Use Enterprise Experience To Better Serve Your SMB Customers
Remote management tools allowed this MSP to turn a small support contract into $18,000 in recurring revenue.
Business Solutions, April 2009
Once selected for the job, Green Orb faced the challenge of consolidating five unrelated networks into one single, integrated technology system that encompassed all the client’s offices, including one in London. “What we learned from this project was a lot about how to consolidate assets, how to remotely manage a network, and how to remotely manage a large client,” says Whitney. It took Green Orb four months to streamline the client’s technology hubs into one cohesive, secure network. “They didn’t know what they had in terms of technology or what they needed, so they trusted us to evaluate and resolve all the technology issues,” explains Whitney. To meet that challenge, Green Orb audited the client’s existing technology components and business processes at each office. The MSP discovered unsecured and disparate networks, no set technology purchasing policy in terms of vendors, and no attempt to take advantage of what should have been tremendous purchasing power.
Remote Management Product Enables Profitable Support
Today, the client’s 240 workstations are on one standard and secure network, supported by 22 servers in three locations. To accomplish that feat, Green Orb established and set network and IT standards for the client’s multiple locations, created a secure interface for administrators who needed access to the entire network, and then integrated the company’s existing technology investment into that network. “We also set up policies for purchasing, which we handle for them, so that each purchase is quoted competitively, and the technology purchases are standardized,” says Whitney. For example, all new laptops purchased are from the same manufacturer and set with a standard image. Lastly, Green Orb implemented a file system that defines a set file structure for all employees to follow and leverages the client’s new consolidated storage system.
After the initial consolidation of the client’s network was complete, Green Orb’s relationship evolved into that of a full-fledged services provider; it is effectively the client’s IT staff. That means $18,000 in recurring monthly revenue for Green Orb. That level of responsibility also drove Green Orb to change how it handled this client. “Network monitoring and management of a client this large was quickly overwhelming,” says Whitney. Green Orb now uses N-able remote management software to wrangle this client’s large network and multiple locations. Using N-able, Green Orb deployed monitoring agents into the entire network, allowing Green Orb’s staff to monitor the customer’s infrastructure from one console.
Today, this large client relies on Green Orb for everything from IT purchasing to reports that support the client’s IT budgeting process. “This client never had an IT budget before, and with the network usage report capabilities we provide, we can plan so well that we were within 2% of last year’s budget,” says Whitney. The outcome for Green Orb has been equally impressive. “What we learned is that almost every client is the same if they are experiencing rapid growth; they often face the same challenges as this customer — regardless of their size,” says Whitney. “Clients have to get at their data, it has to be secure, and they need it to be well managed.” Because of the lessons learned at the enterprise level with this managed services client, Whitney says Green Orb is better prepared to serve its smaller customers, which are the majority of its clientele. “The same experience we give a 300-seat client, we give to our 10-seat client.”