In today’s competitive environment, managed service providers (MSPs) must look for any advantage that puts them ahead of the pack. For many companies, that means adding additional managed services and other sought-after technologies to their service portfolio.
Achieving that goal often means joining forces with a number of other collaborative partners who can share technologies and expertise. Collaboration with other MSPs can help fill in gaps in service offerings, develop well-needed resources, and cultivate closer relationships with current and prospective clients.
Focus on In-House Talent
One way to cultivate collaboration involves introducing in-house talent capable of developing specific technology needed within the company. This can consist of full-time staff or part-time consultants. Regardless, all players on the team should be passionate and motivated about enhancing the MSP’s value with critically needed services. A trial run always helps MSPs get a feel for their new hires’ abilities and talents.
Collaboration Through Acquisition
Another avenue of collaboration involves merging with another MSP through acquisition or other means. It’s an option that requires a large amount of resources, time, and careful forethought on part of the executive leadership. If done correctly, the results can be fruitful, especially if the acquired MSP’s service portfolio offers additional services and clients the acquirer lacks.
When pursuing this option, it’s important to understand how the potential company fits within the acquirer’s framework and how it can best offer favorable results. Important factors to consider include:
- Overall company health, performance, and operational guidelines
- Customer satisfaction and retention rates
- Employee tenure and satisfaction
- Feasibility of systems integration and likelihood of cross-compatibility
- Possible changes in current workflow, if necessary
Partnerships With Local Providers
The last option covered here involves partnerships with local MSPs and other key IT providers. Such efforts can be successful for a variety of hardware and software projects where shared knowledge between two MSPs is optimal.
However, it’s important to carefully vet potential candidates for collaborative projects. This involves comprehensive research on each potential partner to ensure that a proper partnership is indeed possible. There are several ways to accomplish this:
- Reviews and recommendations from online industry forums and social media
- Personal recommendations from peer groups and industry associations
- Connections formed at industry events
- Testimonials from current clients and fellow MSPs
Today’s MSPs must seek any advantage they can find, and that means entering into collaboration and partnerships with other local MSPs and service providers. While such partnerships are often beneficial for both parties, there may be cases where the results are less than acceptable. In the end, it’s up to the MSP’s discretion when considering options for continued profitability.