Four Questions To Help You Build An MSP For The Future

four questionsWhile the adapt-or-die adage has long been used in the tech industry, the reality isn’t so black and white. Within this changing dynamic one thing is clear: Business transformation should be a key strategy for companies engaged in the business of technology – but not all have to follow the same path. As we look to the year ahead, now is a perfect opportunity to consider your options. We’ve outlined key questions you’ll need to think about as you make moves to become a more successful managed services provider. 

  1. Do you have customer-focused basics sorted?
    Customer demand is driving a groundswell of technology decision-making today, but forgetting the basics can be costly. Before diving in too deep with the elements of emerging technology customers might request, make sure the following is in check:
    • A customer services mentality.
    • Foundational products or service.
    • A solid brand with clear value messaging.
    • An offer or partnership with cloud infrastructure providers.
    • A broad range of as-a-service products.
    • And inside sales team.
    • A diverse roster of vendor partners.
    • Sales training for solution selling.
    • Adequate capital to invest when  and where needed.
    • A solid digital and pre-sales strategy.
    • Internal IT fluidity.
  2. Can you answer your customers questions?
    As the technology ecosystem continues to swim against the constant changes happening in our industry, your customers are facing similar challenges. Help them navigate with answers to their questions about:
    • Physical and virtual support.
    • Clear and transparent SLAs.
    • 24/7 availability.
    • Demand generation capabilities and resources.
    • High quality products and services.
    • A consumer-like experience with intuitive UIs.
    • Technically strong and certified support staff.
    • Fast and efficient response times.
    • Great price-to-value ratio.
    • Ability to deal with most issues remotely.
    • Multiple locations.
    • On-demand real-time reporting.
  3. Are you providing added value?
    Adding value isn’t just a nice to have anymore. Amongst the cloud-based ISVs, SaaS-focused reseller/referral partners and digital marketing agencies, augmenting what you offer is essential to build your position with your customers. Examples include:
    • Converged services.
    • Subscription-based pricing.
    • Landscape monitoring to anticipate issues and opportunities for customers.
    • Owned proprietary IP.
    • Proactive offers and discounts.
    • Partnership risk sharing.
    • XaaS as basis of business.
    • Industry and vertical expertise.
    • 360-degree physical security.
    • Anticipation of the needs of their customers.
    • A line of business focus to support use of best practices.
    • Knowledgeable application support.
    • Business transformation services for customers.
    • Virtual CIO services.
  4. Have your future proofed your business?
    Despite the disruption happening across IT today, optimism is at a two-year high; thanks in part to these very changes. In the CompTIA’s latest State of the Channel report, emerging technology was been cited as the main driver for change across the tech ecosystem, yet firms will be tested to the max in order to reap the benefits. As you think about what the next year and beyond looks like, consider the following to help you thrive in the business of the technology:
  • Be well positioned to sell IoT, drone, VR, AI and ML solutions.
  • Train support staff to be prepared for emerging technologies.
  • Be the best customer of your vendor partners and commit to them.
  • Offer customer business advisory services.
  • White label products and services.
  • Actively look for M&A opportunities.
  • Utilize automation in all applicable business processes.
  • Help to give customers a competitive advantage through technology.
  • Form and take advantage of a customer advisory board.
  • Provide career pathing for partner employees, particularly for techs.

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