A Starter Guide to IT Managed Services


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Making the switch to MSP is worth the time and effort because MSPs are approximately 200-400% more profitable than non-MSPs. And MSPs are 3x to 10x more valuable than traditional VARs. This 21-page guide will help you: --Develop and execute on a solid business strategy for running a managed services company --Choose the right IT systems management solution to help enable your vision --Price your managed services fairly, competitively, and profitably --Understand MSP pricing and profit scenarios including cost, profit, and MRR/project/breakfix calculations and analysis --Avoid some common pitfalls --Understand the benefits that come with implementing managed services correctly --Understand how an IT service provider successfully rolled out managed services for its customers and transformed into one of the largest MSPs in the country. December 2012.

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A Starter Guide to IT Managed Services

  1. 1. A Starter Guideto IT Managed ServicesA successful managed services business is reliant on a solidbusiness strategy and service delivery model as well as findingthe right technology for your needs.
  2. 2. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesTable of ContentsIntroduction: Why Should I Read This Guide?Part 1: The Role of the MSPPart 2: Formulating the Right StrategyPart 3: Choosing the Right ToolPart 4: Pricing for ProfitPart 5: Watch Out for These TrapsPart 6: What You Can Hope to Achieve When Building a Successful MSPPart 7: Safe Systems: The Right Way to Build a Successful Managed Services BusinessThe Conclusion: What We Learned
  3. 3. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesIntroduction: Why Should I Read This Guide? This guide will help you:Dear IT Solution Provider & Services Professional, I Develop and execute on a solid business strategy for running a managed servicesI had an interesting conversation with one of our managed services customers the other day. We were discussing the companyjourney he took as his IT services company grew from a one-man show to an 18-person managed services company I Choose the right IT systems managementwith $3 million in revenue in just a few years. He said it was a tough transition, but it was worth it. However, what solution to help enable your visionstruck me was the motivation behind transforming the business. I Price your managed services fairly,Here is what he said: “I had been working for years in a break-fix model and was making enough money to be competitively, and profitablycomfortable. Then it occurred to me. I had built a nice job for myself but it was far short of a business. And that’s I Understand MSP pricing and profitwhat I really wanted. I wanted to build a business, and I knew that I had to get serious about managed services.” scenarios including cost, profit, andIt was the perfect light bulb moment. He had built a job but wanted a business. MRR/project/breakfix calculations and analysisThat’s what this “Starter Guide to IT Managed Services” is all about. Kaseya works with hundreds of companies thathave transformed their one-man shops into successful managed services businesses with thousands of managed end I Avoid some common pitfallspoints. By embracing the Kaseya IT Automation Framework, these customers have formulated and executed on a I Understand the benefits that comemanaged services strategy that allows them to manage thousands of systems robustly, reliably and securely with with implementing managed servicesjust a handful of technicians. correctlySo, take a walk with us. Read this guide. Turn your job into a business. I Understand how an IT service provider successfully rolled out managed servicesSincerely and best of luck, for its customers and transformed into one of the largest MSPs in the countryDavid CastroDirector, Marketing
  4. 4. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesPart 1: The Role of the MSPLet’s start with a joke.What’s the difference between a traditional IT service provider and a managed service provider?The will and the knowledge to succeed.Ok. It’s not very funny. In fact, it’s not funny at all. But it’s the truth. The only thing standing in the way oftransforming your break-fix provider into an MSP is you. You have to want it, and you have to know how torun a business.The role of a managed service provider is to provide quality IT services to customers quickly and efficiently Why I want tofor a consistent, low price. But there’s a second part. The role of an MSP is also to make money. Remember, you be an MSParen’t just building a job for yourself. You’re building a business, and businesses need to be profitable. I MSPs are approximately 200-400%Finding the right technology is the easy part; management solutions are just tools. MSPs need to focus on the more profitable than non-MSPsbusiness aspects of managed services, blending a solid business strategy with the right tool that will enableyou to implement your vision. I Pure play MSPs are approximately 25-50% more profitable than hybrid model MSPs I MSPs are 3x to 10x more valuable than traditional VARs Source: Kaseya Worldwide Customer Survey, 2012
  5. 5. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesPart 2: Formulating the Right Strategy Top 10 List of IT Tasks Primed forBuilding a successful business is more than just technology. Successful companies understand how to take the art of Automationproviding a service and turn it into a business. They make sure they get the basics right. They are good companies 1. Patch management and softwarefirst—and then they get the technology. deploymentCompanies that get the business part right and flub the technology part won’t grow very fast but will chug along and 2. User and group maintenancesurvive. On the other hand, service providers that use the right technology but can’t handle growth or manage daily 3. Network security sweepsoperations will most likely fail. However, it’s companies that get both the business right and choose the appropriate 4. Disk usage scansmanagement solution for their needs that are wildly successful. Running the business the right way is that critical. 5. Device and network performance monitoringHere are six tips that you can use to build a profitable business model: 6. File transfers 7. Code promotion (from staging to1. Take a Proactive, Preventative Approach production)Any dentist will tell you that it’s much easier—and less painful—to prevent a cavity than it is to pull a rotten tooth. 