Thriving in the cloud is a game of strategy. Like many MSPs, you might find cloud migration, implementation, and management still a bit of a mystery. It results in what David Taber of CIO.com calls a “treacherous” and unhealthy consulting market.
Despite, or perhaps because of, its highly competitive and innovative nature, cloud technology has taken quite the market hit. Rapid innovation has made it hard for MSPs, let alone business decision-makers, to stay ahead of the curve—subject matter experts can be rare and hard to find.
For Taber, an inadvertent and unanticipated competitive “race to the bottom” has created a need for MSPs to challenge their customers to protect their business from “best price” shoppers.
For Modern MSPs, creating a standard by which they conduct their business is crucial to success. This means setting an operating standard that everyone in the business can and will adhere to. One of Taber’s biggest is the disconnect between internal departments, particularly with the sales department. “Sales reps are way too eager to say ‘yes, we can,’ even when the client doesn’t really know what they need…” This too-common sales response creates unrealistic SLAs from a technology perspective, and often results in a negative outcome for both the client and the MSP.
Realistic SLAs are the best way to set realistic expectations with the customer.
MSPs should set expectations with every new customer by identifying their needs and outlining how these can and will be addressed. The best way to begin to set the bar for a realistic operating standard is to educate the customer. Customers who need managed services may be unaware of the industry overall; the MSP who brings the customers up to speed can also help them optimize their business efficiencies..
As Taber suggests, MSPs can build positive opportunities by sticking to customers who have done their homework and are looking for the long-term play.