April 25, 2012
Webinar - MSPs Must Find a Balance in Meeting the Needs of SMBs and Realizing ROI
By Laura Stotler, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Today's managed service providers (MSP) and cloud hosting providers are constantly seizing on new opportunities to improve and expand their offerings to meet the needs of the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) market. But deriving the right blend of services that will capture your prospects and ensure you keep their business is tricky.
One of the key factors in meeting the needs of SMBs is the fact that their IT needs are constantly changing. Many in-house IT departments find it increasingly difficult to stay on top of the operational and regulatory requirements their organizations must continuously meet. And yet, SMBs are reluctant to look at managed or cloud services to meet their demands, unless they can be assured their needs and service levels will be met.
MSPs must not only stay on top of the most commonly adopted SMB technology trends, but provide the right blend of managed services, hosted IT and cloud solutions. The software-as-a-service (SaaS (News - Alert)) model holds a lot of promise for service providers, and can be used to meet the growing and changing demands of SMBs. But the model must be profitable for service providers to be truly effective in the long haul.
Providers need to examine ways to market the benefits of operational versus capital expenditures for SMBs, as well as why their service portfolio is superior to their competitors' offerings. But service providers must also focus on their own business plans, and the model in which they plan to deliver services in order to stay focused and grow their revenue.
Similarly, MSPs and VARs must focus on choosing the right channel partners to build their service packages and portfolios into an attractive offering that will capture SMB interest and meet their ever-changing needs.
The bottom line for MSPs, VARs, system integrators, independent software vendors, telecommunication providers and cloud providers is that the best and most diverse service portfolio is only as valuable as the revenue it generates. And while value-added services (VAS) like security, monitoring, round-the-clock technical support and other solutions may seem like a given for today's providers, return on investment has to be a primary consideration. Providers should choose their channel partners carefully to ensure they will have the backup and support they need to properly market and sell these important value-added services.
Striking a balance between meeting the needs of SMBs and realizing revenue flow and ROI is a delicate process. Web hosting and cloud services provider Verio and the MSPAlliance are sponsoring a free webinar on Thursday, April 26 at 2 p.m. ET, to help all types of service providers, resellers and integrators find the correct balance and focus their attention on the correct value-added services.
"Survival 101: The right suite of IT solutions to offer SMBs ensure you won't get voted off the island!" will address how to differentiate between cloud and hosted solutions as well as how to package the right mix of IT services for SMBs while maximizing your profit and selecting the right partners.
Edited by Braden Becker