The cloud is more than a technology delivery system. Virtual solutions have become business-critical today for both the SMB and IT community that supports those organizations. After nearly two decades of working with cloud-based applications, most company decision-makers understand that the advantages of these offerings far outweigh the diminishing disadvantages. Most of those who had any remaining doubts about the viability of these solutions before the pandemic surely feel differently after experiencing more than two years of uncertainty.
Between the shift to work-from-home and the overall rewards of virtual work systems, the cloud cynics are rapidly fading. However, acceptance doesn’t mean all is rosy. Cyberattacks and network outages will likely always remain a concern. When criminals carry out their nefarious plans or systems go down due to other causes, it may limit workers’ access to critical business applications and data. Employee productivity can be affected without a good backup plan.
The good news for MSPs is none of these issues are insurmountable today. In fact, cloud applications provide more “alternate” options than traditional software tethered to physical servers and PCs—which are harder to recover in an outage or after a disaster. The ability to access business-critical programs and files from virtually any location is invaluable, and that flexibility is vital for managing large and small operations and recruiting top talent. Younger job seekers typically favor leading, if not bleeding-edge, companies that give employees the option to work from home part or full-time, which would be very difficult without cloud solutions.
Drive Incremental MRR
MSPs understand the “as-a-service” business model. It’s really a simple equation: increase the number of cloud sales to raise cash flow. The incremental income providers receive from virtual technologies provides a steady stream of funds to fuel growth plans, pay utilities and other bills and hire more of the right people. Digital transformations also tend to reduce support requirements, so MSPs can redeploy their most vital resources to maximize customer service and drive even more revenue.
An effective “as-a-service” strategy allows MSPs to maximize their ROI. Cloud providers roll fewer trucks and typically have more time to grow their specializations and vertical market sales and build out their portfolios to attract (and support) new clients.
In other words, increasing adoption of the “as-a-service” model allows MSPs to develop the types of solutions and support programs their customers need. That means innovating and deepening their portfolios and providing consulting and other meaningful support programs that providers can incorporate into their clients’ monthly invoices. Growing wallet share through the addition of new services helps MSPs increase revenue, profitability and customer retention rates.
MSPs can quickly and easily boost their “as-a-service” value-add in several ways, including:
- Leverage Your Cybersecurity Expertise
Presently, leading with defense is a winning strategy. With the global cyber-security market expected to go from $155 billion in 2022 to almost $380 billion by 2029 (a CAGR of 13.4%), according to Fortune Business Insights, MSPs have an incredible opportunity to build lucrative new practices. As an expert in that area, you can share creative and effective offerings, implement industry best practices with existing and potential new clients, and expand into different verticals. With SMBs transforming to the “as-a-service model,” providers can leverage their knowledge of networks and data vulnerabilities to develop and implement strong defenses for those customers and generate greater cash flow.
Providing periodic “cybersecurity audits” is a great way to get those conversations going with existing clients. Highlighting potential vulnerabilities and solutions can lead to new revenue opportunities and strengthen the trust between key decision-makers and providers.
- Become a Communications Authority
Do your clients still rely on landlines, desktop phones, servers and other hardware to make voice calls? If so, introduce their management team to cost-effective and highly flexible VoIP solutions. These investments can not only replace old legacy communications equipment and expensive telecom services, but also provide more automation options and streamline key pieces of their operations. VoIP includes call routing and forwarding, virtual phone numbers, and many other useful features for remote and hybrid workforces. Of course, this “as-a-service” offering also generates a profitable monthly income stream for MSPs.
- Provide Business Continuity Support
Every organization, big or small, must be prepared for disaster. From hacking and phishing schemes to addressing data retention needs for remote employees, the risk of losing or leaking valuable information if something goes wrong should be a top concern for every business owner. MSPs can help address those concerns with business continuity plans and disaster recovery/data recovery solutions. Reviewing “worst-case scenarios” with clients and highlighting how easy and affordable it is to protect their most valued assets is often enough to seal the deal and create additional MRR for your MSP.
- Monetize Your Compliance Expertise
Are you giving away your most valued resources (knowledge and experience)? Providing a Compliance-as-a-Service (CaaS) offering is a win-win for MSPs and the clients that need that insight and understanding. Regulations and industry standards can be cumbersome to address and manage on an ongoing basis, and many clients will appreciate and be willing to pay for this type of support. From doctors’ and dentists’ offices and other medical facilities to credit unions and other financial firms, MSPs can generate additional MRR using industry best practices and tools.
- Customize Your Services Creative
No two clients are ever the same. Whether offering enterprise resource planning (ERP), marketing automation solutions, or packaging unique services that local businesses value, MSPs can package virtually any offering into a monthly recurring revenue bundle. Empower your team to come up with new ideas to solve existing and evolving problems for your clients and be sure to reward those who generate the most profitable new income opportunities.
Change Your Mindset
The most profitable MSPs today have an “as-a-service” mindset. What types of support are you currently offering, and what might be missing from that equation?
That process might force you to think outside your traditional comfort zone. Providing support for virtual meetings (think Zoom or Teams) or ongoing training sessions for sales and marketing activities may require new resources and people.
Successful MSPs tap into their collective resources to expand their “as-a-service” portfolios, encouraging team members and partners to share ideas and provide feedback on potential new options. The best way to quickly and easily generate additional revenue streams is to build from what you do best. Listen closely to what employees and customers say and get creative—it’s a low-cost proposition with a high upside.
As your MSP expands its “as-a-service” value-add, make it easier to collect your new-found recurring revenue with the tool built specifically for MSPs to collect payment and minimize accounts receivable tasks—ConnectBooster. Contact us for a no-obligation discovery call, and see how thousands of MSPs save 8-20 hours each month formerly spent on manual accounts receivable tasks.