As Managed Service Providers (MSPs) continue to move to the cloud, they are discovering that instead of worrying about hardware, they can now focus on what differentiates them from their competitors. For many, that is their packaged offerings. While you can build a custom solution for one client, who is to say that wouldn’t work for another client? More times than not, you have the tools to build the offering, you just haven’t tried to put it together yet.
Today we are going to discuss 3 steps to build your first MSP cloud offering.
1. Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel
This is probably one of the hardest steps because as most try to change their business, they think they need to come up with something brand new. When, in reality, they probably already do it. Start with reviewing what services you currently offer and what your customers typically need and/or require. If you have something that is widely used, I would suggest starting with that as a base to your offer.
For example, a common one would be Office 365 Business. With this as a base, customers will begin searching for what applies to them and what is included in that package.
2. Top Off Your Offering
Once you have created your offerings, now it is time to package them to start selling. There are two options: leverage your expertise or find a partner that allows you to white-label a solution that you can include. If you want to look at a white-label solution, the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem is a great place to start. This is how you create that all-in-one solution for your customers. If you find one offer that does extremely well, I would look to really promote it or find ways to beef it up and have it become your flagship offering. As you get started, just keep in mind that you might not create the perfect offering on the first try but listen to customers and always look for ways to leverage your expertise.
3. Become an Expert
Once you have developed an offering, try looking into different verticals, functions, and technology to see if you can specialize in an area.
Some examples of specialization include:
- Vertical specialization: healthcare, restaurant, banking, retail, manufacturing
- Functional process specialization: accounting, human resources, sales and marketing
- Technology specialization: system management, analytics, enterprise resource planning
Each specialization could require different setups, but if you can establish yourself as an expert, you can create a competitive advantage over your competitors. Your pre-packaged offering can save customers time and money as they meet their needs with minimal work on their part. As a result, to turn a lead into a qualified prospect, you must have a well-defined solution ready, or otherwise, the customer will keep searching and gravitate towards vendors that do provide an offer that meets their needs. This is something to keep in mind as you begin building your offerings.