5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)


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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are the foundation of your MSP business. They are essential to building strong client relationships and must be clear, reasonable and well-constructed.

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Cam Habib

Cam is a Product Marketing Manager at Continuum, focused on all things RMM. With previous stints in sales, marketing and product, he brings a unique perspective to the team. Cam is committed to building and maintaining positive partner relationships, always ensuring the partner’s voice is heard. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new places, trying new cuisine and watching or playing any sport.
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Recent Posts

Major Takeaways to Expect from Navigate 2019 APAC

Posted by Frank Bauer on April 12, 2019

With Navigate 2019 EMEA under our belt, there's a lot more where that came from... and the next stop is Melbourne, Australia! We are eager to bring fresh industry insights from Continuum leadership, marketing and product support from our on-site team, and killer content from global IT leaders to Navigators in the APAC region.

There's a lot in store for Navigate 2019 APAC. Keep reading to get a taste of some of the major cybersecurity data points Continuum CEO Michael George will be sharing in his highly anticipated keynote, and learn which tactics MSPs can't ignore in 2019 and beyond.

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Topics: Business Growth, Navigate, Cyber Security

Navigate 2019 EMEA Partner Award Winners: Congratulations to Some Stand-Out MSPs

Posted by Phylip Morgan on April 8, 2019

The truth is, Continuum partners are really what makes Continuum. We are grateful for and proud of each and every one; yet it's necessary to award those who've gone above and beyond throughout the year and achieved stand-out success.

We handed out awards in the following categories at our recent Navigate 2019 EMEA conference—read on for some well-deserved partner shout-outs!

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Topics: Business Growth, Navigate, IT Services

MSPs “Hangout” and Share Their Tips for Success

Posted by Gretchen Hoffman on April 5, 2019

Welcome to the first blog post for our new “MSP Fast Track” hangout series. "MSPs Tell All: How to Outperform the Competition” was our first hangout in a new series where we will be hosting monthly virtual panels with MSPs and industry experts to discuss topics we have found to be popular among MSPs. 

We were fortunate enough to have stellar panelists during "MSPs Tell All: How to Outperform the Competition” where they discussed tips and tricks they believe have played an instrumental role in their success. 

 

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Topics: Business Growth, IT Services

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of March 2019

Posted by Meaghan Moraes on March 29, 2019

Generating quality MSP leads online. Protecting your clients with a strong security plan. Understanding how to make your MSP stand out. These were just a few of the topics discussed on our blog this month that resonated most with readers.

Check out our roundup below of the top five MSPblog posts of March to explore the key themes buzzing in the MSP community right now!

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing, Cyber Security

Navigate 2019 EMEA Recap: Big Reveals, Huge Success

Posted by Meaghan Moraes on March 28, 2019

We just wrapped Navigate 2019 EMEA in Milton Keynes, UK yesterday and the first word that comes to mind is: success! The feedback says it all—check out #nav19 on Twitter and the Continuum Events app for social proof. All in all, attendees learned a lot from content-rich breakout sessions, keynotes and one-on-one consulting. The insights were cutting edge and the event's energy inspired next-level leadership and business growth.

Here are various aspects of the conference that helped generate the electricity! 

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Topics: Business Growth, Navigate, Cyber Security

How to Differentiate Yourself in a Growing Competitive MSP Landscape [Part 2: Hard Differentiators]

Posted by Ray Vrabel on March 25, 2019

Last week, we discussed how soft differentiators can help you improve your business. This week, we’ll focus on hard differentiators: what they are, how they can help you grow your business and examples of how our partners are using them today.

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Topics: Business Growth

The Ultimate Guide to Success in Managed IT Services

Posted by Robert Kocis on March 22, 2019

According to BCC Research, the global managed IT services market could be worth more than $250 billion by the year 2021. This sector in flourishing, and the potential for value-added resellers (VARs), break/fix providers, or emerging MSPs to achieve scalable, profitable growth in IT is tremendous.

Capitalizing on this proactive, preventative approach to IT services is more efficient than running around putting out fires. Additionally, this model can lead to higher margins, scalability and recurring revenue, while improving customer service. To get there, however, you will need the right business plan, technology and partnerships. 

