Transitioning your existing value-added reseller (VAR) customers over to a managed service provider (MSP) model isn't always easy. However, standardization allows you to develop expertise on technologies that you use— reducing the time and effort necessary to deploy and manage them, thus making your transition easier. Many tech vendors offer product-specific education and certification programs.

According to Patrick Murphy of Results Technology, standardizing on specific vendors has been a successful tactic for his business. “You want to offer the same technologies to all of your clients—one Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) product, one networking product, etc.,” he said. “Focus on what you are good at. This is what we sell, this is what we provide, this is what you can expect. Make those things very clear.”

Many successful MSPs publish a service catalog to ensure that potential and current customers are aware of what is available. It should be detailed enough that there is no ambiguity in what each service offers but not so technical that you lose them. Since this document defines what you provide in each offering, it’s an opportunity to explain how your services differ from others.

“Make it simple, said Murphy. “When we first started, we were struggling to sell services. We realized we were making things too complicated with different tiers of service and confusing customers. Today, we offer same services and technologies across the board.” However you approach it, you need to build in enough flexibility that you can support a wide variety of clients. So, it’s important to choose technologies can support lots of different of IT environments.

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