March 21, 2017
Choosing the right Vendor for your MSP Business
Building a successful Managed Service offering is a tight-rope walk between adding value for your customers and adding value for your business - too much from either side and your business could topple. Here’s our top tips for taking on a new Vendor.
Understand your Clients’ Needs
This is a vital first step. You, and only you, understand your customers’ businesses. Do they have any in-house IT staff? Do they run a webstore? Do they need to work with large files? The requirements of an Architect and an Accounting Firm are a stark contrast, despite both being office-based, white-collar businesses. Both businesses need a BCDR solution but for different reasons. And every business will have a different perspective on an acceptable RPO.
Use a free tool like SurveyMonkey to gather data on your clients’ needs.
Set Goals for Your Business
...and be detailed about it. Every business's’ goal is ‘increase profit’ (if it isn’t - teach us your secrets!), but how do you plan to do that? Enable growth through automation and reduction of manual intervention? Increase client base? Add more services? Charge more? Pick a strategy.
Meet the Vendor
The importance of this section cannot be stressed enough. The MSP-Vendor relationship should be deeper than the usual supplier relationship. Ask yourself: is the vendor transparent? How helpful are they? Are they channel-focused? The best way to get an insight into a Vendor is to attend an event, like our own Discover Datto. As well as hearing ‘the spiel’, you’ll also get the invaluable opportunity to chat to Account Managers, Solutions Engineers and current Partners.
Will it Integrate?
RMM and PSA tools are the lifeblood of an MSP, as we strive towards enlightenment - working from a Single-Pane-of-Glass. Check your new vendor integrates into your existing software, or the next few months will be frustrating, exhausting, and probably end in failure.
Understand the Service Requirements
Finally, what skills do and your technicians need to deliver this solution? For example, Datto offers free training to help their partners - but some level of Linux-Fu is needed to get the most out of it. Next, investigate the level of manual intervention required. Taylor Made reports freeing up staff time by 50% after moving their clients to Datto from solutions that required manual intervention.