So, what’s the key to unparalleled success in managed IT services? Focus on these four elements:
 

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Topics: Business Growth, IT Services

7 Reasons You Can't Miss Navigate 2019 EMEA

Posted by Phylip Morgan on March 20, 2019

With less than a week until Navigate 2019 EMEA, there’s promise it’ll be the best one yet. Navigate is the only user conference in the IT channel that empowers MSPs to scale rapidly and improve their business metrics. This year, Navigate will bring attendees valuable content that’s built for MSP success, direct access to Continuum’s leadership team, collaborative networking opportunities to hear and learn from peers, and much more.

But these aren’t the only reasons why you’ll want to be there. Keep reading to discover seven key ways we’re stepping up our game with Navigate 2019 EMEA.

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Topics: Business Growth, Navigate, IT Services

How to Differentiate Yourself in a Growing Competitive MSP Landscape [Part 1: Soft Differentiators]

Posted by Ray Vrabel on March 15, 2019

In 2018, Managed Services alone accounted for $43B in annual revenue. Further, the total serviceable SMB market accounted for 7 million businesses, but only ten percent of that serviceable market is actually served by IT Service Providers today. This provides a huge opportunity for MSPs to gain additional market share and box out your competition. But how do you go about doing this?

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Topics: Business Growth

Dominating New Verticals in 2019: 7 Tips to Keep AEC Clients Cyber Secure

Posted by Josh Weiss on March 1, 2019

Traditional architecture, engineering and environmental consulting (AEC) firms are in the middle of a makeover, with spreadsheets and calculators taking a backseat to big data, technology and software. With increasing speed, AEC firms are utilizing technology-driven capabilities to provide more service offerings and improve efficiency. This means they require proactive cybersecurity strategies to protect their business. The bottom line is: AEC firms are making strategic investments in cyber security.

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Topics: Business Growth, IT Services, Cyber Security

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of February 2019

Posted by Meaghan Moraes on February 27, 2019

Having defined processes in your MSP to drive business forward. Understanding how to explain the value of your services rather than just listing them on your website. Finding the right opportunities to have cross-sell conversations with clients. These were just a few of the topics discussed on our blog this month that resonated most with readers.

Check out our roundup below of the top five MSPblog posts of February to explore the key themes buzzing in the MSP community right now!

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing, RMM

Three Ways MSPs Can Demonstrate Value to Clients: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on February 25, 2019

With so many aspects of managed IT services today being performed remotely and off-hours, it can be difficult to really “show” your customers the value you’re providing them every day. In this episode of The Weekly Byte, we break down three ways to help you reinforce and regularly showcase the value you’re delivering to your customers!

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Topics: Business Growth, The Weekly Byte

3 Important Questions to Improve Your MSP Business Processes

Posted by Cam Habib on February 7, 2019

One area that can often get overlooked in MSPs is operational strategy and process building. MSP business environments are chaotic by nature, often with small, nimble teams constantly putting out fires—which makes it easy to put off process-building initiatives. Revenue, profits and customers are always top-of-mind, and anything that remotely looks like it would impede the positive outcomes of these objectives is often deprioritized. Below, we’ll dive into some reasons why building these processes is so important and share insights on how they can catapult your team to greater success.

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Topics: Business Growth, IT Services

5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Posted by Brandon Garcin on January 30, 2019

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are a critical component of any modern MSP business. The goal of these documents is to provide clients with a detailed understanding of the scope of your services, define which parties have ownership over certain functions, and to set proper expectations for things like resolution times and escalation procedures. SLAs also provide both parties with a level of protection against legal action should an issue or misunderstanding arise—so they need to be crafted thoughtfully and carefully.

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Topics: Business Growth, IT Services

Evolution of The Managed IT Services Provider

Posted by Joseph Tavano on January 29, 2019

As the progress of technology marches on, managed IT services providers are tasked with staying ahead of the curve and meeting changes as they come. As part of this continual adaptation, new services and solutions are changing the fundamental purpose of MSPs, challenging the industry to evolve yet again.

