Lauren Beliveau

Recent Posts

Ask Intronis: Should my MSP switch customers to an advanced firewall?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Jan 30, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Q: When we bring new customers on board at my MSP, we give them an all-inclusive service, which includes a free basic firewall that we integrate into our offering. Some of my techs have been pushing for us to move to a next-generation firewall instead to help minimize risks. We would probably have to increase the cost of the packages for our current customers if we did this though. Is it really a change we need to make? What are the benefits of switching, and how can I explain the transition to our current customers? 

We’ve talked to quite a few MSPs that have taken a similar approach. They’re offering a basic level of security to their customers, but they’re realizing they need to start offering a more robust solution. While a basic firewall can offer some protection, the reality is advanced threats can still sneak through. We know that conversations with your customers about increasing the price might not be easy, but in the long run a more robust solution could save them from having to pay hefty ransoms down the road or deal with costly downtime that could be caused by a breach.

To help you decide if this is the best option for your MSP, we talked to one of our Systems Engineers, Kyle Marsan. Kyle shared his advice on why MSPs should consider moving their customers to a next-generation firewall and what you should focus on when you’re trying to convince current customers to move to a more advanced solution. 

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Topics: Ask Intronis

Ask Intronis: How can I use severe weather to sell more services?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Jan 23, 2017 7:39:00 AM

Q: My MSP is based near Seattle, and we got hit by a major ice storm recently. It got me thinking that the bad weather might be a good sales tool. How can I use the weather forecast, before or after a storm hits, as an opportunity to warm customers up to new services?

Getting customers interested in new services can be difficult, but severe weather gives you an additional reason to take important conversations off the backburner. If you don’t have one in place already, set a standard protocol to reach out to your customers and go over their disaster recovery plans and their recent backup sets before the storm hits. This will also give you the opportunity to look over their current agreement and assess whether or not any additional services need to be put into place. Are they backing up onsite and in the cloud? Will they have access to email in the case of a power outage? Use this as an opportunity to have an engaged conversation with your customer.

To help your conversation go smoothly, we spoke to Scott Bennett and a few of your peers. Scott is the director of North America partner management at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda, and he focuses on helping MSP partners become more successful by helping them build and sell a portfolio of services. He shared his advice on how you can successfully sell more services to your clients when you’re checking in before or after severe weather hits.  

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Topics: Ask Intronis

Top 10 places to get your technology news

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Jan 18, 2017 9:32:00 AM

As an IT service provider, it’s essential to stay up to date on the latest security threats and industry trends. Whether you’re looking for some useful information to share on social media with your prospects and customers, or educating yourself on how to combat the most recent threat—we know that where you find your news is essential.

To help you find better technology news sources faster, we developed our list of the top 10 places to get your tech news; whether you’re looking for the newest security threats, tips on how to grow your MSP business, or the top IT channel headlines, this list has you covered. 

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Topics: Innovation and Ideas

Ask Intronis: How to maintain a healthy database as an MSP

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Jan 16, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Q: We have a lot of names in our database of customers and prospects, but most of the information is outdated, wrong, or missing. To grow our MSP, we really need to get this problem under control. How can we clean up this data as we continue to add new leads?

Maintaining a lead database with updated information can be tough. People leave companies, emails get updated, and phone numbers change. So staying in contact with potential prospects can be a challenge for MSPs. Whenever you generate new leads, you should consider collecting accurate contact information for future communications, because the truth is that most leads aren’t ready to buy on the first contact. With more contact information, you can nurture leads over time, but also have a better chance of staying in contact and making that sale over the long run.

To help set your team on the path for success, we consulted Richard Delahaye, the senior director of marketing at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. Building a great database won’t happen overnight, but little improvements can help restore the integrity of the data in your system. Richard shared his advice on how to strengthen your current data and tips on how to collect better contact information as your database continues to grow.   

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business

The MSP’s Book Shelf: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Jan 10, 2017 1:16:46 PM

It’s not surprising that teamwork is a consistent challenge for many companies. With different personalities and different backgrounds, team members can have difficulty finding common ground. Even small organizations can face challenges and disagreements—but if there isn’t any conflict on your team, that could create problems as well.

