By: Dave Sobel, director of partner community, Level Platforms, an AVG Company
Solution providers are drawn to the managed services model. The allure of recurring revenue is strong — besides helping to stabilize cash flow and service delivery costs, it shifts the relationship between solutions providers and their clients from being adversarial to one where both parties have similar business goals.
The transformation is significant, massively altering, and straightforward. And the best way to start is with a good plan.
Step One: Understand the business model. To know what you want to do, you have to understand what you will become. There are considerable resources available online, like Level Platforms’ “See All — Manage All — Service All” webinars, and reading and learning what the business model looks like will help with the transformation.
Step Two: Offer a new, simple service to your customers. Start with a monitoring and alerting service for customers who you have previously serviced with break-fix style engagements. Using a remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool, a solutions provider can set up a simple service, watching break-fix customers for incidents, and alerting those customers when something occurs. The repair can still be done under a break-fix engagement, but this proactive engagement will introduce customers to the idea of monthly service and allow you to learn how to handle monthly billing.
Step Three: Introduce a new managed service for those customers ready to move. As you find success with the automated service, you will be in a position to offer a more inclusive, service-based managed service. Customers will be prepared to migrate when they see the success with proactive service.
Step Four: Offer the new services to all customers. Using network audits as leads, new customers can be introduced to the idea of using technology to find and resolve problems. Services around monitoring and alerting can be introduced first, and you can offer complete managed service to customers for whom it is appropriate.
This simple approach allows a break-fix provider not to disrupt existing customers and revenue while adding the new managed service. This allows the solutions provider to grow and learn through a simple process.