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Topics: Business Growth

5 Ways to Retain Employees in Your MSP Business: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on January 28, 2019

Hiring and retaining talent pose some of the most significant challenges MSPs face today—and a widening skills gap (particularly in cyber security) isn’t helping. Fortunately, the right tactics and approach can help you overcome some of these challenges and keep your top performers. Tune into this episode of The Weekly Byte to learn more!

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Topics: Business Growth, The Weekly Byte

10 Free and Helpful Online Tools for MSPs

Posted by Ben Barker on January 17, 2019

Everyone appreciates a helping hand. When you discover a free, online tool that makes your job easier, it can be hard to imagine life without it. With that in mind, we decided to reach out to you in order to compile a list of these helpful tools, all in one place. Why spend hours poking around online looking for a solution to your problem when it is very likely that one of your peers has already discovered and shared that solution?

 

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Topics: Business Growth

How to Sell Managed IT Services in 2019

Posted by Frank Bauer on January 16, 2019

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post called How to Sell Managed Services: Understanding the New Buyer Dynamic, a topic that's still top-of-mind for most MSPs today. In it I stressed that purchasing behavior has changed, rendering once popular sales strategies outdated and ineffective. Need proof on this? According to HubSpot, a mere two percent of cold calls result in an appointment. Clearly, there must be another way!

So let's say you're still struggling to fill your sales pipeline. You know what NOT to do because you've done it, and it isn't working. What then is the solution, how has it changed over time and what's driving that change?

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

Which Major Forces Will Disrupt the MSP Market in 2019?

Posted by Lily Teplow on January 15, 2019

This year has already brought a lot of channel activity; whether through mergers and acquisitions—for both vendors and service providers—the naming of new CEOs and executives, or things to look out for in 2019. But which of the major trends in the market are actually worth watching?

To answer this question and more, I sat down with Continuum CEO Michael George. Recently, Michael shared his predictions for the managed services industry, alluding to three major forces that will disrupt the market. Keep reading for a deeper dive into these three forces, including exclusive insight from Michael on how to align your MSP business for success in 2019.

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Topics: Business Growth, IT Services

Exciting IT Channel Progress: What the CMIT Acquisition Means for MSPs

Posted by Meaghan Moraes on January 10, 2019

2019: what a time to be in the managed services industry. With the rise of cyber security, the quest to solve the skills gap, and increased investment in mergers and acquisitions to name a few, there's been a lot of fascinating movement as of late—and Continuum and our partners are here for it. 

The recent acquisition of CMIT Solutions by private equity firm Craftmans Capital speaks to this exciting time. Read on for more details on this new development and advice for MSPs working to find that secret recipe for success in this market.

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Topics: Business Growth, IT Services, Cyber Security

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of 2018

Posted by Meaghan Moraes on January 1, 2019

Happy New Year! What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2019? Maybe you’re hoping to devote more time to growing your managed services business, fill your lead pipeline or break into the cybersecurity space. These are all great goals to have, but to actually achieve them, you might need a little help.

Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up our top five posts from the MSPblog this year. With tips and best practices on mastering the MSP sales process, making strategic business decisions, incorporating security into your portfolio, optimizing your tech talent and much more, you’ll be set up for success in the new year. Take a look at our top posts below to get a head start on your resolutions!

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing, Cyber Security

Is Your Managed Services Business Running Into These 5 Problems?

Posted by Ray Vrabel on December 27, 2018

The managed services market is predicted to grow to $242.45 billion by 2021 at a 10.8 percent CAGR! With such an outlook, it's no wonder so many MSPs are seizing this opportunity.

Whether proactive IT management has been your primary business model for years or you're exploring the managed IT services advantage for the first time, the potential for revenue growth is significant. Yet, maybe you've struggled to capitalize on this growing market. You're not alone. Here are five of the most common problems MSPs encounter and how you can avoid these pitfalls in your own business.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

5 Non-Monetary Compensation Strategies Every MSP Should Be Using

Posted by Lily Teplow on December 12, 2018

Money is many things, but it isn’t everything. It can be tough out there for managed IT services providers who want retain top talent but don’t always have the means to pay them. Luckily, there are several non-monetary ways that you can offer your employees compensation that actually help to enrich your staff’s daily work environment.

