MSPs Should Own “the Last Mile” of Digital Transformation

Some see the cloud as a single entity capable of taking people to unimaginable heights with little technical support. After setting up a new account, users simply need to click a link or download an app, and off they go!   

The reality is that the cloud is an online environment that allows virtually everyone to access a vast collection of applications and services. Unfortunately, for most people and businesses, that “right to use” does not translate into optimal performance. Whether setting up a Microsoft 365 account or attempting to implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, many organizations barely tap into the full potential of cloud solutions.

The underutilization of these invaluable resources presents a real opportunity for IT services providers. The cloud creates real value-add options for MSPs, VARs, cybersecurity experts and other professionals who can help businesses get the most out of their virtual investments. 

Look for Openings

Despite suppliers promoting the relative “ease” of using these applications, not all are created equally, and not everyone has the same level of intuitiveness or technology prowess. There are a number of gaps in the cloud services continuum that MSPs can fill with little or no additional expertise that will augment their revenue with new and existing business clients.  

Since wallet share growth requires less investment than new customer acquisition activities, IT services companies can boost their margins and sales by delivering these critical services. Some of the most common cloud support options include:          

  • Solution Evaluation. The most critical part of virtual services is selecting the right application. MSPs understand the complexities of implementing and managing these solutions and which platforms offer the most user benefits, integrations, and support options. 
  • Procurement. How to buy can be just as critical as what to buy. MSPs often research the options for their collective communities and leverage partner programs to provide more tools and better pricing for those clients. Relying on those with experience and expertise in technology selection reduces the risk and anxiety for SMB leaders and other decision-makers.  
  • Implementation/Setup. Missteps in the early stages of cloud adoption can derail the process and diminish the strategic value of these solutions. MSPs can help clients avoid those mistakes with proven best practices and by ensuring user and billing account details are accurate and up to date.    
  • Training. Employee productivity improves when they understand how to get the most out of cloud solutions. Many MSPs provide workshops and tutorials, if not one-on-one, instructions on key business applications, including CRMs, ERPs, Microsoft tools and UCaaS systems. Those services improve retention and help generate additional high-margin sales. 
  • Cybersecurity. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is assuming the defenses built into cloud solutions will protect their businesses and employee data. Most MSPs implement multiple layers of protection and provide monitoring services 
  • Network Enhancements. Anyone old enough to remember dial-up internet access knows the value of optimal connectivity. The most flexible, business-enhancing solutions are worth little if employees cannot send and receive data effectively. MSPs should perform network scans, evaluate bandwidth and test all potential cloud service offerings before rolling them out to new clients. Making upgrade recommendations and proposals before implementation ensures greater success and, when done successfully, creates additional sales, support and recurring revenue opportunities.     
  • WFH/Hybrid Optimization. In this post-COVID-infused work environment, companies need IT support in more locations than ever. Monitoring and remediating network and cloud issues is a top priority for MSPs today. Ensuring that employees can access and utilize their tools 24/7 has become the new business standard – and savvy providers turn those base requirements into premium revenue opportunities. The key is ensuring uptime and providing the support levels that keep clients productive, happy and profitable.    

Sell the Complete Digital Transformation Package

Providing SMBs with complete and easy solutions and support packages is essential. In 2022, that means helping businesses adopt and maximize their returns on these cloud investments.

Delivering and optimizing beneficial web-enabled UCaaS, CRM, and other office productivity tools solidifies an MSP’s value not just to the management team but also to their employee and customer communities. Everyone gains from well-crafted and properly supported applications. 

Some business leaders tend to forget the critical nature of the “last mile” in their digital transformation—MSPs profit when they can explain what it means and convert those discussions into actionable new services.