Getting the right tools
If you are just starting your MSP, or moving to a managed services model, you will most likely be choosing the tools to run your business on your own. If you already have employees, make sure they are part of the evaluation and decision-making process. As the owner/manager, you still have the final say, but including your team early in the process will give them some sense of ownership of the toolset. The reason you want to define your processes before you pick your tools is that it is far easier to find a tool to fit your process than it is to force a tool to fit your process. If you buy your tools first, they may not be the right fit for your service-delivery process.
Now comes the hard part.
As the manager, your most important job is to make the three things we have discussed work in harmony. Your people, processes, and tools must work in a way that the sum of their individual efficiencies creates an even higher efficiency that translates into profit for the company.
For the record, there is no perfection to be achieved here. It is a constant process of tweaking and fixing; sometimes you need to replace different pieces to maintain a well-managed system. Hopefully this article has given you a framework to think or rethink your processes so your MSP can be called well managed.
Eric Anthony is principal of customer experience at SolarWinds MSP. Before joining SolarWinds, Eric ran his own managed services provider business for over six years.
You can follow Eric on Twitter at @EricAnthonyMSP