Delivering Managed Services: 4 Tips from an MSP Veteran

Nick Harshbarger

Published On: August 10, 2018

Categories: Global Partner Network, SentryOne, MSP 0

If you’re thinking about transitioning from consulting to retainer-based managed services, these four tips from seasoned Managed Services veteran Douglas McDowell will get you started. Predictable monthly revenue for you and reliable service levels for your clients is within reach.

First, an Assessment

An assessment, or a health check, is the perfect first step for any new Managed Service Provider (MSP) relationship. It helps you capture an initial baseline of operations, determine the scope of work, map the journey to optimization, and establish KPIs for the managed service.

Although many clients won’t seek to understand exactly what you’re executing in the assessment, a clear roadmap with well-defined KPIs helps track progress. Presenting the health check information in a concise manner makes negotiating Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) and additional consulting projects more manageable.

Wait on the SLA

Wait to establish SLAs until after you fully optimize the client’s environment. The work your team puts in will create new baselines, and it will give you a better idea of the level of service they need. This also creates much less up-front and administrative work for you.

Respond Faster

Critical or emergency incidents are stressful for your clients, but they happen in all environments. Your services stand out from the others when you provide an exceptional response time during an incident.

Work to create procedures and guaranteed response times so that your clients come to expect a consistent response from you during a crisis. Rapid responses during times of crisis guarantees confidence in your team.

Report Regularly

When database operations run smoothly in a client’s environment, it can be easy for them to forget the benefits you’re providing. By reporting regularly, even when everything is “normal”, you remind the client of the value your services provide.

Connect your reporting intervals with work established through the roadmap. However, don’t wait for an update, or a project milestone, to report. Keep reports flowing. Reports can also facilitate appropriate knowledge transfer between your team and the client.

Get Started

Delivering a managed service is hard work, but the rewards more than pay for themselves. Provide an assessment of the current environment and build the scope of work, roadmap, and KPIs from there. Make sure you respond quickly and effectively in times of crisis. And report regularly to your client, even when times are good.

Consider adding the SentryOne platform to your arsenal of tools that provide exceptional data management and monitoring to your clients. SentryOne puts a team of experts in your corner to help you provide best-in-class service to your clients. Contact SentryOne today to learn more.

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Nick (@nicharsh) is the Senior Vice President of Cloud Alliances for SentryOne and is responsible for leading the SentryOne relationships with Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and other cloud providers. Prior to joining SentryOne, Nick was Vice President of National & Strategic Accounts for Dictaphone - Healthcare Division. Previous experience includes sales management positions with Computer Associates, NEC Computer USA, Tegra Varityper, and Heath/Zenith Computer Systems. Nick holds a BA degree in Economics from University of Dayton in Dayton, OH.