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.

Published by Abheek Dutta

A perennial thrill-seeker with an avid interest in transforming and improving lives around the globe through the wonderful gift of technology, I am the Senior Vice President of Henson Group . My specialties include Leadership, problem-solving, and putting cutting-edge technology (Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning) in the hands of corporates, startups, and professionals. I have been obsessed with the idea of using technology to solve real-world problems. Having previously worked with global software giants like TCS and IBM, I now usually sit at my office at the World Trade Center, New York and Chandigarh , India. Among my greatest achievements, increasing the revenue of Henson Group by ten-folds in the past two years, remains my favorite along with the fact that Henson Group’s India center has now become ‘a center of excellence’ with its entire technical team being Microsoft certified. On the delivery side, I helped Henson Group attain the prestigious “ Azure Expert MSP Certification “ with Microsoft . Hailing from Jammu, my team has grown from five to 150 employees and associates in just two years. Even during COVID-19 era, our growth has soared while helping corporates, industries and startups to tide over many hurdles and challenges. Henson Group is recently featured at rank 132 in the Inc. 5000 Rating. Skillsets: Cloud Services, Managed Services Provider (MSP), Computers & Networks, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Project management, Leadership , Cyber Security Mr. Dutta manages and monitors the performance of consultants and partners on engagements, communicating with the account executive, project teams, and customers. Works in close collaboration with the Microsoft project manager, providing hands-on project management expertise as required. Mr. Dutta provides direct oversight over the MSP Client Operations team responsible for managing MSP relationships with existing MSP clients and day to day operations of these accounts. Mr. Dutta oversees the Centralized Delivery Team that is responsible for high volume cloud migrations and MSP delivery to current clients. Team consists of over 120+ engineers and project managers.

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