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Empowering Your MSP Business to Grow and Prosper—One Post at a Time

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Success-in-Managed-IT-Services


Featured Post

The Ultimate Guide to Success in Managed IT Services

What are the fundamentals to building a profitable managed IT services business? Keep reading to discover the four key ingredients for success.

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Jaq Baldwin

I have 9 years experience in IT solution sales working with VARs (Value Added Resellers) and MSPs (Managed Services Providers) in the Atlanta area. My experience includes account management, new business development, sales and marketing process/implementation and in recent years working solely in an Account Executive role. I have a wife of 12 years and a 9 year old son. We live in the Atlanta area where I grew up and I love to running, watching all sports (especially rooting the local Atlanta teams), and cheesy late night Sci-Fi or Kung Fu movies.
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Recent Posts

5 Signs an SMB is Ready for RMM

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on January 2, 2018

Convincing prospects to first conclude that they need a managed services provider (MSP) to help fight the good fight means you have shown them the value you provide as an IT solutions provider. They know they need to outsource support to a capable team. But in your conversations with clients, you should be discussing the importance of your remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform and how leveraging this preventative technology will provide them with much-needed peace of mind.

So, here are five signs that show when business owners of the small- and medium-sized businesses you're engaged with may be ready for your remote monitoring and management solution.

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management

3 Strategies for Achieving Operational Efficiency

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on January 19, 2017

3 Strategies for Achieving Operational Efficiency.png

As a managed services provider in the SMB market, the challenge of growing your operational maturity, bringing on more clients and simultaneously caring for existing accounts can be daunting. From the moment that first contract is signed, tickets begin to come at your team at 1000 mph from all directions – all with the same level of urgency. Your support staff gets stretched too thin, yet all the while your sales team is out looking for new clients that will also need support!

So, the questions begin to pile on. Do you invest in a bigger support team so you’re ready for newly acquired business? Or do you hire an outside sales rep to generate the revenue to pay for your team? Do you hire an internal account manager to offload the customer service requests? Or do you invest in more specialized training for your current team? The list goes on and on. But as the old adage goes, the key is to "work smarter, not harder."

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Topics: Revenue Growth and Profitability, Business Development and Growth, Service Delivery and Operational Efficiency

4 Overlooked But Proven Methods for Nailing Your Next Quarterly Business Review (QBR)

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on September 1, 2016

When done right, quarterly business reviews (QBRs) provide you the opportunity to demonstrate the value of your managed IT services, advise and upsell clients on new or unused technology and support, assess overall client satisfaction and more. But before you even meet with clients, you need to put together a game plan for how you'll conduct your QBRs. Otherwise, this sometimes rare opportunity to reconnect with customers and strengthen existing relationships can deteriorate into the kind of "kicking the tires" conversation that's a waste of everyone's time. To prevent this and get the most out of your next round of business reviews, here are four often overlooked essentials that I've had success with in my own experience as an MSP.

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Topics: Business Development and Growth, Revenue Growth and Profitability, Customer Service

Why You Need to Offer 24x7x365 IT Support

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on August 10, 2016

If you're an MSP and you’re not providing 24x7x365 IT support, you're cheating your clients out of services they really need to keep their businesses afloat and stay productive.

Still, many MSPs only offer 9am-5pm Monday-Friday coverage over round-the-clock managed IT services. Why? More often than not, MSPs favor extending the support window, but simply don’t have the bandwidth or internal resources needed. Rather than stretch yourself and your technicians thin, you’re forced into only providing coverage during normal week day business hours.

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Topics: Help Desk, Customer Service, Remote Monitoring and Management

7 Questions to Ask Prospects About Their Break/Fix Approach

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on July 26, 2016

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When I speak to business owners and leaders about managed services, I'm often confronted with the argument that they are perfectly content with their current "we call when we have a problem" (also known as a break/fix) model. Many incorrectly believe that they're already receiving managed IT services. 

As MSPs, you and I already know why this model is so problematic. Break/fix models present several problems, but there are a few key points you can make to successfully counter this line of thinking. 

