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SolarWinds MSP: The Best MSPs Lead With Security To Drive Revenue

‘It’s one of their leads, if not their lead, when driving forward, especially when it comes to considering things like backup or data protection. Ultimately, they’re able to deliver security services at higher margins,’ says Colin Knox, vice president of community at SolarWinds MSP.

The best MSPs are not offering security services as a second sales motion but are leading with them and managing to push for higher margins as a result, said SolarWinds MSP Vice President of Community Colin Knox.

“When we look at the best-in-class MSPs, we realized and saw that they actually protect their customers as well as their own organizations from security threats,” he said. “The second thing that we noticed is that they actually use security as a primary driver for their revenue growth. It isn‘t a secondary or tertiary option as a quick top-up on revenue or profitability. It’s one of their leads, if not their lead, when driving forward, especially when it comes to considering things like backup or data protection. Ultimately, they’re able to deliver security services at higher margins.”

Knox delivered the remarks at SolarWinds MSP’s breakout session during the XChange + 2020 Virtual Experience, a hybrid show that features keynotes, panels and breakouts from among the top vendors and solution providers in the channel. The event is presented by CRN parent The Channel Company.

Knox zeroed in on managed backup as a service that MSPs could better utilize to drive revenue.

Bart Zub, president of SolarWinds MSP partner Digimite Technology, a Chicago-area MSP, said offering reliable, cost-effective managed backup has been big business for Digimite as more customers look to MSPs to drive efficiencies and save their business money.

“With MSP backup from SolarWinds, we took the cost of one of our largest customers and said, ‘Here’s what it cost us to arrange for off-site storage and pay for the storage itself and all the other stuff. When you can aggregate that annual cost and explain to the customer, ‘Hey, this is what you’re paying now, but if you switch to our backup platform you’ll get exactly the same features and benefits but you’re going to be saving 15 percent, it’s a no-brainer.”

The ability to brand the backup offering with the Digimite logo is another win, according to Zub, and gives customers confidence in Digimite, increasing his chances of a deeper relationship.

“For us being able to do that all from one single spot, branded under our digital flag, just adds more credibility to the client and it keeps them shopping within you because you kind of tie them into the platform that they’re using for support already,” he said.

SolarWinds MSP’s Knox, who ran an MSP before creating the documentation application PassPortal, which was acquired by SolarWinds MSP, said the goal for MSPs who want to drive higher margins should be to market the services they sell, rather than the products. Having a great platform on the back end to enable that motion is key.

“What can you learn from the best-in-class MSPs?” he said. “Ultimately, it’s deliver a comprehensive service and not individual products. It‘s improve efficiency to enhance your service and profitability. And it’s finding ways to exceed your customer expectations with that recovery time so that you can maintain those customers and keep and maintain that trust with them.”

[Editor’s Note: To attend the virtual event or view sessions on demand, visit the XChange+ registration page.]

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