In the spirit of the upcoming new year, look to incorporate these non-monetary compensation strategies. As a result, you could see a more positive company culture, more engaged employees, and a more loyal, productive workforce.

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Topics: Business Growth

How MSPs Can Effectively Prepare for the Holidays: The Weekly Byte [VIDEO]

Posted by Brandon Garcin on December 10, 2018

The holiday season is one of the busiest—and most hectic—times of the year. And for MSPs, the right planning can go a long way to ensure you’re not scrambling to keep things running smoothly throughout the month of December. Tune into this episode of The Weekly Byte to discover four ways to effectively prepare for the holidays!

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Topics: Business Growth, The Weekly Byte

The Top 5 MSP Blog Posts of November 2018

Posted by Lily Teplow on November 29, 2018

What are the keys to an MSP marketing plan for 2019? How can you explain the cloud to your clients? What tools are needed to build a cyber security offering? We answer these questions and more in our monthly roundup of the MSPblog's most popular posts.

See below for the top five blog articles our readers couldn’t get enough of this November.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing, Cyber Security

4 Simple Ways to Show Clients You're Thankful for Them

Posted by Lily Teplow on November 21, 2018

While acquiring new business is always important, maintaining your existing business should be a focal point as well. With the everyday grind of running your MSP business, it’s easy to forget to tell your clients how you appreciate their partnership. So, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, we’re providing you with four simple ways to show clients you're thankful for them and make them feel valued and important to your business.

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Topics: Business Growth

How Do You Market, Call and Set an MSP Sales Meeting?

Posted by Lily Teplow on November 14, 2018

If you want to accelerate sales and grow your MSP business, you can’t rely on leads coming to you and ringing your phones off the hook. You need to develop the relationship, ease them down the sales funnel and arrange a time to meet with well-suited prospects. However, it can be tough for MSPs to get your foot in the door and actually set this date.

Keep reading to discover tips on how to request onsite visits, what to cover during these appointments, and how to effectively follow-up to move the sale forward.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

4 Signs You Should Say “No” to a Prospect

Posted by Lily Teplow on November 13, 2018

I’ve written a lot of posts on how MSPs can generate new leads, improve close rates, and become more successful in sales and marketing—but I think it’s time to flip the script a bit. While the fact remains that you can’t effectively grow your business if you’re not acquiring new clients, that doesn’t mean that you should jump on every opportunity that comes down the pipeline. In fact, knowing when to say “no” to a prospect can be just as valuable as knowing when to say “yes.”

In this post, we’ll explore four red flags that could signal when it might make sense to pause (or even walk away from) a potentially bad deal.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

How to Leverage Product Demos When Selling MSP Services

Posted by Lily Teplow on November 7, 2018

During the typical MSP sales process, countless hours can be spent talking to prospects about the value of your managed IT services. However, how can you actually show them said value?

The answer may be simple: product demonstrations. Product demos should be used throughout your sales cycle and even when cross-selling and upselling existing accounts. In this post, we’ll explore how MSPs can better leverage product demos and the benefits they can have on generating new and better business.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing, IT Services

Partner Spotlight: Why MSPs Should Go to Industry Events

Posted by Mark Matthews on October 11, 2018

It can seem on the face of it that industry events are expensive to go to, especially if you have to fly to get there, add the hotel costs and the event themselves are normally chargeable, it can all add up. Sometimes the costs can run into the thousands, particularly if you take other members of your team with you. The key to an industry event is finding the greater value for your company. There may be things at the event that you wouldn’t know about otherwise but have potential to bring a new source of revenue to your company, or a method of doing something that would increase productivity tenfold!

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Topics: Business Growth

Which Managed Services Pricing Strategy Is Right for You?

Posted by Ray Vrabel on October 10, 2018

Pricing is something many businesses struggle with, and MSPs are no exception. Price your offerings too high, and you might not find a great market for you. Price too low, and you might be hurting your own margins. Right now, the industry still offers enough flexibility that there are a number of different managed services pricing strategies that work. However, it’s important for MSPs to be aware of the benefits and drawbacks to each. Which pricing model is best for you? Let’s discuss.

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Topics: Business Growth, Sales and Marketing

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