To help explain the shift in IT provider models in the industry, late last year, I introduced the “Technology Success Provider” (TSP). This year, at Schnizzfest, I asked you to trust me by joining me on the journey to Technology Success World. If you still haven’t taken the first step to becoming a TSP, the new year is a good time to start.
Understand why the sand is shifting for MSPs
The MSP market has matured over the years. Core MSP services — including support, patch, spy, spam, backup and security — are without a doubt being commoditized. What does this mean for the customers we’re servicing? Simply this: They’re no longer able tell the difference between experienced and inexperienced MSPs. Your relationships with customers are changing, and it’s you who needs to adapt to the way they’re consuming your services.
What makes a TSP different than an MSP?
Unlike MSPs, TSPs take their services to a higher level to accomodate the needs of their customers. Today, small business owners are seeking advice on how navigate a more complex technical environment. More importantly, they want to understand how technology can positively impact their businesses in the coming years. In this scenario, a TSP steps up to the plate and thrives.
Different than MSPs, TSPs focus on technology standards and alignment, business impact, and IT strategy. They concentrate their efforts on delivering business results for their customers. They understand the importance of moving technical relationships to relationships based on business value. Simply concentrating on technology isn’t enough.
TSPs uncover technical risks
TSPs don’t wait for technical risks to find them; they’re proactive instead of reactive by going out of the way to uncover technical risk or pain. The process of uncovering technical risk (also known as technical alignment) and the business impact of misalignments need to be established upfront — as soon as possible.
Uncovering technical risk is an ongoing process. To be successful, you also need to have resources dedicated solely to uncovering technical risk. This process should make it clear to clients why they should buy from you — and, ultimately, pay more for your services. What uncovering technical risk does is separate the sales process between your offering and other alternatives, and reveals how your business adds value to client businesses.
Reduce reactive time
TSPs are able to reduce reactive time because they’re proactive when it comes to uncovering technical risks. Where do TSPs save money by being proactive? Support costs. Why? Well, support traditionally falls into the reactive bucket.
To reduce costs associated with support, TSPs should first compare themselves to where top providers stand when it comes to support costs (top providers have one support desk resource for every $60,000 of MRR). Then, afterward, to benchmark where they’re at, TSPs should measure and set goals for items such as tickets and alerts. After establishing baselines, TSPs are then able to begin focusing on developing roles — including technology alignment manager and technology consultant — and processes aimed at reducing reactive time within their business models. If you’re unsure of what I mean, read more about the TruMethods framework, which enables TSPs to do just that.
Becoming an TSP isn’t going to happen overnight. More than likely, shifting from MSP to TSP is going to take some time on your end. You’re going to have to commit and be willing to see the transformation through. Start 2019 off right by moving out of MSP Town by beginning your journey to Technology Success World. I hope to see you there.