Embracing the Cloud Mindset – The key to kick-start a successful MSP business

Decoding the MSP’s success shouldn’t be tough. Many MSPs guides entail it as managing multiple applications in the cloud and assuring exceptional service to the customers. However, newbies in the market don’t look beyond the conventional definition and fail to address the fast-evolving market called cloud technology. As a result, they end up trapped in the rat race wherein the only motive is to sell less and survive.

Amateur entrepreneurs must demonstrate a competitive edge by pitching a robust solution for the market. They must articulate the true essence of the cloud and educate more businesses about the perks of on-demand services.

Having led a successful managed services business myself, I believe every startup must adorn the following best practices to actually decode the potential in the billion-dollar market place.

Deploy a smart sales model

Deciding what to sell and at what price is a tough task and gets more complicated for a MSPs that commits to providing on-demand customization of services. As of now, the most popular pricing models hover around charging as per user, per device, per hour or as per consumption of cloud infrastructure. At times, fixed cost models or recurring pricing have also been used in delivery engagements. However, cut-throat competition and increasing commoditization have led to MSPs selling lesser than their peer and ultimately killing their margins. Solution?

Get this straight – no matter how bad the market is, nothing beats qualitative service followed by a smart sales model. Hire professionals who not only have a compelling command over their sales pitch but also possess in-depth knowledge of various cloud models, software systems and other infrastructural resources in the play. Yes, building a qualitative sales team takes time but then what doesn’t?

Once you are good to go with a dependable sales team, deploy a thorough (P&L) model that can determine the most appropriate price for a particular customer. This will include metrics such as the willingness and the capacity of the customer to pay, operational expenses, expected longevity of the association and the contribution to the overall ROI targeted for the organization.

Create a Security-Based Culture

The worldwide spending on cybersecurity is expected to reach USD 133 billion in 2020. As more enterprises embrace the cloud adoption for their critical functions, security awareness has emerged as the top priority for the market. Start today and introduce security awareness as a prime offering attached to your core services. This can include professional assistance to look deeper into issues with threats such as phishing, firewall attacks, nonperforming 2-factor authentications, and others. The fear of cyber-attacks has and will continue to generate demand for managed security services that help to mitigate risk in the cloud.

Discover more opportunities after the current assignment

If your client has moved on from legacy systems into the cloud, that doesn’t end your association with them. I come across many long time channel partners who fear a loss of business because the client doesn’t have any budget for their core services. That’s not the way to pursue organizational growth. If the client has moved budgets to the cloud, MSPs must explore further opportunities for offering services in the newer ecosystem.

This could open newer avenues for you with projects ranging from routine maintenance, quality assurance, cybersecurity, scalability, and integrations. As an MSP, you should be prepared to adapt to changes in the technology spectrum; and there isn’t any better start than exploring cloud services. At Henson Group, our association with customers didn’t end with one time Azure migration projects, Rather, we were able to steer their focus towards further possibilities such as moving the legacy email system to Office 365.

Most of the time, all it takes is an approach forward to pitch.

Domain expert consultants

One of the key factors that encouraged more enterprises to associate with MSPs is the demand for multi-functional resources, tools and a process in the center to manage them. Since MSPs bring on board a lineup of services from different domains, it becomes easier for the enterprise (customer) to align their processes by simply handpicking the service or the resource they want.

Therefore, MSPs must ensure in house availability of all resources within the targeted service domain.

For example, at Henson Group, we made it a point to have all types of resources within the Microsoft cloud services umbrella and that all of them are certified, professionals. Not only has this helped us hone our collective skill set but also put us among the most valued partners by many customers.

Small is Big!

Don’t hesitate from making an announcement that you just started with a new line of MSP services. There’s no shame in admitting that you are a small entity but credible enough to take up complex requirements. On the other side, it is always easy to start and manage small IT environments. Start with restricted demographics and scale up gradually. Not only will this hone your organization growth skills but it will also help you build a stronger foundation as an MSP.

Microsoft Cloud for COVID-19. Facts and Data



If the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has pushed your 2020 plans in dire straits, you aren’t alone. Businesses all over the world, across the industrial facet and countries, are facing the wrath of human negligence. As expected, profit margins have dropped, unemployment rates have gone higher and above all, the enterprise processes are trying hard to dodge the bullet and execute as much possible by working remotely.

And like every time, technology is at the epicenter of driving communications, empowering millions of remote workers to perform normally and to put it correctly, saving the world. While a swaddle of technology companies have rolled out innovative software applications, Microsoft’s Azure and other applications are leading the show with their prompt response to the world crisis.

Azure’s explosive surge is known as its demand quadrupled within a few weeks. With tools like Microsoft Teams that cater to millions of sessions every day, Azure, which is the backbone of all cloud applications is once again setting examples of producing solutions most effectively.

Just a few weeks before the official declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azure had already registered a growth by 62%; taking Microsoft’s collective quarter turnover to USD 11.9 billion.

Here’s a quick run through the different applications that are either built on Azure or working closely with the cloud platform.

Microsoft Teams 

Since millions of employees are confined to work from home, enterprises are in a fix to replace their standard processes; except those who had a backup plan for extreme circumstances like these. However, Microsoft Teams has come to the rescue of enterprises across industrial facet.

In Italy, the platform’s demand surged by 775% due to abrupt lockdown enforced in the country. This has put the application at the forefront of all enterprise communications.

Not only is the Azure driven meeting service seamlessly running professional engagements but also saving cost for the organizations; that helps insensitive days like these. Despite hosting over 900 million meetings every day, Teams hasn’t faced any major disruptions. The number of users has grown explosively to more than 40 million.

In their latest upgrade that is due for the end of April, up to 9 team members will be able to participate in a single video call feature.

The COVID-19 Assessment Bot

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been burning the midnight oil to reinvent better methods for containing the pandemic. Since vulnerability identification is a key process here, Microsoft has joined forces with the agency for quick and accurate filtration of those showing any symptoms of the COVID-19 disease.

Powered by Microsoft Azure, the bot asks users questions about their health so that possible infections could be faultlessly assessed. The bot further uses an AI screening process and empowers organizations in detecting potential infection.

For the first few weeks, the Healthcare Bot service can be accessed on the CDC’s website. The bot will interact with people who fear any symptoms in their health condition and filter those who are at a higher risk of acquiring the infection.

Based on the series of chats and the data analyzed, the bot suggests the next course of action including home remedies, sharing medical support contact numbers of the concerned team and any other details as asked by the user.

Given the severity of the situation caused due to panic, such an automated service helps in educating the population about the right process to follow and that there’s nothing to fear about.

The COVID-19 Portal

As tech giants across the world lock horns with a dependable website to track the COVID-19 expansion, Microsoft’s Bing team had developed the COVID-19 Tracking Portal. Publishing a US heat map illustration, the portal depicts disease distribution in all 50 states while highlighting the worst affected areas in red and so on.

Furthermore, the interactive map also lets the user click on a specific country on the world map and consume updated information about the status in real-time. This includes newly reported cases, deceased count, recovered count and predicted cases.

Aggregating the data from different sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others.

Going Forward

Given the upheaval of events in 2020, businesses need to rekindle their goals for the year ahead. And that requires flexible policies and above all, patience. While all of us need to retrospect and weigh our options, the disparity in profit margins should be expected. Yes, the customer base shall contract that’ll directly impact the income and bring on allied consequences.

Does that mean the end is near? No way! Embracing our learnings from the 2008 dip, we must act wisely, rework our plans and emerge stronger.