Managed service providers (MSPs) need to constantly adapt to the shifting needs of their clients, particularly since technology is evolving at such a rapid pace. This demands a proactive approach–one that anticipates and preemptively solves the most common problems that MSPs face in building, maintaining, and growing their businesses.
Threat #1: Sticking to Outdated Approaches
In this business, what worked a month ago or even a week ago may no longer work today. Many MSPs don’t stay as current as they should–both with emerging technologies and with the needs of their clients. The days of limiting oneself to a single service are over. For MSPs to compete in the current landscape, they need to diversify their service offerings and stay on top of the latest innovations.
This demands a two-part approach:
- MSPs need to understand what buyers value in their telecom services.
- MSPs need to embrace innovative approaches to providing that value.
In other words, MSPs need to constantly revisit and update their business and service delivery models.
Threat #2: Assuming Telcos Can’t Compete
Many MSPs assume that telcos are relatively limited in what they’re able to offer directly and assume they aren’t much of a competition threat. The reality is that telcos are very aware of the profit potential of offering managed services, and they’ve even moved into cloud computing to gain a percentage of the available market share.
Yet, MSPs stand to benefit from forming relationships with telcos rather than directly competing with them. Many telcos are now offering partnership programs, in which they give MSPs access to special rates and service packages in exchange for promoting their services to clients. It’s a good idea for MSPs to create a win-win situation by contacting telcos with which they have a working relationship to see if any such opportunities are available.
Threat #3: BYOD Policies
Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are providing businesses with a measure of cost control, because this strategy allows them to avoid continually investing in smartphones, handsets, and laptops for their employees.
Rather than standing by and watching BYOD erode their businesses, MSPs should move into mobile device management (MDM), and offer MDM setup and compliance as part of their service suites. This positions MSPs to benefit from–rather than be harmed by–the BYOD trend.
Threat #4: Failing to Upgrade Infrastructure
MSPs might erroneously approach infrastructure set-up as a “one and done” proposition, rather than continually reviewing its performance on behalf of their clients and offering upgrades that meet changing data and security needs.
In other cases, MSPs leave it to the client to manage their own infrastructure, despite the fact that the client may lack the knowledge or resources to do this. When that happens, clients end up seeking external solutions that don’t involve the MSP.
MSPs should constantly search for ways to upgrade their existing clients’ services. Taking this proactive approach increases the client’s confidence in the MSP’s abilities, and it improves their level of customer satisfaction. Both of these factors foster loyal, long-term relationships.
For MSPs, the good news is that many agents simply aren’t doing these things. Adopting these practices can give MSPs a critical competitive edge in an increasingly complex, cut-throat industry.