Trends that will dominate Managed Services in 2023!

What is MSP, to begin with?

As a business developer, your offerings should be comparable to your clients’ businesses’ difficulties. Therefore, you should reconsider your messaging and consider the new business climate. Customize the consumer experience; that is a point where Managed Service Providers comes into the picture.

Managed services providers (MSPs) started to appear in the information streams as broadband and service consistency speeds reached a level appropriate for seamlessly enabling remote administration of scattered computer networks as early as the 2000s. Although the hybrid MSP approach can seem to be utterly focused on managed services, the diversity makes sense regarding revenue and resilience.

Suppose Covid-19 has given businesses, especially smaller ones, some hard lessons. In that case, it is necessary to have an actionable plan B, plan C, and plan D. This insight could cause a yearly rise in the proportion of MSPs who identify as hybrids. Even pure-play MSPs are frequently asked to complete non-recurring revenue job types, including product sales, one-time tasks, or consultancy fees.

What is the Purpose of MSP?

A managed service provider (MSP) provides services, including network, application, facilities, and security, through ongoing and routine assistance and active government on the customer location, in the MSP’s data center or 3rd party data center.

Types of Trends of MSP in 2022

  • Outsourcing- The majority of large corporations have concluded that an internal digital transformation team cannot function independently. Keeping up with the constant changes in the digital industry is rather pricey. Additionally, most small firms can only invest to a different extent than more prominent organizations in internal support services. As a result, outsourcing has emerged as the potential primary growth industry for managed service providers (MSPs).
  • Infrastructure-as-a-service– Businesses are now experimenting with new and evolving technologies to improve the effectiveness and result-focus of their daily operations. Adopting those technologies requires not only the appropriate skills but also the financial means to do so, including both terms of the software and the hardware.

    There are instances of infrastructure-as-a-service being offered by modern cloud-managed services providers (IaaS). A computer infrastructure is delivered via the service model and is used to support company activities. In most cases, a managed service provider will supply the necessary hardware, applications, storage, servers, networking equipment, and a data center.

    Businesses would benefit significantly from the IaaS subscription-based billing model’s scalability, affordability, and security.
  • Hyper-converged Infrastructure– At its most basic, a hyper-converged infrastructure comprises virtual processing, virtual networks, and virtual SAB. However, establishing such infrastructure is a difficult task that requires caution and skill. Hyper-converged infrastructure unifies a company’s infrastructure and runs on pre-made commercial services. It integrates computing, networking, and storage to create a unified, ready-to-use platform that enables businesses to grow more quickly in digital transformation.

    A business can establish a hyper-converged infrastructure with a managed service provider (MSP). Their knowledgeable staff can comprehend the company’s present and future requirements and work to develop and implement a unified infrastructure that streamlines business processes.
  • Automation– The adoption of automation is occurring at the same rate as that of outsourcing or cloud computing. Automation is transforming the IT sector by assisting businesses in reducing tedious, repetitive operations like data movement across systems.

    IT teams are becoming more effective thanks to straightforward rule-based automated processes. This frees up staff for other crucial activities while lowering ambiguity and processing times. MSPs with experience in automation may significantly improve business operations within organizations (such as HR, marketing, travel, and finance) and increase revenue.
  • Making the switch to SaaS applications– Managed Service Providers now host complex SaaS applications for their clients, including customer relationship management (CRM) programs, supply chain management software, managed database as a service (DBaaS), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. MSPs have space for vital infrastructure that once resided on end customers’ premises.
  • IoT and Blockchain– Currently, two of the most revolutionary technologies in the IT sector are the Internet of Things and blockchain. Although blockchain is a shared ledger that provides a decentralized and massively scalable framework for IoT devices, systems, and applications, IoT links devices over a system, permitting devices to communicate with one another without human involvement.

    The interaction between two units may be specified, and the condition of these devices can be monitored using blockchain technology. Combining the two provides IoT devices with improved security (addressing one of the main issues with this technique at the moment) and adds much-needed visibility to IoT networks.

    The cost-effectiveness of the technology may be increased by using applications like smart contracts, which are based on blockchain technology and executed when specific criteria are satisfied. These applications can also significantly enhance IoT compliance and significantly improve IoT features. IoT and blockchain-savvy MSPs may assist businesses in implementing these technologies to stay competitive.
  • Enhanced Security– Small enterprises and private citizens are no longer the main targets of cybercrimes; instead, it is now governments and large corporations whose crucial infrastructure is at risk. Additionally, the workforce alternates amongst hybrid and offsite modes, which raises the danger of security threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities. To address the risks and weaknesses, MSPs must reevaluate their cybersecurity solutions.
  • Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – The only way for an MSP to remain competitive in the MSP market is to either continue spending in emerging technologies and distinguishing themselves or to get involved in the realm of M&A by purchasing another firm or presenting themselves as a target for acquisition.

