3 Steps MSPs can take to achieve Operational Efficiency in the as a service Economy

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“Every business is a service business” – Philip Kotler 

This sums up the current challenge faced by managed services providers (MSPs) perfectly. Innovation in cloud-based solutions now means that their customers have access to greater choice and flexibility and now demand solutions to their business challenges rather than just products. They also want to simplify procurement and management of their IT, which is not their core business, so they want a single vendor to handle as much of the operational side as possible. Enter the managed services provider.  

MSPs have traditionally relied on headcount to manage customer requirements, but modern MSPs must transform and digitalize their cloud and services operations to achieve the levels of efficiency which translate into growth.  

Automatto build the foundations for growth 

Take software as a service (SaaS) subscriptions as an example. If an MSP needs to go to each vendor or distributor portal to order and manage all the subscriptions its customers need and then manually enter those purchases into their own systems, the process is inefficient. Add to that, the day-to-day management: upgrades, downgrades and cancellations, as the MSP grows, it rapidly becomes unmanageable and unprofitable. 

It is important, therefore, for an MSP to have the ability to automate procurement, provision and management to eliminate human error and contribute this intelligence needed to grow their catalog strategically. 

Reduce complexity in the latest and greatest XaaS bundles  

As the customers’ needs evolve with input either from the MSP or from their own strategy, the MSP should be able to preempt demand with bundled solutions. Companies offering device as a service (DaaS) is just the first step before workplace as a service (WaaS) is the norm and anything as a service (XaaS) knows no bounds. The involvement of multiple vendors, multiple billing models and both physical and digital goods increase complexity. To further complicate matters, for the MSP to introduce these bundles to market quickly it is vital for the process to be automated through a single platform, or headcount and overhead costs soar. 

One of our most cutting-edge customers, in the Nordics, Advania, was able to create their first workplace as a service bundle within three weeks. Thanks to their automated processes and operations, they were able to launch a XaaS offering to market in just three months. Subsequently, their customer base increased by a staggering 400% in a twelve-month period. 

Organize the sum of your parts 

Mergers and acquisitions in the MSP ecosphere are on the rise, the main reasons for this are geographical expansion. It does present a series of operational challenges. 

For example, there tend to be different systems and processes in each subsidiary. This is compounded by language, currency and a new set of vendors and providers. It is important to give subsidiaries the freedom to continue doing business, but if as many processes as possible are centralized without jeopardizing their independence, the whole group can function efficiently while growing its revenue. 

Get in touch with CloudBlue to learn how we are helping managed service providers build a wider array of bundled solutions and services, offer device as a service models, and optimize their end-to-end procurement, fulfillment, and delivery operations in a multi-cloud world.  For additional information, read how managed service providers are growing with new ARR lines of business. You can also read our whitepaper: “A relentless race toward recurring revenue”. 

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