Tag Archive - MSP

Why You Shouldn’t End 2016 Without an IT Audit

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The end of the year is filled with lots of last minute work – and plenty of employee time off.  Not a good combo. So it’s easy to let things slide. But one item you should not neglect is a year-end IT audit.

Maybe you do this every year and are only now putting it off. Perhaps you’ve never done one and aren’t looking forward to the effort. In either case, we hope you reconsider. While it seems like a lot of work, the time you put in the next few weeks will pay dividends. And with the right technology solution, the time spent can be inconsequential. Continue Reading…

IT Service Management and IT Maturity Best Practices

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When Gartner talks, IT listens. Recently the noted research house pontificated about IT Service Management (ITSM) and gave 10 bits of advice to best harness this technology. The suggestions come care of Top 10 IT Service Management Next Practices.

So what is ITSM? ITSM encompasses a range of activities, processes and policies aimed at making IT services delivery efficient and effective – and that meet end user and customer (in the case of a service provider) needs. ITSM can be implemented by an internal IT department, and here it brings discipline to service delivery and end-user support. It is also used by service providers so they can insure all clients are supported by top-rate, continually improving IT services.
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Sagiss Makes Managing Office 365 into Growing Service with Kaseya 365 Command

 

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20 year-old MSP Sagiss is no stick in the mud and is always looking for new opportunities. These days the company is helping clients move to the cloud with its new Office 365 management service, made possible by Kaseya’s 365 Command.

We reached out to Sagiss CTO Jim Lancaster and service desk leader Javier Caporal to find out how 365 Command eases cloud transitions and helps clients exploit the full benefits of the Microsoft cloud suite.
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Building and Tuning a High-powered Sales Engine

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Probably the single most important aspect of running a business is sales. Sales are the life-blood of the business:  without sales you don’t have customers; without customers, you don’t have a business.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a small MSP where the owner wears the sales hat or global MSP with a large international sales team: selling well depends on having the fundamentals right. Before you pick up the phone and make your first prospecting call, you need to prepare.  This means more than going to the prospects’ website and finding out the name of the IT person.
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Kaseya VSA: The Best RMM For MSPs

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What would an MSP be without an RMM? Not much. Fact is, remote monitoring and management solutions are the core of most MSPs’ operation. The RMM defines how much you can do with client networks and end points. And it defines the technician experience – how efficient and easy the RMM is to use.

With this in mind, Kaseya has been working night and day to improve Kaseya VSA, now on version 9.3 with 9.4 soon to come. Much of the work has been to fully tune VSA to suit the needs of MSPs. It truly is next generation RMM. That’s our view. Now independent consulting firm Clarity Channel Advisors has confirmed what we knew all along – that VSA is the best RMM solution an MSP can buy today.

Kaseya VSA faced off against Autotask, ConnectWise and SolarWinds MSP.
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How the Right PSA Can Drive MSP Growth

psa_blog_bigThe MSP market is growing fast. According to the report Managed Services Market by MarketsandMarkets, managed services will rise from $145 billion this year to $242 billion in 2021. That’s a healthy Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.8%.

Unfortunately not all MSPs are growing that fast, and many of those that do would love to grow even faster.

To take on new clients, your technical solutions, such as your RMM, have to scale to support that growth. However, there are also internal business issues and client business issues —such as contracts, billing and project management that ―have to scale as well. That’s where a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution built especially for MSPs comes in. It makes running your operation more efficient and brings discipline to many business functions. And yes, that PSA will help you achieve growth goals and manage that growth.

Impediments to Growth

There are many hurdles that keep MSPs from growing at a healthy clip. One problem is not having the right business tool such as that MSP-specific PSA. Smaller MSPs don’t think they can afford a PSA, so don’t bother getting one. As you’ll learn later, price should be no barrier to gaining PSA capabilities – provided you choose the right vendor.
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The IT Guide to Cloud Uptime

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When you move mission-critical or even moderately critical applications to the cloud, uptime (and performance) is everything.

The cloud seems simple – after all, it acts as one big server and storage array in the sky, right? At a certain level, that is true. But this view obscures real complexity around: choosing the right cloud service, having a proper WAN, and managing and maintaining your cloud connections. At the same time, you need enough bandwidth so your latency-sensitive applications, such as VoIP, perform properly.

A half a decade ago, it seemed cloud services were going down left and right. Amazon Web Services was out for five days; Yahoo Mail had problems as did VMware’s Cloud Foundry development cloud. There are still sporadic issues on the cloud provider side, but at a much lower rate than five years ago. Even so, the largest enterprises find this unacceptable, and with their large budgets can afford a second provider that they can fail over to.
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The True Value of a NOC – Freedom!

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Only the largest MSPs have technical staffs that operate 24×7. These organizations can support clients night and day, and also handle issues that occur across a wide geographic area.

Most service providers don’t have that luxury. During off hours, client problems can remain unresolved. That might be fine for a mom and pop shop which closes down at 5 o’clock, but not so hot for larger clients whose work hours are far longer and more varied.

The answer is for the MSP to ‘renting’ a Network Operations Center (NOC) service through a third party.

A NOC, to put it simply, is the place from where services are managed and delivered. During normal work hours, this would all likely occur with the MSP’s direct staff. A third-party NOC is simply another location, managed by another company, where these same service functions can reside. The goal is that when a client has a problem, they should not know whether it is handled by the MSP directly or the third-party NOC service provider.
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The Essential Guide to Successful Cross Selling and Upselling

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Many MSPs grow by constantly acquiring new clients. But when these are one-off engagements based on a single service or break/fix contract, clients can leave as fast as they arrive. That’s the kind of churn that keeps MSP execs up at night.

A better way to go is selling sets of services, all managed by your firm. This is the whole idea behind service bundles. Often, MSPs package their services into two or three sets of bundled services.

But how do you increase the number of services a client outsources to you after a sale? There are two mains ways: cross selling and upselling.

Defining Terms

These two techniques are distinctly difference but share essential common element.
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Making Statements of Work, Work For You

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A Statement of Work (SOW) is sometimes confused with a Master Services Contract (MSA), and indeed some use the terms interchangeably.

On the other hand, an SOW is an ideal way to scope out a project, especially a complex project, as opposed to an MSA, that details a long-standing services arrangement.  (You can read a recent blog of mine on how to craft contracts, SLAs and MSAs.)

Many times a client will specifically require an SOW, so you should be prepared to craft one that suits both parties.

If you already have a contract or MSA with a client, your SOW can encompass some of the same issues and reinforce those bonds.

SOW General Overview

An SOW, being most often project-based, focuses on defining what the deliverables are and when they should arrive.

Just as important, the SOW defines all the milestones that are behind the deliverables and who does what. This requires timetables, a way to review progress, and a means of tying payment to project progress. In addition, all resources critical to the project are defined in the SOW, as well as which parties bear which costs.
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