There’s no magic bullet that ensures your managed services business will remain profitable. Far too many MSPs work much harder than required to support their clients, pay employees, and keep the lights on; all without generating an income that reflects all their sacrifices. If that doesn’t describe your situation, chances are you know other providers in this no-profit for work situation.
Time is usually the most significant inhibitor; virtually every MSP owner would consistently love to onboard new clients; relatively few have the bandwidth and resources to support rapid expansion without experiencing service quality concerns. While businesses often fear revenue shortages, explosive growth can be just as detrimental to an organization’s long-term prospects as unhappy customers walk away and share their displeasure with others.
Finding the balance between client count and capabilities isn’t easy. However, with the right investments, attention to process improvement, and the right mix of services, your MSP can take on more business and drive higher profitability.
Your business can decrease the amount of time spent on internal tasks if you commit to two interrelated factors: integrations and automation. When you connect vital remote monitoring and PSA platforms with other crucial business tools, it reduces the number of time-intensive manual processes and simplifies various aspects of your employee’s jobs.
Integrations create a direct route for sharing critical information between applications and systems which, in turn, automatically initiative specific procedures. No human interaction required. Automation can improve oversight of client IT systems and reduce labor costs by eliminating some of the most mundane and repeatable manual processes.
Why integrations are critical connections
In today’s highly competitive IT services environment, integrations have become an industry standard. With a wealth of productivity-enhancing tools at an MSPs disposal today, from RMMs and PSAs to cloud and security management platforms, those who don’t connect and leverage their automation options put themselves at a distinct disadvantage.
Linking these disparate systems provides you with greater client-side technical insight and control. Automation routes tickets and instantly pushes out alerts and shares detailed information about each specific issue with your help desk personnel and other responders.
Integrations save MSPs time and money and reduce the stress level for virtually everyone in the organization, from technicians and owners to the accounting and collections teams. The higher the salary of the individuals involved in the processes that can be improved, the higher the savings.
Automation allows providers to do more with less and make it a lot easier to manage their operations. Reducing the complexity of any process means more time spent on things that lead to long-term success, from executing strategic growth plans, to visiting with key clients and closing lucrative new services deals. Integrations make that possible.
MSPs need all the various parts of their systems to speak the same language; to work in concert and share information seamlessly. A well-designed and properly implemented managed services integration makes that happen by reducing data duplication, eliminating many manual tasks, and minimizing the need for human intervention.
For example, MSPs benefit immensely when their network monitoring tools sync with ticketing systems and notify the proper personnel through text messaging, emails, and other forms of communications. Different integrations allow new inventory and configuration details to update inside a PSA automatically, and quoting tools can instantaneously share information with a provider’s billing and payment platforms.
Automation makes life easier for everyone in your business, as well as clients and contractors. The less your people need to get involved with frequently repeated processes, the more time they’ll have to land new clients or spend serving the needs of existing customers.
Automating recurring revenue
MSPs who offer more service options to their clients while consuming fewer labor hours in the process are more profitable; that’s easy to calculate. When you subtract controlled (slowly increasing) expenses from high growth revenue, the company’s cash flow gets stronger.
Automation makes that possible. Some may not think of integrations as a revenue generator ‒ until they look at the opportunities on the services AND the financial side. In addition to adding efficiencies in the service delivery process, connecting back-office solutions will bring similar results to invoicing, collections, and accounting.
Those latter integrations help your company get paid faster using fewer resources. The previous tasks that used to require hours tracking down invoices and payment information take just minutes with automation. The associated payroll costs can drop exponentially.
While IT experts tout recurring revenue as “money in the bank,” until those dollars are actually deposited in your account so you can spend it on your bills, it doesn’t count. Long-term contracts are still the ultimate goal. However, a signed document is just a promise of future payment, not necessarily a guarantee that that client will pay on time, if at all. The online forums are filled with MSPs asking their peers for collections advice.
Automation is the answer. For example, ConnectWise, Datto, QuoteWerks, QuickBooks, and ConnectBooster offer a variety of options for MSP businesses. Each has its own attributes and serves a unique function in a managed services firm’s daily operations. When properly integrated, your PSA, quoting tool, accounting package, and payment platform will become a synchronized financial management platform that automatically shares critical client information.
For example, the QuoteWerks integration with ConnectBooster pushes accepted quotes into the secure payment gateway vault. All transactions run through ConnectBooster can be automatically reconciled in QuickBooks (including the online version), as will invoices between ConnectWise or Datto and your accounting software. No more double entry and significantly fewer manual tasks (and headaches).
Realize the monetary benefits of automation
The main objective of financial integration is cash flow. With each system collecting and processing information in real-time, sharing relevant details through the connection points, you can cut down the time between invoicing and payment. That’s the one sure way for MSPs to realize the real benefit of recurring revenue ‒ healthy cash flow.
Creating that “single pane of glass” in your financial systems makes it easier to attain your recurring revenue objectives. Integration breaks down the silos of information that can stifle the growth of your managed services business and puts more money where it belongs; in your bank account.
Interested in how to spend less time billing clients and more time on your business? See if we integrate with your preferred accounting or PSA software.