Video Above: Paul Dippell discusses the different characteristics of the new Hardware-as-a-Service Operational Maturity Levels.
I’ve had the good fortune of working with Paul Dippell, CEO of Service Leadership Inc., for several years now. If you’re a Managed Service Provider (MSP), there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Service Leadership and their Operational Maturity Levels© (OML©). I’ve seen the OML tool help MSPs grow for years.
The OML tool describes five different levels of operational maturity for MSPs, from Level 1: Beginning, to Level 5: Innovating.
You self-identify where your business falls based on detailed descriptions for individual traits. Then your overall OML is determined by the average of your answer across all traits. With it, you’ll know what next steps you need to take to increase your OML and ultimately grow your MSP.
The traditional OML tool is great for Managed Service Providers who are looking to become more efficient, scalable and profitable. It is a great overall assessment of where you are today. What we found is many of our partners come to us asking how to implement Hardware as a Service (HaaS) into their business.
We also found that if we don’t know enough about an MSP, we can’t give good advice. After all, what good is a map if you don’t know where you are? That’s why we decided to partner with Service Leadership to create a Hardware as a Service (HaaS) OML. In the video above, Paul explains what OMLs are, and the new HaaS OML.
Now that you have a good understanding of OML from the man himself, I wanted to give you a glimpse into the new Hardware as a Service OML Characteristics. It consists of five different traits: Monthly Consumption Model, Strategic Product Resale, HaaS Solution, Sales Organization, and Regular Technology Refreshes. You’ll determine your MSP’s OML for each one individually, and then get your overall HaaS OML.
Image Above: The five levels for the overall HaaS OML rating and what they mean.
In a previous blog, I discussed recent findings from Service Leadership that showed how product resale is critical to the growth of MSPs. Through analysis of data from GreatAmerica, Service Leadership found that Managed Service Providers who are financing more than 10% of their product are seeing better EBITDA growth.
To help paint a better picture, let’s take a closer look at trait #2 – Strategic Product Resale. Each trait consists of a question and five potential answers that fit with a HaaS OML from one to five. Trait #2 question is the following:
To what extent are your product sales an intentional part of your business strategy?
OML #1 - We’re not it the product business, and don’t sell it much or often.
OML #2 – Product recommendations are made to get a client’s environment most efficiently supportable. We allow customers to buy from us at cost/low margin, or to acquire hardware themselves. We don’t view product sales as an important profit center.
OML #3 – We recommend and sell product but allow customers to decide when to acquire hardware. Product sales are important, but not a primary financial driver to our business.
OML #4 – Product sales are deliberate; our clients largely adopt the technologies we recommend.
OML #5 – Product sales are vital to our profitability and long-term business success (though resale may not be the majority of our revenue). Clients largely adhere to our standards and recommendations.
The answer that is most applicable to you is your OML for strategic product resale. Product resale is an important component to Hardware as a Service that can lead to standardization, which can greatly improve your technicians’ efficiency, lowering your overhead costs and increasing your margins.
During a recent webcast with Service Leadership, we talked to an MSP who has successfully implemented Hardware as a Rental (HaaR®) into their business several years ago. The owner of Advantage Technologies, Bryan Currier explained that if he had this tool available back when he began down the path of HaaR...
“…I think [the OML tool] would have accelerated [HaaR] for us. We probably would have shaved a year off our adoption process and probably saved some costly mistakes.”
It’s likely that as you read through the answers, you may have a hard time deciding which where your MSP falls. It’s not uncommon to feel that two answers may apply. That’s why the HaaS OML evaluation is done with one of our GreatAmerica team members to help walk you through it. They’re familiar with the OML tool and can help you determine which OML fits your MSP best.
After the evaluation, you get a detailed follow-up document summarizing your results, giving you a clear understanding of where you’re at compared to best-in-class Managed Service Providers. Plus, you’ll also know where you’re headed as the document will also contain specific next steps customized for you by your representative to help you increase your OML.
Lee Rozeboom, Vice President of Strategic Relationships at GreatAmerica Financial Services, is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with those with influence in the Unified Communications, Low Voltage and IT markets. Lee will also serve as an outward facing voice for our organization and provide oversight and guidance to the Data team. In his previous role, Lee served as the Vice President of Sales for the MSP division. He has been involved in lease financing since 2006. Prior to joining GreatAmerica in 2006, Lee was a Financial Planner, holding his Series 6 and 65, for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Lee received his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Babson College in Wellesley, MA.