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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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Partner Spotlight: How Offloading Project Work Results in Happier Technicians

Posted April 6, 2018by Lily Teplow

How Offloading Project Work Results in Happier Technicians

When it rains, it pours. In the IT industry, this is often the rule rather than the exception. The constant putting out of fires or buildup of tickets can put a lot of strain on your business—especially on your team of technicians.

Technicians are the backbone of your managed services business, and your success relies on the quality and caliber of this team. Yet when their value is being barred by menial tasks day in and day out, it can create inefficiencies, cause you to miss out on revenue-generating projects and ultimately, lead to technician churn.

Despite these challenges, some MSPs have found a way to maintain a happy technician team; and the secret lies in offloading project work. I recently sat down with Eddie Phillips, chief operating officer at Shield Networks, to discuss how he uses Continuum Tech Advantage to offload project work to the NOC and create a healthier work-life balance for technicians.

What is Tech Advantage?

Tech Advantage is a unique project management service that allows Continuum Partners to leverage our Network Operations Center (NOC) technicians to complete more than 100 desktop and server projects on behalf of their clients. By assigning project work to our NOC, Continuum Partners can complete more projects at a faster rate and without the headaches. With Tech Advantage, projects can be done after-hours, on weekends, or overnight—helping MSPs scale their business and increase profitability even when they’re asleep.

The main benefit of Tech Advantage comes from our 700+ certified NOC engineers and technicians, ready to perform any server, desktop, or custom project for you. In turn, this allows senior technicians to focus on more profitable, strategic work while saving you the extra costs of hiring and training new employees. Our expertise becomes your advantage, and it will result in a happier technician team. 

Advice from an MSP

Now it’s time to hear from Eddie about his experience with Tech Advantage and how offloading project work has played a role in decreasing his technician burnout.

Eddie PEddie Phillips is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Shield Networks. Shield Networks Inc. helps organizations optimize the interaction of people and technology to maximize the most precious currency of all: time. Part of their mandate is to help educate and inform decision makers who value technology in areas like practical and proactive network security, how to recover from small or large data disasters, calculating the costs of proactive versus reactive technical support and specific case studies of how technology either helped or hindered the effectiveness and efficiency of a specific business process.

Q: What first led you to try the Tech Advantage (TA) program?

A: We needed more experienced technicians to handle the highly-technical projects that were coming our way, or in some cases, more technicians to handle a spike in simultaneous projects that we didn’t have the headcount for. Tech Advantage was the perfect option for us.

Q: What types of projects have you completed with TA?

A: As the COO, I wanted to distance myself from the day-to-day operations, so I was able to hand off multiple projects to our Level 2/3 technicians to manage the TA projects. We’ve completed a range of projects; from Active Directory migrations, print migrations, and Office 365 migrations, to desktop projects and other office upgrades.

Q: What is the TA process like?

A: Requesting and starting a project with the NOC is very straightforward. I’ve actually rarely had to ask for an update. The majority of our projects happen overnight or on weekends, and the updates are always in my inbox by the end of the weekend or the next morning for overnight projects.

Q: How has TA helped free your in-house resources or improve quality of life for your technicians?

A: We strive to keep as few vendors as possible, so TA allows us to keep so much more under one roof. Instead of dedicating internal resources to do all levels of technical work, we are now training our techs in project management. This gives our team more fulfilling work and responsibility, and allows us to handle an influx of projects without needing to hire contractors.

Q: What would you say to other Continuum partners who are not yet taking advantage of Tech Advantage?

A: Tech Advantage has been a fantastic resource for us, and the NOC team has proven to be very knowledgeable. Being able to schedule these projects for after-hours and weekends also reduces burnout on our staff and definitely pays off in the long run. I would start with a simple project (such as an AD migration) to get a feel for the process, how it works for you, and then work your way up from there.

 

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Lily is a Content Marketing Manager at Continuum and is passionate about helping businesses solve their biggest challenges. She is responsible for managing Continuum’s MSPblog and writing on a variety of topics, from sales and marketing to cybersecurity, helping establish authority in the MSP market. Lily is also a seasoned content creator and has supported Continuum’s PR and media efforts. In her spare time, Lily enjoys singing, traveling the world, and cheering on her favorite Boston sports teams!

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