EOL software: Making the case for upgrade therapy

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Nov 24, 2015 9:00:00 AM

A long list of EOL software upgrade opportunities makes the 2016 business outlook an interesting one for IT solution providers. Three Microsoft OS platforms—Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP—remain in wide deployment long past their well-publicized EOL dates, as does Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

With all these EOL platforms moldering across the IT landscape, it might seem like a bonanza for MSPs looking to sell software, migration services, and more strategic services. Then again, maybe businesses keeping these aging, leaky platforms on artificial life-support need something different. Could it be that what they really need is a bit of counseling?

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Business Development, Microsoft Windows, msp

Advice for IT service providers from the host of CNBC's The Profit

Posted by Mike Vizard on Nov 17, 2015 11:37:41 AM

Marcus Lemonis, the investor that hosts the highly rated show The Profit on CNBC, says IT service providers that want long-term success need to start focusing more on the people, processes, and products that define their business.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business

Ask Intronis: How do I create a 2016 business plan?

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Nov 16, 2015 9:21:45 AM

Q: I’m running a growing MSP business, and as this year comes to a close, I know I need to budget and plan for all the changes that I’m expecting in 2016. In the past, I’ve never formally documented my annual business plan, but I know it’s something I really should do, especially if we want to keep growing. How should I get started?

You’re right on track. Many other MSPs and small businesses are reviewing their annual budgets and preparing for the upcoming year, so it’s the perfect time to nail down your financial and business goals for 2016.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Ask Intronis

Recipe for Success: Why break-fix customers are reluctant to switch to managed services

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Nov 2, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Do you have a solid SMB customer base, but you’re struggling to transition to a true managed services model? Many MSPs are looking to make this shift, knowing that it can provide opportunities to bring in more recurring revenue. It can be a challenge, though, because small businesses don’t always see the value in managed IT services, and they stubbornly insist on sticking with the break-fix arrangement they’re familiar with. There’s usually a good reason for this stubbornness, and understanding it can help you overcome it.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, IT Services Trends

What to do when EVERYTHING goes wrong and problems abound

Posted by Robin Robins on Sep 28, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Earlier this year Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was harpooned by the media and customers for the poorly conceived “Race Together” campaign that encouraged baristas and store managers to engage customers in conversations about racial tension and inequality by writing #RaceTogether on coffee cups. The backlash was so bad that Starbucks’ head of communications was forced to temporarily suspend his Twitter account, which threw more gas on the fire, and several “town hall” meetings were called with employees and shareholders to deal with the shitstorm it kicked off. In an interview with FastCompany magazine, he commented, “[This mistake] reminds me every day that we’re not invincible. It was my idea, and it was a complete fu**-up.”

Reading about this reminded me of a recent coaching call with a very successful, long-term member running a multimillion-dollar MSP. I listened as he shared his own shitstorm of problems that had all cropped up in a relatively short period of time. They ran the gamut from losing one really key employee to operational nightmares, having to fire a handful of rogue employees only to then have a number of good clients leave within a short period of time, some to “natural causes” such as acquisition but others due to service failures resulting from the employee turnover.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Business Development

The best and worst of times for managed service providers

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 17, 2015 1:57:41 PM

A major shift in the way technical support is being sold by both vendors and solution providers is driving increased adoption of managed network services that are being bundled with the sale of a product or solution more often.

Rather than offering simple break-fix support contracts, vendors such as Cisco are more aggressively attaching outsourced managed service contracts to product sales, a practice highlighted in a new report from Technology Business Research (TBR). 

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, IT service

How reframing the conversation can help MSPs and their business clients

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Aug 24, 2015 1:41:00 PM

When we need help, many of us tend to get ahead of ourselves and overlook the true nature of the problem in the process. I recently asked my doctor for a podiatrist referral to fix a sharp pain in my heel, only to have him deduce that the pain was tennis-related, and offer a few hamstring stretches to do before each play. The fix was simple, effective, and affordable.

You might recognize this tendency to self-diagnose in many of your customers, and the mix of challenges and opportunities it can present for IT solution providers. The key to capitalizing on these opportunities is to take a step back and consider the larger business backdrops behind your customers’ problems and challenges.

Here’s why it’s important to reframe the conversation.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Professional Services, MSP Marketing, Sales Process, Differentiation

SMBs’ top objections to Windows Server 2003 migration

Posted by Anne Campbell on Jul 30, 2015 9:47:00 AM

July 14, the date for Windows Server 2003 end of life, has come and gone. The last-minute rush to try to migrate to a new OS before the deadline is over. But there are still a significant number of SMBs that continue to run Windows Server 2003 despite the risks caused by EOL, and these holdouts represent a big opportunity for IT service providers.

In fact, 61 percent of businesses in Spiceworks’ network are still running at least one instance of Server 2003, according to a report released by Spiceworks in March 2015. That adds up to millions of installations in a mix of physical and virtualized environments.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, Microsoft Windows

7 easy ways for MSPs to improve their business

Posted by Courtney Steinkrauss on Jul 27, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Today’s managed services industry is becoming increasingly crowded with service providers competing for attention and dollars from small business prospects. Some IT service providers cite a lack of sales expertise as their primary obstacle to winning new business, while others struggle with business planning or finding the best way to package their services. MSPs need to change the way they’re looking at these problems and discover new ways to address them.

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, MSP Marketing

3 Important Tips from Experienced MSPs

Posted by Lindsay Faria on Jul 13, 2015 3:34:00 PM

At Intronis, we work with IT service providers of all kinds, some established service providers, and some just getting started. One of the best things we can do as we try to drive our Partners’ success is to help them learn from the experiences of their peers.

So, earlier this week, I held a Q&A with some of our Partners to get their insights on key lessons they’ve learned through their years of experience as managed service providers. My goal was to make life easier for MSPs by getting answers to the question: What lessons have you learned that would be helpful to a newer MSP?

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business

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