By Ronnie Parisella, director of business development, Power Consulting Group
I started selling managed services to my IT support clients in 2001. There were no dominant PSA (professional services automation) or RMM (remote monitoring and management) vendors back then, and the supporting market was just developing. Clients at that time had a hard time understanding our new value offering. They were confused about the benefits of paying a monthly flat fee for their IT support, not understanding the value of proactive monitoring over reacting to IT problems. Nowadays, customers are realizing what support providers always knew: a flat fee contract is easier to manage and budget than the previous time and materials billing model.
Today, we sell managed services very differently than we did years ago. Our managed services clients are completely flat fee, meaning that they receive a fixed monthly bill that includes all the proactive and reactive support required to take care of their networks. Of course there are some exceptions (i.e. out of warranty hardware) that must be billed hourly, but these are minimal, and are remediated quickly, in most cases.