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7 Ways To Build A ‘Sticky’ Managed Services Practice

Joseph F. Kovar

‘Sooner or later, [a customer is] going to replace a switch. They’re going to upgrade a firewall. They’re going to have 30 users go home and have to work from home for the next six months, a year, a year and a half. Then they’re going to need help setting that up. So you can jump in there and be their savior,’ says David Cox, director of operations at G6 Communications.

Build Higher-Margin Capabilities With Automation

To get it right, your margin has to get higher, Hunter said.

“How much of your engineering time should you do with your tier-two, tier-three, tier-four [support]?” he said. “How much time should you be spending on monitoring services that are patching or doing those things? Not a whole lot. The client comes and tells me if it’s out of patch, the maintenance is automated through RMM, I’m gold right now.“

When you add automation, one of the biggest benefits is less manpower, which really changes the relationship with the MSP, Hunter said.

“When you’re a straight MSP, you’re not dealing with the IT team,” he said. “You’re dealing with a business owner, the CFO, the CTO, whoever it may be that sounds important. And that’s all you’re doing. It’s only one person. All we have to sell is that one person.”

Cox said often the simplest MSP capabilities can open more doors to opportunities within customers.

An MSP may be helping customers keep their patches up to date and give them a nice single pane of glass look at their systems, but it may not be enough, he said.

“All of them have a ticketing system,” he said. “They’re using Teams, they’re using Slack, they’re using stickies, they’re using all kinds of different things to track all their incidents, but it was impossible to figure out what they did six months ago when [a problem] happened again six months later. There was no way to track that down. With our ticketing system, they have access to our full knowledge base.”

 
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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