Ultimately, you want your team to be harmonious, but there should also be a balance of conflicting viewpoints or ideas that allows perspectives to change and your team to grow. To help you strengthen your MSP team, we read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. Here, we examine the top pitfalls that dysfunctional teams face and share Lencioni’s advice on how you can overcome them.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business

Recipes for Success: Overcome objections to disaster recovery plans

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Jan 9, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Do you have some SMB customers that don’t seem to buy into the idea of having a disaster recovery plan? Chances are that as an MSP you’ve come across a few customers like this. After all, 75 percent of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place.

However, disaster recovery planning isn’t something that you should let slide when you’re bringing on new clients. With more threats to protect against than ever before—malware attacks, DDoS attacks, server failure, and more—too many small businesses are leaving their doors open to disaster with no backup plan in place. That’s why it’s essential as an MSP to overcome objections to ensure that your customers are prepared for the worst.  

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Topics: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Ask Intronis: How to create an effective 12-month marketing plan

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Jan 9, 2017 7:15:00 AM

Q: Even though we have a small marketing department at my MSP, for the past several years we’ve created a 12-month marketing plan. But, every year we’re too ambitious and end up shelving it a few months in. How can we create an effective marketing plan that we can use consistently throughout the year?

Creating a marketing plan is easy, but following it can be difficult. This is a common struggle that most businesses face for numerous reasons. Maybe the plan is too difficult to execute or too lengthy to look back on, the goals aren’t clearly defined, accountability isn’t assigned, or there’s a lack of resources and unforeseen market changes. While you may not have had luck in the past, creating an effective marketing plan is achievable and can be a great tool to successfully guide your team.

To help you create an effective marketing plan to carry with you through the year, we consulted Raj Khera, the CEO of MailerMailer. Raj works with numerous MSPs to help them excel in their marketing efforts, whether it’s helping them create a newsletter to send to their clients each month or a well-crafted email, Raj helps MSPs generate marketing success. To start your New Year off on the right foot, here are Raj’s tips for creating an effective 12-month marketing plan.

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Topics: Ask Intronis

Ask Intronis: What should I keep in mind when choosing a CRM tool?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Jan 2, 2017 8:21:00 AM

Q: As my team continues to grow, we’re looking into CRM tools to help organize our sales efforts. What are some things I should consider when choosing a CRM tool?

You’re certainly on the right track. A good CRM tool can keep your team organized as you start to grow. As you accumulate more clients and foster more relationships, a CRM tool can help you pull all sorts of information together, such as phone numbers, addresses, contacts, and even notes, allowing your entire staff to be on the same page.

When you start searching for a CRM tool, there are a number of factors you need to consider. Most importantly, you want to find a solution that can grow with your business. To give you pointers on how to find a solution that is the best fit for your MSP, we spoke to Ellen Krupp. Ellen is the in-house CRM expert at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda, and she works tirelessly with the sales and marketing teams to integrate new functionalities and ensure that everything continues to run smoothly. Here are her tips on what your MSP should consider when looking for a CRM tool.

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Topics: Ask Intronis

Tech Time Warp: Y2K hysteria

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Dec 30, 2016 9:37:00 AM

Making New Year’s resolutions might be easy, but keeping them can be pretty difficult. In fact, out of the 45 percent of Americans who make resolutions, only 8 percent successfully achieve them. Ready or not, the countdown to the New Year has begun.

As this year wraps up, we thought it would be interesting to look at some technical bugs that have popped up around New Year’s Eve. Yep, you guessed it, this Tech Time Warp looks at the Y2K bug — and what bugs the future might bring.

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Topics: Tech Time Warp

Ask Intronis: How can I price my managed services appropriately?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Dec 26, 2016 7:50:00 AM

Q: At the moment, we’re using pricing tiers at my MSP to standardize our services and make it easier to price out new clients. While this seems to help sales go more smoothly, we’re second guessing ourselves when it comes to service. Some of our clients are high maintenance and require a lot of support, so it seems like we might be losing money. Going into the New Year, how can I price appropriately to fit the needs of my clients without wrecking my margins? 

Pricing appropriately can be a challenge for MSPs, especially when you have standardized pricing for all of your customers. Some customers may be larger than others and some simply might need more support, so finding the right balance can tricky. While you may not be looking forward to evaluating and adjusting your pricing structure, now is the time to make sure you’re positioned to be profitable in the coming year.

To get advice on how to price appropriately as an MSP, we spoke to Chris Johnson, the director of business development and strategy at Wheelhouse IT. With more than 15 years of experience in the IT channel, he’s seen numerous approaches to MSP pricing. Here are his tips on how to price appropriately in the upcoming year: 

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Topics: Ask Intronis

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