Wondering how to stand out from the crowd with so many nearly identical players entering the managed service provider (MSP) landscape?
While MSPs were virtually unknown a decade ago, the growing complexity that the cloud has added to IT has created an ongoing need for managed services. And many companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), are now outsourcing some or all of their IT functions to a growing number of MSPs as well as managed security service providers (MSSPs).
Shifting to an MSP model makes a lot of sense for a smaller organization on a shrinking budget: Rather than having to upgrade the skills of their IT team and keeping those functions in-house, they’re choosing to hand these responsibilities over to experts.
This creates a vast number of prospective customers for MSPs across a wide range of sectors. In the banking field, for instance, according to a recent Grand View market analysis, MSPs can help “address various concerns such as market and regulatory change, technological change, and talent scarcity.” The report concluded that the MSP market will reach $376.1 billion by 2025.
However, with so many players entering the MSP market, it can be tricky to differentiate yourself in a world of uniform service offerings. If you’re running an MSP, how can you get customers’ attention or–better yet–even woo customers away from the competition?
Standing Out from the Crowd
Fortunately, it’s not hard to get solid business advice, like in this podcast by Matt Vaillancourt from D-Link. The Senior Director of Business Sales emphasizes five key ways MSPs can differentiate themselves from the competition:
- Focus on a particular vertical: Dominate a single segment rather than trying to be everything to every organization.
- Nail down your pricing: Establish clear payment tiers and simplified pricing models.
- Demonstrate your value: Offer thought leadership and inspiration for best practices; provide a constant presence for clients.
- Provide forward-thinking value: Give customers more value and anticipate future trends.
- Be flexible: This includes noting and dynamically responding to user needs.
Let’s look at the fourth point above–providing forward-thinking value. Basically, that means offering services that stand out from the standard package.
Listed alphabetically, almost every MSP offers some combination of the following services: adware removal, anti-malware, anti-virus, backup, content filtering, DNS, email protection, endpoint detection and response (EDR), firewall, support (remote, phone, and, for higher tiers, on-site and/or 24/7), password management, remote monitoring and management (RMM).
Of course, there are usually higher tiers of support and services beyond these, plus additional charges for services like remediating alerts identified during monitoring. But what you really need in order to stand out is to anticipate your customers’ needs with something truly different.
It’s helpful to know that from the business perspective of running an MSP, recurring services are far more profitable–and predictable, income-wise–than one-time services and projects. As long as you continue providing a great service, that monthly payment is revenue you can count on for the long term.
So, planning ahead to woo those customers, what’s the best area you can expand into, as an MSP, to anticipate customers’ needs in a forward-thinking way? The answer is clear: security.
The Need for Better SMB Security
Small and medium-sized businesses struggle with security, as they always have, since few can afford fully powered IT departments. Under half of SMBs manage to monitor and keep up with patching in a timely manner, leaving their organizations exposed.
According to a 2019 study by Continuum (now ConnectWise) of 850 global organizations, “Underserved and Unprepared: The State of SMB Cybersecurity,” almost two-thirds of respondents have experienced a breach, and over 60% of SMBs admit they don’t feel qualified to handle security issues in-house. What’s more, many don’t fully trust their MSPs to provide the optimal security for their needs.
There’s a reason for that. While some MSPs do claim to offer patching, their solutions usually don’t provide the airtight, rigorous solution these businesses need. There are a few simple reasons why:
- Most MSPs are not patching experts and lack specialized tools to fill the gap.
- Patching is more complex than the other types of maintenance handled by MSPs, with multiple patch repositories across a variety of environments — Windows and Linux, servers and workstations.
- This inexperience and lack of adequate tools may result in downtime and other problems, leading to customer dissatisfaction.
Even if an MSP offers patching, all of these issues mean that the end user may not be adequately protected against today’s sophisticated cyber threats. And they will hold the MSP or MSSP responsible if there is ultimately a breach.
To better serve this market, the above survey concludes, “MSPs must offer their SMB clients a full portfolio of security solutions in order to reduce their risk levels and maintain proper protection.” Indeed, based on these results, the then CEO of Continuum, Michael George, told Business News Daily that “the No. 1 reason MSPs lose business today is over concerns about cybersecurity.”
The study also noted that 93% of businesses said they’d consider switching MSPs for the “right” cybersecurity solution, while 84% of those who were not currently using an MSP would consider one if it offered the “right” cybersecurity solution.
What is that “right” solution? And, as an MSP, how can you attract new customers or even draw customers away from the competition? JetPatch has just rolled out the answer: Patch Management as a Service (PMaaS), a new offering that helps MSPs streamline and enhance their security offerings. See an example of an MSP who is already taking advantage of JetPatch PMaaS innovation.
Patch Management – The #1 Challenge
After years of market analysis, JetPatch, a longstanding expert in the patching field, has launched a new service for MSPs and MSSPs looking to add value for their customers.
Based on the established JetPatch platform, Patch Management as a Service (PMaaS) creates an additional layer of protection, ensuring that no aspect of patch management falls through the cracks. The benefit is twofold: security for the businesses and additional revenue for the service provider.
Organizations ‘shopping’ around for an MSP should demand PMaaS. There’s simply no other way to ensure a comprehensive solution driven by specialist knowledge of patching. And if you’re an MSP offering this service, you should wave the banner high to make sure your prospective customers know all about it.
JetPatch specializes in patching, period. With years of experience in vulnerability remediation and a massive satisfied customer base, we understand all the dimensions involved. Now we’re sharing our expertise with you, letting you outsource this essential value-added service.
We’ll do the heavy lifting, taking the hassle and burden of your customers’ patching off your shoulders and giving you an edge that will help you stand out from the crowd.