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management, Sales and Marketing

Ransomware Meets Healthcare: How We Protect Patient Data

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on July 6, 2016

This month a hacker with the handle "Dark Overlord" has been making news after successfully stealing thousands of healthcare records and holding them for ransom. According to Boing Boing, Dark Overlord was able to acquire 48,000 records from a healthcare organization in Farmington, Missouri; hundreds of thousands from Atlanta, Georgia and the Central/Midwest US as well as nine million patient insurance details. As if that weren't enough, on Tuesday the notorious hacker also stole the information of 34,000 New York healthcare patients. And just what kind of payout is up for grabs for greedy ransomware authors looking to exploit healthcare institutions? Dark Overlord is demanding 750 Bitcoin (or $513,682.50)! So what does this mean for MSPs?

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Topics: HIPAA, Data Protection, Continuum BDR, Healthcare IT

3 Core Arguments in the Case for Outsourced IT

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on March 4, 2016

3 Core Arguments in the Case for Outsourced IT


As an MSP you'll encounter a variety of ways customers are employing IT support today. Some have existing IT staff and expect you to come alongside them to assist and act as an extension of their team. Some have always relied on outsourced IT, but are in the market for the kind of top-notch solution you can provide.

Still, many companies aren't as easily sold and weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing to a managed IT services practice versus hiring and staffing employees in-house. Here are three key arguments you can use to help prospects understand why outsourcing IT services in any capacity—like when used to augment existing staff—helps grow, scale and secure their businesses.

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Topics: Sales and Marketing

Make Your IT Service Delivery As Predictable as Groundhog Day

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on February 4, 2016

While no one would want to experience the ongoing living nightmare Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray) did in the 1992 film, Groundhog Day (I know you watched it Tuesday), a lot of the businesses I work with express a strong desire for predictability when it comes to IT services and support. Many times they just want to know when to expect a return call, when they can be back up and running, or when their projects can be completed. My team and I work hard to make our managed services support as predictable as possible every day, but we know it's a constant challenge.

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Topics: Remote Monitoring and Management

Why MSPs Need to Vigilantly Monitor Endpoint Security in 2016

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on January 6, 2016

With the Consumer Technology Association's CES 2016 conference kicking off today, I can't help but think of how many new gadgets, or endpoints, will be unveiled at the event by week's end. Endpoint management is becoming increasingly challenging due to the growing number of personal devices, as well as the growing number of places where a connected device can be found. 

Not too long ago, I wrote a post on my own blog about IoT (Internet of Things). When taking a quick inventory, I was a little stunned to realize I actually carry six connected devices on my person each and every work day! Counting Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3G/LTE devices, I have a laptop, smart pen, fitness watch, iPhone, iPad, Kindle and occasionally a USB stick. While these all bring enjoyment and productivity to my life, if not properly managed, they could also leave the security of my personal data and company's data seriously vulnerable. Considering how highly connected to the Internet we've become at home through TVs, thermostats or even Wi-Fi enabled refrigerators, it should make you and your clients wonder: how much of our data could we be potentially and unknowingly putting at risk? 

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Topics: Information Security, Mobile Device Management and IT Mobility

Don’t Abandon Your SLA. Sharpen IT!

Posted by Jaq Baldwin on December 2, 2015

Don’t Abandon Your Service Level Agreement (SLA). Sharpen IT!

image source: http://filmschoolrejects.com/features/oral-history-tommy-boy.php

I recently read Joe Panettieri's Channel E2E article which questioned if MSPs should abandon their service level agreements (SLAs). He cites a thesis from TruMethods Owner Gary Pica and CTO Bob Penland, which argues that MSPs should focus less on their SLA guarantees to customers and more on their proactive support and care. The two argue that SLAs are often used to prove how good MSPs are "in reactive mode," which isn't good enough.

Now, I will concede that the principle behind this theory is one I agree with. By offering threat detection and monitoring services, I'm able to reduce the number of tickets that a customer generates, thus avoiding costly downtime and demonstrating that I'm able to expertly prevent problems from developing into huge issues. Also, by maintaining the health of client endpoints, servers and networks, my team is able to deliver faster resolution times that keep clients happy, all while driving our own business costs down.

But my customers still need to know how quickly my team and I will respond when an issue does occur and be reassured of how effectively we'll serve them. The same applies for you and your MSP business.

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Topics: Customer Service, Business Development and Growth

RMM 101: Must-Haves for Your IT Management Solution
MSP Guide to Managed Services SLAs  [white paper]
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