Custom-priced productization for managed services

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jan 28, 2015 1:53:20 PM

A services manager for a large and growing MSP shared some valuable insights recently during a conversation about Intronis’ fixed pricing. He enthusiastically offered that, compared to the per-gigabyte plans he was used to working with, fixed pricing vastly simplified planning and positively transformed forecasting. Moreover, his company now had greater flexibility to bundle and value-price their service offerings.

“That’s excellent,” I said. “So do you tier your services now?”

Here the response was much less definitive. “Well sorta-kinda. I’d say we tend more to size up the work effort and then custom-price our services per customer.”

Aha! Customized pricing for managed services….

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Topics: Growing Your MSP Business, MSP Marketing, Innovation and Ideas, IT Services Trends, Business Development

Recharting your MSP strategy in a cheap fuel economy

Posted by Achmad Chadran on Jan 5, 2015 1:17:51 PM

One of the headlines commanding our attention at the beginning of the year is the steep decline in the price of oil. According to Reuters, oil prices have dropped a precipitous 40 percent in the past five months. As individuals and as consumers, the prospects of cheap fuel are clear and compelling. CNN likens the impact to a $60 billion tax cut. Relief at the pump clearly means more money for such discretionary items as meals, entertainment, consumer electronics, and life’s other luxuries. But might cheap fuel spell similar benefits for managed service providers?

An armchair analysis yields both pluses and minuses to this story.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

IT Automation and the Cloud Redfine the IT Services Paradox

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 8, 2014 9:30:00 AM

A new survey of 312 enterprise IT customers conducted by Horses for Sources and KPMG finds that half of all existing outsourcing contracts are up for grabs because customers are dissatisfied with the level of value-added innovation being provided by the IT service provider.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Coping with multiple instances of Windows

Posted by Mike Vizard on Sep 4, 2014 9:03:41 AM

The combined usage of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 for the first time exceeds Windows XP. But despite the pulling of official support for Windows XP, there are still millions of instances of the venerable operating system that are still running. And just to make matter more interesting for IT service providers, Windows 9 is now on the horizon. 

For IT service providers this means that in addition to the multitude of non-Windows clients that are proliferating, chances there will ever be again a standard desktop computing environment for them to support are almost nil.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Fight for IT services talent escalates

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 22, 2014 11:00:00 AM

IT service providers are reporting that it’s becoming a lot harder to hold onto to IT talent. In fact, the most recent survey of IT services providers conducted by CompTIA, the IT services industry association, saw an uptick in concern over IT labor costs, increasing four percentage points over the previous quarter’s rate of 24 percent.

With almost a third of IT service providers surveyed identifying the cost of labor as an issue, it’s clear the economy is heading northwards. Not too long ago IT folks were just happy to be employed. But as the economy continues to steadily grow, the demand for the services of people with IT expertise is increasing.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Federal digital SWAT team sets IT services example

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 14, 2014 10:26:31 AM

On those rare occasions when the Federal government learns from its mistakes, IT service providers should take notice. With the announcement this week that the Federal government is creating a U.S. Digital Service that will function more or less as a digital SWAT team for identifying opportunities to use IT to improve government functions, a model that could be replicated across any number of vertical industries has been created.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Time to productize IT services has arrived

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 7, 2014 9:05:19 AM

In order for an IT service to be really profitable, it has to be repeatable. A service engagement requires a lot of investment in technical staff. Unless an IT service provider finds a way to leverage that investment a one-time engagement around the delivery of that service is not usually very profitable.

Now IBM is taking that concept to the next logical level with the delivery of IT services that can now be purchased online using a credit card much like any other product.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Race to Windows Server 2003 migrations gets underway

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 4, 2014 9:20:53 AM

With Microsoft currently planning to eliminate support for Windows Server 2003 in 2015, many IT organizations think they still have plenty of time to make the migration to another operating system. But given the fact that it takes over 200 days to make such a migration, it turns out most IT organizations are running out of time.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Reducing maintenance fees frees up IT budgets

Posted by Mike Vizard on Aug 1, 2014 8:58:47 AM

In the current economic climate IT service providers need to find a way to free up IT dollars already allocated to other projects if they want customers to invest in a new project.

The simple fact of the matter is that anywhere to 70 to 90 percent of any IT budget is already allocated to funding existing projects. The only way IT service providers can really change that equation is by either outright eliminating the need for an incumbent IT solution or reduce the cost of supporting it.

One of the easiest places IT service providers can free up some of those funds is by reducing the ongoing maintenance fees for legacy products that are either not actually supported by the vendor that sold them or are nearing the end of their useful lifecycle.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

New and old IT services guard fight for AWS control

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 28, 2014 9:24:36 AM

As the dominant cloud computing platform, providers of IT services are now flocking to Amazon Web Services. But as is often the case with any disruptive platform a fierce battle is underway between startup providers of IT services and the traditional old guard that has traditionally dominated enterprise IT.

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Topics: IT Services Trends