Ask Intronis: How can I give my MSP a technical edge?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on May 22, 2017 8:27:23 AM

Q: We’re looking to differentiate our MSP, but there are a few other IT service businesses in the area that focus on the same vertical. We like to think of ourselves as having more industry knowledge and being very tech savvy. How can we give our MSP the reputation of having a technical edge over our competition?

Differentiating your MSP from the competition can help you charge a premium price for your services. Despite what some MSPs may believe, the IT service industry is not a commoditized market—if you ask one IT provider what they charge for an hour of labor, it can be drastically different from the next. Knowing your strengths as a business can help you differentiate your services and ultimately help you position yourself for success.

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Topics: Ask Intronis

Ask Intronis: How can I see a positive ROI using Facebook ads?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on May 8, 2017 7:14:00 AM

Q:  I’m looking into different ways to promote our IT services in our area. We already have a social media presence, but we’re thinking about trying to gain more exposure through Facebook ads. How can I get started using Facebook ads, and how can I see a positive return on investment?

Facebook ads are a great way to gain visibility with your target audience—even when you have a minimum social media presence. There are more than 1.86 billion active Facebook users worldwide and more than 16 million local business pages, making it an attractive platform to grab SMBs’ attention.

To give you advice on how to effectively grab your prospects’ attention with these ads and create a positive return on investment, we consulted Sarah Duffy. Sarah is the senior marketing manager of demand generation at Intronis MSP Solutions, and she has found a successful formula for creating Facebook advertisements.

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Topics: Social Media, Ask Intronis

Ask Intronis: What if my MSP gets hacked?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Apr 24, 2017 6:21:00 AM

Q: Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about a group of Chinese hackers called APT10 and how they target MSPs. My MSP work with customers in highly regulated industries, so we have a lot of sensitive data to protect. What should I do if my MSP gets hacked?

Data breaches can certainly be alarming, and many other MSPs have the same fear— especially when they’re helping small businesses protect highly sensitive information. However, implementing best practices and looking for potential vulnerabilities can help protect your SMB customers —and your MSP — from getting breached.

To help you mitigate the risks and protect your MSP, we spoke to Chris Johnson, the director of business development and strategy at Wheelhouse IT. He has been working hands on with managed IT in the healthcare field since 2008, and he has worked in regulated industries in the IT field for 20 years. Chris shared his insight on both mitigation tactics and steps you need to take if your MSP is compromised.

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Ask Intronis: How can we raise our employee satisfaction?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Apr 10, 2017 8:09:00 AM

Q: We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from our customers, and our MSP business is doing well. I want to make sure things are going just as well internally so we don’t start seeing lots of turnover. How can we keep our employees satisfied and excited to come into work?

Keeping employees engaged with their day-to-day can be difficult, but focusing on company morale is extremely important. Truth is, your employees’ attitudes are transferable, and if employees are unhappy, it’s likely that your SMB customers will have a bad experience, too. Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather be on the phone with a support person who is happy to help than with one who’s just going through the motions? A positive company atmosphere can boost employee morale, create better customer experiences, and keep employees engaged at work.

To give you advice on how to build a positive work culture at your MSP, we consulted Quiana Roy, our HR coordinator at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. She shared advice on how even the smallest changes in your organization can have a big impact.

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Ask Intronis: How can I leverage my vendors for marketing help?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Apr 3, 2017 8:16:00 AM

Q: As a smaller MSP, our MSP marketing budget is tight. We have all these ideas for lead generation campaigns, but not enough funding to tackle them all. How can I leverage my vendors for help with either marketing development funds (MDF) or tools to help us carry out different campaigns? 

You are certainly not alone. Many other IT service providers are trying to balance a tight budget while still trying to drive their lead generation and marketing efforts. Luckily, there are vendors who can help—either with rebrandable campaigns and templates you can use with your customers, or marketing development funds built into their partner enablement program. Truth is, most vendors want you to be successful, and they’re right there waiting to help. You just need to engage them.

To give you tips on how to navigate partner enablement tools and funds, we spoke with Lindsay Faria, the director of partner marketing at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. Lindsay works tirelessly with our partners to deliver a variety of resources for them to leverage in their own marketing. Here’s her advice on how MSPs can leverage their existing vendor relationships to grow their businesses. 

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Topics: Ask Intronis

Ask Intronis: What should I teach my customers on World Backup Day?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Mar 27, 2017 7:23:00 AM

Q: Every month I send a newsletter to my SMB customers to teach them about technology, the latest threats, and things they can do to protect their data. This month, in honor of World Backup Day, I’d like to use our newsletter to highlight backup. What are some of the most important things they should know when it comes to backup?

