctuated by the acceleration of IT trends such as hybrid work, MSPs—not unlike their customers—are trying to do more with less. Namely, they are looking for ways to add new services to increase recurring revenue. Managed data analytics just happens to take advantage of things MSPs were already doing, according to Travis Woods, president of Novato, Calif.-based Fort Point IT Solutions.
“We’ve got data flowing through our MSPs, so how do we use that data to monetize? There’s the opportunity,” Woods said.
Avatar Computer Solutions was looking for ways to overcome economic pressures related to the supply chain and inflation. Managed data analytics represented a new way to harness information on hybrid working habits to give business owners deeper insight into productivity and employee engagement. That information is not only helping the company stand out to its customers, but it’s also leading to important conversations around employee wellness, attrition and satisfaction, and even technology adoption trends within the business.
“We can profile top employees [as well as] find out why the last person in a position wasn’t successful so [employers] can get ahead of that curve,” said Jason Wright, CEO of Houston-based Avatar. “It’s been an interesting experiment,” he added. “You’ve got to be super focused on really tying [the data analytics] back to business outcomes accurately.”
Once these customers are used to having this information at their fingertips, they’re “hooked,” Wright added. “Once you’re in, it’s harder to leave,” he said.
Offering managed analytics has nearly guaranteed the MSPs conversations with the C-suite, the MSPs said.
“I was able to use those analytics to have a one-on-one conversation with the CEO, the CFO, and now I have a backstage pass. They’re not just looking at me as the IT guy. I’m the trusted adviser,” Velez said.
Xperteks is charging its customers a monthly fee per dashboard. The MSP suggests that fellow MSPs branching out into managed data analytics start with one customer, in one vertical at a time and identify what information is important to include on a dashboard. Valez took this approach with his accounting customers and said that he has customers across many verticals that he hasn’t yet talked to about his data analytics services yet.
“Always lead with the trusted adviser [factor.] You want to add revenue without feeling like you’re trying to sell [customers] the new toy,” Valez said. “That’s how I differentiate in a crowded market.”