    Small MSPs are being pushed toward M&A by cybersecurity concerns and a lack of qualified workers. More seasoned MSPs have begun buying businesses that assist them in unifying everything under one roof to offer a holistic service experience.

For IT resellers eager to grow beyond the transactional realm of revenue, profit, and managed services, the Internet of Things has long been hailed as the obvious destination. Several people in the channel still consider its recurring income model to be the industry standard. Additionally, the model is developing quickly to keep up with the complexity.

What is the Future of MSPs? 

Management services and its recurring income model have long been hailed as the ideal starting point for technology resellers wishing to expand beyond the conventional world of hardware sales. It is also a continually evolving model to keep up with the complexity of the modern technology business landscape. In 2022, an MSP ecosystem will exist if you combine the natural development with the past two years of tremendous pandemic turmoil.

Infrastructure-level management and monitoring dominate most of the MSPs’ daily activities. Still, as companies seek to stay competitive, meet shifting customer demands, and foster growth, they are adopting ever-more-advanced business and service strategies.

MSP Strategies that You Can Consider

You are in a position to formulate a thorough marketing strategy if your MSP company has grown and you have a strong clientele. To interact with leads continuously, your plan must be comprehensive and use numerous marketing channels simultaneously. Consult our MSP Sales Beginner’s Guide if you need to become familiar with marketing jargon, like leads, and discover more about marketing channels.

You should take a few fundamental measures to develop a thorough MSP marketing plan, regardless of how you decide to carry out your marketing operations. Utilize devoted personnel whose primary responsibility is marketing to run an internal marketing organization. This strategy will give you excellent control over the company sales agenda, but it will also demand the most significant effort from your business. Regarding the wages given to marketing personnel, it may also be pricey. Hire a marketing company to handle your MSP’s marketing operations. This tactic is simpler to implement and typically costs less than hiring and maintaining a full-time marketing staff. 

However, you will be in less of a position of authority and will only be allowed to carry out the marketing strategies your agency approves. You also risk your marketing firm not having the technical know-how necessary to comprehend your MSP’s work and the demands of its clients. The typical marketer is unfamiliar with network switches or how virtual machines and containers differ.

For example, technical assistance is a crucial component of managed services. Since MSPs offer helpdesk service around-the-clock, you can report issues anytime, even after business hours. Knowing that assistance is available daily, and that downtime can be reduced is comforting. Mobile working is becoming more common. Instead of coming to the office daily, many people work at home or on the road. Workstation as a Service user can access a fully functional desktop from any location and device. Users may access all the required apps and data, securely log in to their work PC, and access it from any location. This is essential to making it possible for people to work from home. Managed Services include technical assistance as a core component. Since MSPs offer helpdesk service around-the-clock, you can report issues anytime, even after business hours. Knowing that assistance is available daily, and that downtime can be reduced is comforting.

Benefits of MSPs

Contracting for the services offers certain operational benefits and lowers costs, including:

  • Offers staff members available at all times for a small fee.
  • Defines the function of IT assistance in a legally enforceable contract.
  • Can cover for lack of internal staff and disasters that occur on-site.
  • Data backup management is an option to prevent data loss.
  • Scalable, putting on additional resources gradually or momentarily.
  • Eliminates the risk that strikes will slow a company down.
  • Eliminates the issue of businesses fighting for a limited number of qualified IT specialists, which raises pay.
  • Ensures that all regions of the world have access to highly qualified personnel.
  • Provides businesses in high-cost areas with access to professionals in lower-paying regions.

Future of MSPs Benefits

Never has there been a greater need for operational resilience across all enterprise features. CIOs strive to adapt to shifting conditions to shape the future of business.

In recent times, digital transformation has permeated every industry. Almost all industries are adopting digital formats to strengthen their market position. Existing business and infrastructure models are now being replaced with new ones, & businesses that have not adopted digitalization will become obsolete. While we continue dealing with the pandemic’s aftermath, business resilience via digital initiatives is the focal point of all decisions.

A growing number of businesses have also effectively implemented the changes by accepting managed service providers, whereas most businesses struggle to do so. And over half of them failed to keep up with the most recent innovations and industry trends. Those who have achieved success must implement innovation within their IT departments.

Conclusion

A new breed of agile MSPs adapts quickly to changing requirements. They specialize in enhancing any existing product or service to catapult a company on its growth trajectory. This includes software, networks, hardware, and staffing requirements. MSPs also provide provisions for enhanced peer-to-peer networking, modern technologies for easy management of large environments, and the automation of administrative tasks and data center operations. 

Why do you need a managed service provider ?

The MSP remotely monitors, updates, and manages the service while reporting on the quality, performance, and availability of the service, thus allowing you to focus on your business’s core objectives. 

