3 Lessons Learned While Transitioning to a Full-Service MSP
January 14, 2013
Nick Isherwood
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Today’s businesses have increasingly complex IT infrastructures, and don’t often have the capability to internally monitor IT systems, website availability, performance and security. In this instance, they turn to MSPs to provide hosted and remote IT support services.

Yet not all MSPs are created equal. Without the proper technologies and processes in place, MSPs risk acting as helpdesks – putting out IT fires so to speak, rather than preventing them in the first place.

In light of this challenge, MSPs have an opportunity to develop more advanced services by integrating on-premise, data center and Cloud management tools and platforms. This advancement should be focused on delivering a real-time single pane of glass view across customers’ networks, applications and services, ultimately opening the door to a more strategic, proactive mindset. By honing in on more advanced monitoring and management of customers’ onsite and Cloud-based IT infrastructures, MSPs can move beyond the help-desk mentality into a mode of prevention rather than cure.

As the technology services director of JMC IT, an MSP providing support services to hundreds of small to medium-sized businesses in the north of England, I have first hand experience transforming our company from typically reactive to a proactive, full-service MSP.

We tapped the ScienceLogic Platform as the foundation for our new Active System Monitoring (ASM) service that enables JMC IT to monitor the security, performance and availability of our customers’ onsite and Cloud-based IT infrastructures. As a result of launching ASM as part of our wider SupportCare Active managed services portfolio, we are able to offer more advanced services to customers, improve customer loyalty, increase revenue and attract new business.

Here are three lessons I learned throughout the implementation process that can help IT support organizations as they make the transition to a full-service MSP:

Lesson 1: Make Services Sticky

With the proper strategy and monitoring tools, MSPs are in a prime position to make the services they provide to customers ‘stickier’. By offering current and prospective customers more advanced management and monitoring services, MSPs are introducing tools that help customers adapt and evolve with their respective industries – a competitive advantage that is invaluable.

Lesson 2: Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Numerous MSPs fall into the habit of operating in a reactive mindset. This means that MSPs are uncovering problems after they happen, which often results in a lengthy ‘find and fix’ process. Instead, MSPs should embrace a proactive stance, working towards the ability to stop problems before they happen. Ultimately, this proactivity allows MSPs to offer more advanced services to customers, improve customer loyalty and increase revenue.

Lesson 3: Cultivate a Customer-First Culture

More than anything, the customer should always come first. MSPs must embrace a customer-centric culture to ensure that every business function of the organization is tailored toward anticipating customer needs and challenges before they rise to the surface. This cultural shift is the defining difference between an IT support provider that is simply a helpdesk, and one that is the foundation of its customers’ businesses.

Customers rightly expect their IT to be available and performing at its best. True value lies in the MSP’s ability to provide this performance and peace of mind at all times. Those that can meet these expectations can truly define themselves as full service MSPs.

ABOUT Nick Isherwood

Nick Isherwood is JMC’s Technology Services Director. He is responsible for a team of 30 IT professionals focused on the design, implementation and national support of technology solutions for over 400 UK businesses across a variety of sectors. As a keen triathlete outside of work, he is naturally competitive and fanatical about leading the way in service excellence along with value that can be measured.

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ScienceLogic Enables JMC IT To Become Proactive, Full-Service Managed Service Provider

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