Backups are essentially an SMB’s lifeline if they ever need to recover data. Whether they get hit by a natural disaster, fall victim to the most recent ransomware scam, or lose all their files through simple human error, the truth is customers rely on their business-critical data more than they think.

World Backup Day is a great opportunity to talk to your customers about backup, but your lessons shouldn’t stop there. Every day is an opportunity to teach your prospects and customers not only why it’s important to implement a hybrid backup approach, but how they can prevent data loss from happening in the first place.

We’re sure you’re already talking to your customers about backup, but you need to keep the message fresh and interesting to get their attention. So, we compiled a list of the four things we believe are the most essential to teach your customers about backup.

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Ask Intronis: How to create firewall policies for a company

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Mar 20, 2017 8:33:00 AM

Q: With today’s evolving cyber threats, my IT service company is trying to offer our customers more proactive security measures beyond anti-malware and anti-spam filters. To really protect our customers, we want to offer a more sophisticated firewall solution. Once we choose a solution, how should we determine what policies we need to create for our SMBs?

Offering new solutions to protect customers from today’s evolving cyber threats is a smart way to both safeguard their business-critical data and grow your business. While every SMB may require different policies within their organization, there are certainly a few policies you can standardize on.

To help you determine which policies to put in place for your SMBs, we consulted Mark Ballegeer one of our systems engineers at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. Based on his extensive background in and knowledge of firewalls, Mark offered these tips on how to easily define policies within your customers’ businesses.

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Topics: Cyber Security, Ask Intronis

Ask Intronis: What tools should my MSP use to create videos?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Mar 13, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Q: In a recent Ask Intronis post, you talked about how to incorporate videos on an MSP website. There are so many different tools and programs you can use to create video content for current customers and prospects, though. Which ones would do you recommend using?

Video marketing is a great way to give your customers and prospects an opportunity to interact with your MSP. You can use them to answer commonly asked questions, teach prospective customers about new offerings, or educate customers on how to avoid the latest cyberattacks. In fact, 89 percent of customers are likely to share a video they find educational, so video marketing creates an opportunity for your brand to reach prospective customers in different networking circles.

To get you the best advice on what tools you should use to create and develop your videos, we consulted Miguel Leonor, a marketing specialist at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. Miguel has worked on numerous video projects (including The Intronis Is Always There music video). He shared his advice on how the right tools can make a big difference when it comes to creating a quality video for your customers.

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Ask Intronis: Why is it important for me to secure the public cloud?

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Mar 6, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Q: My SMB customers are slowly starting to embrace the public cloud. Cloud service providers have built-in security features, though. Is this enough to protect my customers’ data? Are there any additional precautions I should take to make sure their data is secure in the public cloud?

That’s right - according to IDG’s 2016 Cloud Computing Survey, 70 percent of businesses have at least one application in the cloud. For most partners, built-in security features offered by public cloud providers generally are not enough to protect your customers’ data. Today, As cloud adoption continues to increase, now is the time to take the necessary precautions to ensure your customers’ data is safe.

To give you the best advice when it comes to securing the public cloud, we talked to Rich Turner, cloud product marketing manager at Barracuda. Rich is currently leading the messaging regarding public cloud applications and why it’s important to ensure you secure those environments. He shared his advice on why it’s important to be proactive about securing public cloud applications.

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Ask Intronis: How to use social media to communicate with customers

Posted by Lauren Beliveau on Feb 27, 2017 7:40:00 AM

Q: These days, it seems like a challenge to reach customers by phone or email—especially when you need a quick response. Sometimes voicemails take days for them to respond to, or an email just gets buried in their inbox. How can I use social media or texting to communicate with my customers without stepping over the line?

Communication is an essential part of running a successful IT business. While most businesses rely on traditional forms of communication like emails and phone calls to correspond, having another way to contact customers can be beneficial, whether it’s texting a client to let them know you’ll be a few minutes late, or giving them another way to contact you in case of an emergency. However, once you start blurring the lines and communicating over text or social media, there are a few unspoken rules you should adhere to.

To help define some guidelines for communicating with customers, we talked to Andrew Brearton. Andrew is a regional account director at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda, and he excels at growing and fostering customer relationships. Here are his tips on how to communicate with your customers without overstepping any boundaries.

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Topics: Social Media, Ask Intronis

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