How to choose a managed service provider ?

To ascertain success, you can consider the following while choosing a MSP:
> Knows your business and the industry. 
> Fast service and response time
> Alignment with industry best practices
> Proactive methodology
> Experience and necessary skills

What does a managed service provider do ?

The short answer is that we help ensure your systems run smoothly, stay secure and up-to-date, and deal with day-to-day technical issues so that you can remain focused and productive on your core business.

Clients for your MSP Business

How to get the right clients for your MSP Business, right now

Business for a Managed Service Provider

Being MSPs you may have multiple clients across various industries. Some around hospitality, some around finance, some around real estate, educational field etc. Irrespective of the industry, some of them may be the right clients for your business and some may not be. So, how would you analyze it? 

Some of your potential clients may be associating with a managed service provider (MSP) for the first time and some may already be in association with someone else.   

Narrow down the target audience for your MSP Business

Being an MSP, you can have and serve clients across multiple verticals. But it is not necessary that all those are right for you. Choose your target audience. Do you want a customer that lets you manage 100 nodes or do you want someone who has 700 nodes or more? Do you want 10 customers with approximately 200 nodes each or do you want 5 customers with 400 nodes each? Do you want to start with clients in the food and beverage industry or do you want to manage clients in the finance sector?  

Geographical territory matters too, do you want to serve clients present only in your country or state or city or do you want to expand and go global? 

It’s up to you and your vision for the future. So, you need to narrow down on that first. 

Why would a potential client choose you over the other? 

If the client is already associated with another MSP, why would they choose you over the other? The next 2 points give you the answer:

Analyze your USP 

You offer something that the others don’t. Apart from the usual Monitoring and Management services, what else do you have to offer your clients? Is it friendly engineers? Is it them going the extra mile when the clients face a problem, or is it offering something completely offbeat like DevOps or Microsoft Services etc.? The answer that you get is what sets you apart from the rest. 

Trust 

Trust is a huge factor which comes into play while doing any business. If you have a good website, if you have an online presence, if you keep your followers updated, if you develop that trust through being in constant touch with them, that can surely develop trust over time. 

Referrals 

Referrals can be of huge help since the customers that come through references are more likely to convert. Word of mouth spread through the network helps build trust and a good brand image as well. 

And your existing customers would know you and your organization’s working style better, so it is more likely that they’ll recommend customers who are suitable for your target market. 

There are very few chances for your customers to not refer you to their network if they are happy with the service that you provide. Deliver them the best service and give the best experience so that it leads to more word of mouth. 

The one thing you can do to instigate referrals from your existing customers is to give incentives to customers that refer you to some more clients. 

Do not undermine your services 

Referrals are one thing and reducing the price of your service (giving discounts in order to attract customers) is another thing. Referrals incentivize or give positive reinforcement to those that are associated with you. But a discount is a different story because when you reduce the price of your service, you are undervaluing your service. People will only value you how much you value yourself. 

But what you can do is if your prospective customer wants your service at a lower price, give them a taste of what your service looks like. Give them a part of the service that they need, not the entire facility. This way you don’t reduce your prices and the customer will also know your worth,  

And if you impress them during this period, they won’t risk not signing a full-fledged contract with you. And even if they continue on the same package, at least your engineers are getting paid for what they are providing.

Use Directories 

Using online and offline directories to let people know about you and your business better, also helps. Local Directories help you reach out to as many people and that can help you increase your clientele. 

And these would also help you find the clients you have set as your target audience. Easy to filter them and divide them industry-wise. 

Build Partnerships 

You can partner with vendors (that sell tools and software like RMM or Firewall) and you can reach out to as many people as possible. The ones who are in the network of these vendors, you can cater to all those and increase your clientele. 

Attend Events and Conferences 

To increase brand visibility and awareness, you need to attend conferences. Some good-ol’ face-to-face communication can go a long way in building trust and creating an impact. 

The more events and conferences you attend, the more you’ll be visible to everyone and the more likely you are to be etched in the mind of the prospects you meet. 

Another benefit is that you get to understand the pain points of your prospective customers, which helps you understand them at a more ground level and gives you the ability to address their pain points and eventually help you serve them better. 

So better have a stellar pitch ready and also your ears wide open!

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MSP Growth Strategies

MSP Growth Strategies to survive, thrive and expand your business during tough times

The Remote Working Scenario has indeed brought a change and has completely shifted the way everyone works. Although many businesses had to shut down, it has surely opened doors of opportunity for MSPs and Cloud Service Providers alike. But to become the best IT Service Provider of choice for your clients, it’s not just the “technology” aspect you need to take care of.

Want to serve or offer the existing market with new offerings? Well, the MSP growth strategy that you should be adopting amongst the 4 types should be “Product Development”. It doesn’t mean that you should be developing something entirely new but you can expand your current offerings.

