To be an MSP or not to be? That is the question.
Oh no, my network is down and I’ve got to get help!
Look up in the air! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s my Managed Service Provider…or is it?
I speak with a lot of IT service providers that are using the tools of managed services, labeling their services as managed services, and even charging as managed services…but are not truly offering managed services.
How is that even possible? There is a key component that many of them are missing—the actual management of the services.
What is a MSP Really?
A managed service provider (MSP) is an IT solutions provider that manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to its clients, either proactively or as the MSP (not the client) sees fit.
The MSP should take full responsibility of their clients’ networks and also provide regular, preventive systems maintenance. If that’s not what you are providing, then you are supplying outsourced IT, which is not the same thing as managed services.
Must-Have Tools For Managed Service Success
If you want to ensure you are providing the most proactive approach to IT service delivery possible, there are some standard tools you’re going to need in your toolkit. These same tools can also be used to help convert legacy break-fix clients over to a fully-managed model. Here is a sampling of my must-haves:
A PSA or business management platform, like ConnectWise, can also help by providing a ticketing system, managing labor and managing agreements. Look for tightly integrated solutions to further increase your efficiency and client satisfaction ratings.
Deliver On Your Service Offering
Once you have the tools, the most important aspect of being a successful MSP lies in your delivery of a fully-managed IT support model. Many of the IT service providers that I have the privilege of speaking with say they are offering managed services. However, when I dig a little more, I often find that isn’t quite the case.
They are not doing regular monthly maintenance, and they aren’t managing their clients AV. They are not testing their clients’ backup to make sure that it won’t fail when called upon. Remember that the true value of managed services to consumers is that they can give you COMPLETE control of their network and no longer have to worry about it.
If you are offering reactive or break-fix services and a client’s system crashes, you are not responsible for the state of the backup. However, if you are an MSP and have a client agreement then you have total responsibility for the health of your clients’ systems.
Either way, make sure you are who you say you are. Maintaining consistency for your clients is the key to long-term success, and delivering on your promises will help you quickly establish trust. If you want to be a MSP and aren’t sure where to start, we are here to help.