I want MSPs to completely rethink how they structure their business.
Did I get your attention? Good, now stay with me.
You see, traditionally MSPs have been organized around their service offerings – around the individual categories of work that they do. There’s the NOC, the help desk, field service workers and account management, just to name a few. This service-based approach has served our industry well for many years, but the needs of modern businesses are increasingly complex and multidimensional. The tech industry, in the age of the cloud, moves faster than many clients can keep up with. Which means that clients are looking for more than a help desk; they need experts to lead their larger IT strategy. To this end, in order to make a substantial impact in the marketplace, rather than focus on service offerings, MSPs need to go to market with defined service practices.
The notion of a service practice is a leading-edge concept for MSPs that requires them to make a strategic decision to structure and operate their business in a completely different way. Rather than going to the customer with an internally-facing orientation (the individual departments of an MSP, as I described above), a service practice is a customer-facing orientation, providing logical categories to satisfy the ultimate promise to the customer – IT that is highly available, secure and easy to use. For example, a cloud service practice… a mobility service practice… a security service practice – that’s a big one. Each of these service practices live under the umbrella of the MSP; yet each has its own tactical strategy.
This approach positions the MSP in the market in a much more specialized, substantial and competitive way. To really add value, to truly maximize the ROI of your end user, MSPs need to go to market with a comprehensive way to solve problems for their end users. And rather than individual solutions to individual problems, a service practice solves a set of business issues and challenges. A service offering is singular in intent, while a practice is broader, more complete and focused on a larger impact. From the perspective of the end user, a service practice is a logical category of service.
This isn’t just conceptual – it’s an actual, legitimate way to run a business, and one used by the professional service industry for years. In this framework, each service practice is of strategic importance to the MSP. It has its own business plan, including P&L to ensure profitability, revenue, margin targets and objectives to ensure growth, investment profile, marketing collateral and sales targets. If done right, a service practice will be a differentiating factor for an MSP in going to market. The MSP will have more clearly defined opportunities, requirements, investments and market positioning. Lastly, it allows the MSP to more easily evaluate success, pivot and make corrections and adjustments to maximize success.
For example, a security service practice will position an MSP as an expert in an area that is often cited as a client’s #1 concern. A mobility service practice is a differentiator to: it’s not about the device, it’s about people “working where they want and when they want to ensure effective work AND a work/life balance.” By having a data migration service practice, an MSP can market to businesses who need to move data between various cloud or hybrid cloud setups (isn’t that nearly everyone?). And of course, building a cloud service practice will enable an MSP to stay relevant as the IT industry increasingly moves away from traditional, on-prem services.
At CloudJumper, we’re committed to the success of MSPs. Of course we want to support your cloud service practice, providing you with the tools to easily deploy and manage your clients’ virtual workspaces, including Windows Virtual Desktop. But for us, it’s more than that – we’re more than the suite of products we sell. The collective years of experience that our team has, puts us in a unique position to help MSPs think about their businesses in new and expansive ways. MSPs have trusted us for more than a decade, and our historical success is a direct result of our dedication to our MSP partners.
MSPs have an incredible opportunity to be on the front line, leading the industry, but it will take a shift in how they think about selling their services. I truly believe that those who are able to build a service practice, with our help, will come out on top.
Stay tuned for Part Two of this series, in which I’ll be digging a little deeper. Namely, how, specifically, do we apply these concepts to a Cloud Service Practice? And how can CloudJumper help?