We at Infrassist, being a Master MSP, often keep trying something new. To leverage technology in a way that helps our existing clientele and promising prospective MSPs boost their business. Indirectly helping them serve their customers better. 

 

Upsell to your existing clients

Who doesn’t like to receive something new and unexpected? Who doesn’t like a surprise add-on? Who doesn’t like to hear about ideas that could help them grow their business? The answer is – Nobody. 

Yes, clients like it when you provide them quality service but there are high chances of them staying with you if you have something new to offer. There are chances that you may or may not get new business from your prospects but what you can do is to derive new business. Serve your existing clients with new services so that they not only value it but also would associate with you for a longer period of time. 

Provide Consultations

Don’t always keep talking about technology and boast about your expertise all the time, talk about how you can help your customers grow their business. Engage in conversations that make them see the value they get in being associated with you. Build a framework and know and understand what the end goal for the customer is. Yes, you will offer them technical help but if you guide and show them how you can help them build their business, they are bound to be more intrigued.

Offer Freebies/Combos/Discounts

Just to set a foot in the door and for you to get a chance to get started, offer freebies. Do a free pilot test, a partial or a full network discovery and audit, an RMM Audit or a Firewall Audit based on the requirement or the need of the hour. Once the prospect is satisfied with what you have offered, and once they have gauged your capabilities, they’ll be willing to proceed. Offer Festival or Anniversary discounts to your clients. It prompts your clients to stay partnered and they will likely stay associated for longer.  

Innovate and Upskill

Experiment. Nobody likes the same old service for long. What is something new that you can offer to your clients or prospects? Maybe curate a bundle of your existing services, or add a new service to your existing service package, or you can even create an in-house team that focuses entirely on the new service sector. If your newly department needs you to add resources and more skilled people to your team, so be it. Add them.

Irrespective of the business that you run, you always need to keep yourself and your team updated. Keep track of the latest trends, see what your competitors are offering and what they aren’t offering. Stay ahead of the competition and come up with a service that could actually add value to your clientele. Nobody knows their needs and demands better than you, so give them what they want.

 For an MSP, a good sector to invest in would be cybersecurity. As the former FBI Director Robert Mueller said, “There are only 2 types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be hacked”.

Cyberthreats and hacks will only rise to prominence now that almost every device is connected to the Internet. Barriers need to be strengthened to protect the IT Network. Invest in engineers that are skilled enough to maintain a Firewall and enforce security measures that are impossible to penetrate.

Invest in Marketing

Now, in a perfect world, you can have the flexibility to spend money on paid online advertisements, carry out promotional marketing campaigns, and increase spending to grow your brand’s visibility and generate more traffic and enquiries. But money surely is still a hindrance for many small and medium-sized businesses, in reality.

Marketing doesn’t necessarily mean heavy investment, your in-house team, the tech team who is in constant contact with the customers, can be excellent marketers as well. And based on the trust factor they have formed, it becomes easier for the customers to believe what you say.

Apart from that, you can also provide value by sharing insights and knowledge with your target audience via blogs, whitepapers, e-books etc. You can record the projects you’ve done and present them in the form of case studies and success stories. These make it easier for the audience to trust you.

Don’t lose heart, keep prospecting 

Even when times are tough and cracking new business seems to be a far-fetched goal, keep prospecting. Many get disheartened and withdraw themselves from the cycle but you can protect your business by continuing to run the race. Show your prospects and clients the bright side, show them the bigger picture. Serve them with technologies and tools that are in demand and can that change the business scenario for them.  

Growth Mindset

It’s not just the CEO and the directors who need to have a vision and a growth mindset, it’s important for everyone in the organization to have it. Unless everyone is on the same page and understands the value and the offerings and the vision, it’s difficult to serve and give your best.

Bonus: Always offer something extra. Go the extra mile to serve your clients. Always give more than what they expected. Give them an add-on, a new suggestion, ways they can improve. Anything that can help their brain juices run and actually think “Why didn’t I ever avail this service before? This is exactly what I needed”.

How are we expanding our business? 

Back when we started off on this Master MSP journey, Infrassist only offered NOC Services; monitoring, maintaining and troubleshooting errors that popped up in the MSPs RMM Tool. But as we kept growing, the team kept innovating. We started doing RMM Audits, Firewall Audits, we started providing dedicated resources instead of shared resources etc. We found a golden opportunity in the cloud and started leveraging on M365 Services. A team was built around it and we ventured into Azure, Automation, Scripting etc. We used to audit M365 tenants but then we took a standardized approach and adopted CIS Benchmark guidelines to perform the same. 

The innovation is still on and the hunger to serve our MSP Clients with services that prove beneficial to them, in the long run, is our goal.