All companies wishing to remain competitive are looking for ways to provide more value to their clients. Managed service providers are no different, and we are seeing an evolution of these businesses moving from being the provider of a single IT service to being integrators of multiple services delivered for the most part via the cloud.
So says Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution, who says this shift to full service integration is seeing today’s MSPs and other IT solution providers try to pinpoint new ways to simplify their IT operations while adding to their range of services.
“Added to this, the complexity associated with implementing cloud, together with an increased demand for a better user experience, is seeing MSPs find new ways to stay relevant, and drive business innovation,” he explains.
“One of the trickiest challenges for MSPs is measuring the pros and cons of whether to change their core business offerings in an effort to sustain, and grow, the business. However, companies wishing to thrive must adapt, and although change is uncomfortable, it needs to happen to drive the business forward.”
He says as cloud becomes more and more prevalent, companies need to adapt to it. “Traditionally legacy vendors would introduce new offerings that were in line with customer demands, but things are different now. The cloud has changed that game, and portfolios of offerings need to be redesigned bearing the cloud and associated solutions in mind.”
However, Campbell-Young says there is no need to reinvent the wheel. “Deploy new offerings in a way that suits your organisation. Thinking about cloud specifically, does it make sense for your company to buy a cloud solution, to build one from scratch, or to partner with another cloud provider? Too heavy an investment could damage your business, so perhaps even look at a combination of these. Backup for example can be built, but more costly innovations can be left to the bigger vendors who see this as their core business.”
Next he advises to stick with what you do best. “Being a generalist when it comes to cloud services is not a good way to ensure high margins. As MSPs become cloud integrators, better revenue can be gained from specialisation. Know what you’re good at, what you do better than your competitors, and charge a premium for it.”
He says it is also important to remember that it is all about the customer. “Any businesses growth or success is entirely dependent on its customers. Building a businesses that is dedicated to giving value to its clients with each and every interaction is a recipe for success.”
According to Campbell-Young, this is the way businesses remain competitive, innovative, successful and relevant. “Listen to your customers, they will tell you when you need to start offering additional services, or make a change to your existing ones. If you hear them, you will know when it’s the right time to make a move. The power of the IT services market lies with the customer nowadays, and those integrators who pay attention to their needs will thrive in today’s competitive environment.”