Straight Talk and Tough Love: Building Trust with Your Clients

MSP Client Communication Best Practices
As with any relationship, it takes hard work and dedication to keep MSPs and their clients aligned and in synch.  The worst situation is when you believe everything is fine, but you find out too late that there has been a fundamental misunderstanding.  Maybe your client won’t dramatically throw a drink in your face in front of a restaurant full of people,  but it will still sting if a client walks out the door and moves on to another MSP.

So what should you do to avoid this fate?  You can find guidance in rules that govern any type of relationship.

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Five Commons Sense Fails for Onboarding New Clients

Strategic Onboarding for MSPs

I was talking to an MSP the other day about onboarding.  He had thought long and hard on how to optimize his onboarding practices, incorporating current best practices and expert recommendations.  He had developed a robust onboarding plan, with checklists and documented timelines. He leveraged this process both as a selling device to instill confidence with prospects, and as a client management device to streamline the first critical steps in a client engagement.

Despite all that hard work, however, he had overlooked several critical onboarding considerations that could result in even more satisfied clients, less client churn, and, perhaps most importantly, stronger margins.

Why did this smart, up-to-date managed services professional miss these opportunities?  He had fallen sway to common sense ideas about onboarding that, while not exactly wrong, aren’t totally right.

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8 Ways MSPs Increase Profits by Eliminating Unplanned Work

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As you manage your MSP business, it’s vital to minimize unplanned and unexpected work, especially if they result in unpaid work.

You can’t price your services profitably unless you can confidently estimate the staff resources required to meet your contracted obligations. Any unexpected client work directly impacts your bottom line for the worse.

So, how do you protect your business from hidden gotchas or last-minute snafus?

Here are eight steps most often cited by highly profitable MSPs:

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The Real Reason Your Workforce Is Not As Productive As It Should Be

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Chances are, in an average day, you are not accomplishing as many tasks as you would like… and neither are your colleagues or your employees. What is mystifying about that statement is that it seems today’s workforce is putting in more hours and more effort than ever before coinciding with an increased adoption of IT devices and applications designed to improve user productivity. In fact, this has been a key driver for organizations to enable workforce mobility – to provide flexibility in accessing business IT resources (applications, data, email, and other services) from any device at any location at any time in order to improve overall business performance. But even the most accomplished business professionals must admit there are days when little gets done despite herculean efforts.

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Top 4 Ways MSPs Can Take Advantage of Growth Opportunities in 2015

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Three recent studies underline how 2015 is shaping up to be a great year for MSPs in the U.S.

SunTrust Banks’ annual Business Pulse Survey showed that 78% of small- and 84% of mid-sized U.S. businesses are prepped for growth this year. In fact, automating business processes and investing in technology and facilities were among the top projects noted to support this growth (especially for smaller companies).

The eighth-annual American Express/CFO Research Global Business and Spending Monitor reported similar U.S. business growth outlooks, with 35% of the U.S. respondents citing insufficient in-house IT staff and expertise to support this growth.

Finally, the CompTIA study, Enabling SMBs with Technology, found that more than two-thirds of companies surveyed have outsourced IT services in the past 12 months, with 90% somewhat or very familiar with the managed service provider concept.

So, how can MSPs best leverage the opportunity created by business growth expectations, an IT staffing crunch, and increased awareness of the value of managed services?
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Step Up to the Plate with Security Services in 2015

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It’s no surprise that security was the No. 1 SMB concern among respondents surveyed for the recent CompTIA study, Enabling SMBs with Technology. As the report states, “Security is quickly becoming a top priority for all businesses as breaches occur more frequently and carry more serious repercussions.”

Comprehensive security management is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a basic requirement to make sure a company’s systems and data are protected not only from malicious agents, but also from human error, oversight and procrastination. The risks are just too high. Over half of small businesses go out of business within six months of a security breachsince they don’t have the resources of a Global 2000 company to weather the repercussions.

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The Benefits of Benchmarking Your IT Management Maturity

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If your IT group is like most IT organizations at mid-sized companies, your team faces an ever-growing set of IT challenges. As if existing complexity wasn’t enough, new trends like cloud and mobility are placing significant new requirements on your already strained staff and budgets.

The number of projects continues to grow and your team can’t possibly work any harder. So what’s to be done?

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Why Mobility Management Matters to MSPs’ Customers

As an MSP, does the following scenario sound familiar to you?

A customer (say a small financial institution) calls you to report that one their employees lost a tablet that was used to access sensitive customer information. They are unsure if that information is protected and are now worried about the repercussions if that information is compromised. HELP!

This is a fairly common scenario owing to the proliferation of mobile devices at workplaces. These are powerful computing devices that need management. In this post, let’s discuss the mobility trend and why mobility management is important for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs)–the typical customers of an MSP.

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Extreme Emergency: Helping America Win the Cybersecurity Fight

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My talk at Kaseya Connect last week was about the need to wake customers up about cybersecurity. There are far too many people who are still taking a head-in-the-sand approach about cybercrime: ignoring it and hoping it will go away. But in fact it is steadily getting worse, and end users need our help securing their networks. The top takeaways from my keynote are facts which are intended to get customers’ attention:

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ESET Announces Enhanced Plug-in Capabilities for Kaseya VSA

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ESET Remote Administrator Plug-in for Kaseya Improves Security Management

ESET®, the global leader in proactive digital protection, announced today an enhanced version of ESET Remote Administrator (ERA) Plug-in for Kaseya® VSA at Kaseya Connect 2015. The re-designed Plug-in integrates with Kaseya VSA to provide central management of ESET Endpoint Solutions across distributed networks.

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