Standardization in managed services is a common best practice. However, there are still Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who offer custom technology stacks to their customers. This is OK to some degree. But the downside is unfortunately, down the road this can make it harder for them to scale their business and maintain a high quality of customer service. A better approach for an MSP’s business model is to standardize their managed services offerings and technology stack. Standardization will benefit your customers and your team.
Standardization for Managed Services
Standardization for MSPs includes having a uniform technology stack that provides consistency to your team and your customers. This includes providing the same solutions for hardware, software, security, backup, data protection, communication, and support.
The best case scenario for you and your customers is if you can agree to support their entire environment. Selling an a la carte managed services deal presents challenges and confusion for all parties involved. For example, your customers may call into the Service Desk assuming something is supported by them, but it’s not and then they have to go back and figure it out before escalating it to the proper contact. When you support the customer’s entire environment, you can monitor and resolve issues quicker and provide a better user experience.
Challenges: Non-Standardized MSPs
MSPs not standardizing their technology stack and offerings may run into issues as they try to grow their business. A custom plan for your customers may seem appealing upfront. Unfortunately, reality is that no one can’t be an expert in everything and learn all the layers of all technology. MSPs not standardizing will spend more time trying to resolve issues that aren’t common to them, or have to hire another head count to be an expert in a new area they don’t currently provide.
Opportunities: Standardization for MSPs
MSPs who have adopted standardization will continue to build better long-term relationships with their customers and grow faster than their competitors who are not standardizing their managed services offering and services. Benefits of standardization for MSPs include:
With standardization, your customers will be more focused on what the solutions you are providing can do for them. End-users primarily care about the service they will be receiving, not the brand. For example, they want a solid anti-virus program, and don’t necessarily care about if it is “ABC” or “XYZ” – they just want it to work! Standardization also provides better efficiency in your processes and procedures for your team. Your staff can be experts in your specific technology stack to be more effective. As an MSP, make sure you’re standardizing your managed services offering and technology stack to grow faster (and with less headaches) than your competition.
Brian Wells, Director of Product Development, is responsible for the product and service offerings, and helping partners, team members, suppliers and stakeholders understand the program. Prior to joining Collabrance in 2015, Brian was the Director of Information Technology for two other Eastern Iowa organizations. In 1996, Brian started his own VAR and MSP business, and sold it in 2006. He has 30+ years of experience in the IT space. Brian joined Collabrance as a Tier 3 Engineer before being promoted to his current role on the Leadership Team.