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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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The EMM Market Will Double by 2018: How MSPs Can Take Advantage

Posted October 22, 2014by Nicolas Dard

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A recent report from 451 Research states that they expect the market for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) to double in size by 2018. Currently, the market accounts for $3.8 Billion in revenue, and that’s expected to grow to $9.6 Billion in 2018.

Additionally, Gartner expects over 2.2 billion smartphone and tablet devices to ship in 2015, which towers over the prediction of 325 million PC’s expected to ship. What does this mean for MSPs? The opportunity for mobile device management has never been greater.


Adding MDM to your Services Portfolio

Many MSPs are interested in adding MDM to their services portfolio, but are unsure of how to do so. There are some important things to keep in mind as you start building an offering.

The Need for Dual Personas

Dual personas are a key capability to have in your MDM offering. This gives you the ability to separate work and personal data, giving you much more control over your MDM solution, especially if your employees are using their own devices for work, which is an increasingly popular trend.

Dual persona functionality allows you to containerize apps and data within your devices under management. If a device is lost/stolen or the employee is terminated, you can selectively wipe the data in the work container, yet leave the personal container untouched so that no personal data is lost.

This is a key feature to include in your MDM offering as BYOD continues to gain in popularity.

Identifying Target Markets

Another important step in adding MDM services is identifying your target markets. There are some key verticals that have a strong need for mobile device management services. If you have a number of clients in these verticals, it’s a good place to start when packaging and selling MDM services.

  • Healthcare: With HIPAA compliance a key issue for many businesses in the healthcare segment, MDM is one of the important solutions to have in place in order to maintain compliance because mobile devices are frequently used to access confidential patient information, and if these are ever lost they need to have the ability to remotely lock down and wipe the device. If you have clients in the healthcare industry, these are probably the best places to start.
  • Financial Services: Financial services companies also have a number of regulations to comply with. MDM is an important tool to have in place for employees in the financials services sector because they oftentimes have confidential client financials on their mobile devices.
  • Retail: Hopefully you’re aware of some of the major security breaches for some of the world’s largest retailers, including Target and Home Depot. Again, with security being a top priority for retailers, mobile device management is a key piece of any security plan and makes them a substantial vertical for purchasing MDM services.
  • Education: Again, education is another vertical where security is a top concern. Student and teacher information needs to be kept under wraps, and setting up mobile device policies and management solutions helps ensure that you’re controlling every endpoint that can access data. 


Selling is About Proving ROI

To be successful in selling your MDM services, you need to prove the return on investment to your customers. Many clients don’t realize the importance of an MDM solution until they have a lost device and/or a data breach. Proving that ROI will help your clients see value in mobile device management before a disaster strikes.

Here are some good discovery questions to ask your clients and/or prospects to get the conversation and help you understand their needs: 

  • How many devices do you manage and which platforms do you support?
  • Do you support both employee-owned (BYOD) and corporate-owned devices?
  • What happens if an employee or corporate owned device is lost or stolen?
  • Are you interested in deploying a separate and secure container for emails, calendars and contacts?
  • Do you need to distribute and manage public and/or private applications?
  • Do you need to securely distribute content to your workforce?
  • Do you need to be HIPAA compliant?
  • Do you know all of the devices accessing your network? Are you sure?

These are just a few of the questions you can ask to get the conversation started. Think about uncovering a need, understanding what your client’s costs are if that need isn’t satisfied, and how your solution can save them in the long run.

Pricing and Packaging

MDM pricing is a frequent question we get from our partners. They understand the importance of the solution, but are unsure of how to price it so that it’s of value to the end client, yet still maintains sufficient margins for the MSP.

Pricing for MDM is usually done on a per-device basis or a per-user basis. Our partners have tended to have more success pricing on a per-user basis by bundling MDM services with their other services. Here’s why per-user tends to be more effective:

  • Easier to sell – Bundling MDM into your managed services means there’s only one selling process, not two.
  • Seen as a differentiator, not an add-on – When you bundle in MDM, your clients will think that mobile is just another feature of your services, not an additional service they need to purchase from you
  • Protects your margins – Bundling your services helps you protect your margins because your clients can’t eliminate services they don’t necessarily want.
  • Clients understand it better – End clients tend to understand per-user pricing better, in that as their MSP, you will take care of all the devices their employees use. Most businesses don’t own employee mobile devices, so they feel uncomfortable paying for their monitoring.

Obviously, pricing will depend on the client and their individual needs, but we have found that our partners tend to have better success bundling.

Xperteks Case Study

Xperteks, a partner of Continuum, did an excellent job of proving this ROI to one of their clients. They were able to save that client, who was working on building a bi-lingual iPad application, tens of thousands of dollars by implementing Continuum’s MDM solution.

This client needed to test this application nationwide on student and educator focus groups. By installing Continuum MDM, which is powered by MaaS360, on these iPad testing devices, Xperteks could effectively and securely deploy updates and patches to the tested app, which saved the client significant time and money to the alternative of shipping devices back and forth to deploy updates.

You can read more about the full case study here. However, Marcial Velez, CEO of Xperteks, was able to prove a clear return on investment for his client, which allowed them to work on the app deployment and eventually win future business with the client.

We recently hosted a webinar with MaaS360 last week to discuss The Tricks and Treats of Mobile Device Management. If you’re interested in learning more about the MDM opportunity, check out this new recording!


Conclusion

The numbers don’t lie; Mobile Device Management represents a significant opportunity for MSPs and the IT channel. However, if you don’t get started on developing your service offering today, you will miss the boat. Identify which markets you can effectively target, approach them and ask them questions to discover a need, then prove to them how your solution can save them time, money and potential security threats.

Again, if you’re interested in learning more, tune into this previously recorded MDM webinar!

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Nicolas Dard is Product Manager with Continuum Managed IT Services, responsible for third party products integration for the company’s Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) solution. He was previously Product Manager and Engineer with Qualisteo in Nice, France. He was also Functional Analyst consultant for Amadeus. He worked on a viral marketing and network immunization research project for Imperial College in London. He has a master’s degree in communication and signal processing from Imperial College London and a master’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering and management from Supelec.

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