Managed IT Services Proposal
Many managed services providers (MSP) are realizing the effectiveness of a well-written managed IT services proposal. A managed IT services proposal should clearly outline the responsibilities of both the MSP and client. This can include work environment, services, and hours of availability. While managed IT services proposals aren’t always required, implementing them will prevent miscommunication and unfulfilled expectations. Ultimately, a managed IT services proposal should be a solution to the client’s challenges. Here are a few things an MSP should consider when creating a managed IT services proposal.
Identify the Client’s Needs
The MSP should make sure to identify the client’s needs. This usually involves a tour of the facility and/or a conversation about the client’s challenges. The MSP will need to determine if the equipment is up-to-date or approaching the end of a life cycle. This is also a good time for an MSP to determine if the infrastructure of the building can meet the demands of new equipment. Most importantly, the information the client shares with the MSP needs to be clearly defined.
Keep in mind that clients may not be able to fully articulate their needs. Therefore, an MSP needs to use probing questions to ensure all issues are on the table. Understanding a client’s needs is the foundation for creating the managed IT services proposal.
Reiterate the Client’s Challenges in the Managed IT Services Proposal
This is the opportunity for an MSP to demonstrate that he or she truly understands the client’s needs. Clients will appreciate a managed IT services proposal that begins with all the challenges that were discussed. Attention to detail is very important. This demonstrates that the MSP listens and will be easy to communicate with. Most importantly, clearly reiterating the client’s challenges in the managed IT services proposal will help the client build trust with the MSP.
Position a Solution to the Client’s Needs
This is where the MSP’s years of training and experience get put to use. The MSP will need to demonstrate to the client just how the proposed services, equipment, and software applications will address the client’s technology needs. It’s also important to make sure that the managed IT services proposal is written so the client can clearly understand the solution.
While customers of IT services are becoming more tech savvy, they still won’t understand IT as well as the MSP. Therefore, the MSP should take the time to make the content “client friendly.”
Involve a Legal Team
The best way to start off any business relationship is with a good contract. The contract the MSP has with the client is the managed IT services proposal. Some clients will require their legal team to look over the contract. An MSP should be prepared to make realistic changes to ensure that clients in heavily regulated industries like healthcare and banking will still meet compliance.
MSPs should clearly define their hours of availability in the managed IT services proposal. Twenty-four-hour service is quite common in competitive technology markets. However, not every MSP can provide that kind of service. An MSP should be realistic when setting this parameter. Many small to mid-sized MSPs split their time servicing multiple clients. It’s also quite common for MSPs to work many hours in a week. Thus, it’s important that the MSP clearly defines his or her availability.
Define Priorities Clearly
The MSP and client should understand the hierarchy of IT priorities. For example, the MSP wouldn’t want to pull a technician off an important project because he or she was asked to assist a salesperson with a conference call. Likewise, a client who understands the importance of the project wouldn’t want that either. Priorities that are clearly defined in the managed IT services proposal will help the client and MSP get off to a good start.
The managed IT services proposal should be very clear about the client’s role. This often includes the working environment and infrastructure that stores the equipment. These details need to be defined in the managed IT services proposal. In some occasions, technically capable clients may share some of the service responsibilities. These shared responsibilities need to be included as well.
Payment and Billing
The MSP should clearly indicate what is and what isn't covered under the proposal. Payment schedules, billing methods and billable hours should all be included.
Use SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow) to Build Strong Managed IT Services Proposals
MSPs can now use SolarWinds MSP’s intelligent ITSP platform to manage their client’s technology needs. This convenient and powerful tool will also help the MSP expand his or her service offerings, retain current clients and win new business. Most importantly, the MSP will be able to build much stronger managed IT services proposals because all the tools will be located on the SolarWinds MSP dashboard. With all the tools SolarWinds MSP offers, MSPs can gain an advantage over the competition.
Ultimately, using SolarWinds MSP’s intelligent ITSP platform will make the task of creating an effective managed IT services proposal much easier and will save valuable time on the job.
Save Time with the Integrated Dashboard
Time is money in the IT services world. MSPs need to make the most of their time on the job by finding ways to streamline productivity. The SolarWinds MSP ITSP platform helps the MSP save time by integrating all the tools into one convenient dashboard. MSPs no longer need to toggle from one application to the next or have multiple monitors running at one time. Rather, the SolarWinds MSP integrated dashboard provides everything on one screen.
This dashboard includes patch management, automated monitoring, managed antivirus, and many other powerful features. You’ll also have the same ease of use across different operating systems like Windows, Linux and Mac. Having an integrated platform that can be controlled by a central platform will ultimately save time and improve the MSP’s efficiency.
Win More Business by Offering Security Services
Everyone remembers the security breach Sony suffered at the hands of high-tech hackers. Unfortunately, all businesses and government agencies run the risk of security attacks. These can come from phishing campaigns or direct cyber attacks. MSPs must have ways of protecting their clients. While cyber security threats are unfortunate, they provide an opportunity for an MSP to earn more business by offering security services.
You don’t have to have a CEH or CISSP certification to use SolarWinds MSP. The SolarWinds MSP platform can scan an entire IT network and prepare a risk assessment based on vulnerabilities and unsecured data. These risk assessments can also be presented in terms of dollars. This is a fantastic way to for MSPs to show clients how they are saving money and mitigating risk.
Retain More Clients
An MSP must be able to rapidly recover the entire IT system when it goes down. Failure to do so results in loss of business. Today, recovery times are now being measured in minutes and even seconds. The key to maintaining a happy relationship with the client is making sure the system is back up whenever the system goes down.
SolarWinds MSP assists the MSP by providing shorter backup windows. In fact, the MSP will typically be able to reduce backup windows by 80%. This makes it much easier and faster to recover the system. Recovery times can be limited to just a few minutes. In addition, the client will still be able to send and receive emails even while the infrastructure is down.
Support More Users
MSPs can expand their businesses by supporting Mac and Linux users. While Windows is still the most popular operating system, some clients in specialized industries require Mac or Linux. Traditionally, separate ITSM platforms were required for the different operating systems. This not only wastes time, but it also costs more. These are certainly two things an MSP needs to avoid to remain profitable. SolarWinds MSP provides full functionality for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. This allows the MSP to provide services to more clients.
The SolarWinds MSP ITSP platform is essential in creating a strong managed IT services proposal. Having all the tools on one convenient dashboard will make the job of preparing a managed IT services proposal much easier and faster. In addition, the security scanning and monitoring feature will allow you to provide additional services and create a new revenue stream.
Start a free trial of MSP RMM (Remote Monitoring & Management) to see all the tools available to MSPs and start putting your IT services proposal together today!
About SolarWinds MSP
SolarWinds MSP delivers the only 100% SaaS, fully cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform, backed by collective intelligence and the highest levels of layered security. SolarWinds MSP’s solutions including MSP RMM, MSP Backup & Recovery, MSP Access Manager, MSP Mail Production, MSP Risk Intelligence, MSP Manager and MSP Anywhere – comprise the market’s most widely trusted integrated solution.
Deployed on millions of endpoints across hundreds of thousands of networks, the platform has the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the market. SolarWinds MSP provides the most comprehensive IT security available as well as the first ever IT notification feature powered by prescriptive analytics and machine learning.
SolarWinds MSP’s passion is helping IT professionals secure and manage their systems and data through actionable insights, rewriting the rules of IT.
For more information, visit www.solarwindsmsp.com.