Strategy & Best Practices

Going Beyond Microsoft: MSP Checklist for Making a Living

By Ideas @ AppDirect / Jul 03, 2018

The managed services industry is undergoing massive change. New technologies, shifting customer demands, increasing competitive pressures—these are just a few of the factors that are impacting MSPs around the globe, and sending many on a search for new strategies that will help them succeed. 

In the midst of so much change, MSPs need to remember that demand for their expertise is higher than ever before, and the range of services that they can provide has never been greater. It’s a simple but true statement, as Howard M. Cohen, contributing editor of Redmond Channel Partner Magazine, emphasized during a recent RCP webinar. “There are services you can provide to a cloud customer before, during, and after the cloud transition,” he said. 

“If your monthly recurring revenue is only coming from the cloud subscriptions, you are doing something wrong."

“Somebody has got to design the cloud solution. Somebody has got to deploy the cloud solution and provision all the services. Somebody has to migrate all the data and migrate the applications,” he continued. “Once the users are transitioned and trained, they're still going to need support on an ongoing basis. They're going to need capacity management. They're going to need network management. They're going to need somebody keeping all their cloud providers honest.”

He outlined a checklist detailing the array of different services MSPs can provide:

  • Initial consulting
  • Application inventory and evaluation
  • Solution architecture / cloud service selection
  • Information architecture / capacity planning
  • Security planning with cloud integration design
  • Application transition planning
  • Environment transition planning
  • User transition training
  • Cloud service provisioning
  • Email system migration
  • Email archiving 
  • Data migration
  • User deployment and rollout
  • Day-zero transition support
  • User support programs 
  • Network and cloud service QoS monitoring and management programs
  • Capacity management 

As Cohen pointed out, MSPs don’t need to depend on subscriptions alone. “If your monthly recurring revenue is only coming from the cloud subscriptions, you are doing something wrong and you are short changing yourself,” he said. “You can dramatically increase your monthly recurring revenue and your upfront revenue hit by making sure you're providing, either yourself or through partnering, all the services on this checklist.”

Over the past three weeks, we’ve explored how MSPs can differentiate and focus on verticals to set themselves apart and drive new business. If you’re interested in learning more, you can download our recent white paper “The Future of The MSP Market: Can Existing MSPs Make Money in the Cloud?”

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