Starting vCIO services can be a struggle not just for you and your people, but for the clients too. There are some established expectations of vCIO services, which sets a hurdle right at their kickoff of these services. There is, however, a natural way of solving this problem: use easy to sell and easy to deliver productized vCIO projects.
Of course, developing such effective and elegant solutions does take time, so we’ve set up a shortcut to start, and let you build up vCIO Project products instead. Don’t worry - this isn’t taking on new work - just solve problems you’re expected to already, but start getting paid for all you do.
Let's see seven examples of typical vCIO products:
One of the hot topics in the bootcamp was a typical MSP issue - managing client agreements. The problem gets verbalized in different ways: "I have many new services I would like to sell to existing clients" or "I have to re-onboard all of our customers because the agreement is very old" or "I want to increase our prices to reflect the improvements and additional tools we introduced" or "I barely make any money and I need to renegotiate our prices".
Sound familiar? We’d like to introduce a systematic approach to solve this problem for now and the future.
We just finished our first ever live 3 day Managed Service Productization boot-camp in Banff, Canada. With 25 participants we worked to crack the code in scaling up the managed services. Jam-packed with real work, the workshop groups created amazing content and generated ideas that have been sparkling. I wanted to capture some of the more intriguing ideas the MSPs came up with.
I’ll be elaborating on these topics in upcoming weeks, since I see each topic as worthy of more than a blog post, but here are the main ideas. These are my personal Ah-ha! moments.
If you’re running a successful, growing and modern MSP practice, you either have solid Account Management / Technical Account Management practice in place, or you’re still doing it ad-hoc, and plan to develop a clear structure as soon as possible.
In both cases calculating the ROI of the new role is critical, as well as setting goals and realistic expectations for the employees. Check out this ROI calculation and the huge potential of proper Account Management to growing your business.
In our design of the new Quarterly Business Review tool we wanted to ensure that MSPs can find business opportunities with existing clients, enhance the quality of their engagement, become a business partner and demonstrate the value they provide all at once. Achieving those multiple goals in the midst of commoditization of traditional infrastructure management services requires finding a balance among five different strategies. Let's check those success factors to make sure you deliver timely and engaging QBRs.
We’ve identified several common mistakes managed services providers are making during the QBR process, leading to less and lower quality client engagement, over complicated processes and too much work. We wanted to create a tool that’s straightforward, easy to use, and guides the service provider to optimal client engagement.
All our accolades to the development people in the Connectwise Team and the super beta users; after three months of development we’re happy to announce the Connectwise integration is live.
I know integration is a boring subject and I don’t intend to explain the details of the features here. But the development process and the results have been prompting many to wonder where the software industry and specifically the MSP servicing software industry is going.
Ours was not just a simple data based integration. Our tool is actually running inside Connectwise with customized screens. One doesn’t even need to log in to our native tool to use all the features inside Connectwise, like execute Account Management, vCIO activities and running discovery workshops with prospects.
The question I am raising is: are we actually heading to where we have only one application that runs our MSP, and all the vendors create “modules” for that application?
As we have been talking with hundreds of Managed Services around the world we have been able to identify several common beliefs, and even myths shaping their thoughts.
The biggest problem here is that these beliefs were valid in the past. The times when the MSP model founded and spread across the world, these concepts were helping people to sell and execute services. However as the market went forward with the tectonic shift of consumerization, cloud, mobile and the overall maturity of IT, these beliefs are no longer valid.
Every IT managed services provider wants to convert as many Time and Material clients to MSP contracts as possible. However not every client can benefit from the advanced services of the proactive MSP model.
Based on our experience, our clients, and our ITCq research, we’ve found there are certain types of companies that could not consume the MSP recurring services.
Identifying these companies is always a struggle, so here are a couple of tips to properly selling the MSP services.
Yes, even the MSP industry seems to be growing, and the majority of indicators are positive. While every statistic from analytics has varying reports of industry growth, all of them are very optimistic.
However, when we talk to individual IT managed services providers with fewer than 20 people the picture does not seem so rosy. They’re reporting problems with sales, cloud adoption, and transferring time & material (T&M) contracts to IT companies.
The IT world has undergone fundamental changes, and clients are not knocking on managed services providers' doors anymore. The most common report is the struggle with sales.
MSP 2.0 blog
The BLOG discusses more about the future of doing managed services in the Cloud era. Design, develop services, create value propositions, manage the sales funnel, deliver the services, create a world class team, and win.