8. High-level, routine administrationIt’s also a better business model because years of semi-annual checkups likely are more profitable for the dentist than 9. Rebootsa one-time tooth extraction. It’s the same with IT systems management. Identifying and heading off minor problems 10. Malware scansbefore they become major issues is a more efficient and more successful way of maintaining the availability andperformance of your customers’ systems. Source: Kaseya Community Postings & Script Utilization Statistics, 2012Automation is the key. Make it a standard business practice to identify and resolve issues before users are aware.Set thresholds—capacity and memory ceilings—that your customers’ systems need to meet to be in compliance.If they fall out of compliance (or come close), have automatic and manual processes in place to fix them.Being proactive reduces downtime and speeds time to resolution, ensuring your customers’ users have access tothe tools and information they need. At the same time, preventing problems helps avoid fire drills where your teamis forced to run around putting out fires to maintain availability and performance standards. If they’re not constantlycleaning up, they’re able to focus on more strategic (read: more revenue-producing or more customer-focused)projects.
  6. 6. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed Services2. Stop Managing Individual Machines and Start Managing Policies and Machine GroupsThe days of managing machines one at a time are over. Successful MSPs create, update and apply policies to groupsof machines, managing exceptions while keeping systems in compliance of predetermined conditions. Create, editand push out base images for each type of machine in your customers’ environments—Windows 7 desktops,Exchange servers, iPads, Finance Department—and spend your time making sure the images are robust and appliedconsistently. Aggregate your management tasks and think how you can apply changes by machine group (ie,Exhange servers) across your entire customer base. Focusing on exceptions rather than each machine streamlinesIT systems management, eliminating the repetition typically associated with one-machine-at-a-time maintenancewhile ensuring consistent IT service across environments.3. Talk CashMoolah. Greenbacks. Clams. Money is the universal language. Every conversation you have with customers needsto be based on how much budget you can save them or how much additional revenue you can generate. A customerneeds to upgrade to Windows 7? Position it as a way to increase the productivity of users and to streamline licensingcosts. A backup process needs to be made more efficient? Mention the price of a typical data recovery job and thecost savings of using less bandwidth.When going after new business, calculate how much the customer spends on managing IT and show how muchthey can save by outsourcing to you. Stress that they will be able to focus on their core business because you have ITcovered. Get internal IT staffs on your side by quantifying how you can enhance their efforts, create efficiencies andmake their lives much easier.4. Get Your Head in the CloudsSuccessful MSPs manage a variety of IT services for their customers delivered through the cloud. This allows themto pick best of breed solutions and deliver these services to customers in an efficient manner. Customers deserve achoice of solutions that work best for them—rather than what is available through their technology provider.For the MSP, delivering services through the cloud allows it to become a manager of services rather than simply atechnician. By out-sourcing the nitty-gritty to cloud providers, MSPs can focus on high-level strategy, helpingcustomers manage relationships and integration with cloud vendors.
  7. 7. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed Services5. Keep Up with the Jones’s Top NeedsIt’s important to stay on top of innovation in the IT industry, constantly improving your services while finding newways to benefit customers. Get certified. Take classes. Participate in the social conversation taking place in the growing of IT Usersnumber of community-focused destinations. Connect with evangelists within the industry so you can pass that I End-to-end device protectionknowledge on to your customers. And be creative when marketing yourself. I Guaranteed services levelsThere are many smaller companies that could benefit from managed services but may not know any better. Spend theeffort educating potential clients, investing now for a payoff down the road. Your goal should be to create a community I Minimal disruption to user productivityof like-minded business professionals who can share best practices and contribute to the common good. It’s also and core business processesimportant to be wary of high-maintenance customers who may not be worth holding onto and may drag down yourmore put-together clients.Keeping on top of trends and innovation in the industry allows you to be nimble and flexible so you can take Top Needsadvantage of market opportunities. And it keeps you locked in with the needs of your customers and it virtually of MSPseliminates any thoughts they may have of replacing you. I High customer satisfaction rates6. Target the Suits I Low administrative expensesMany MSPs have solid relationships with the boots on the ground, the guys who plan and operate their customers’ ITstrategies. That’s great, but don’t forget to embrace users and the management team. Talk to users about their IT needs I Strong profitsand get a feel for the business so you can help the company achieve its goals. Be seen as a technology partner in the I Industry credibilityboardroom rather than a service provider beholden to the IT department. It’s also important to manage expectations I Scalable foundation for long-term growththrough monthly and quarterly meetings, making sure everyone is on the same page with IT’s role and capacityplanning. These regular meetings can go a long way toward ensuring management knows the good work your team Source: Kaseya Worldwide Customer Survey, 2012is doing and how you can help the company in the future.Properly engaged, users can be an asset, used to conduct basic maintenance on distributed machines so youdon’t have to. Set up policies that allow them to make authorized configuration changes, downloads, patches andapplications (and make sure you block unauthorized changes as well). User self service saves you time, saves userstime, gives them a stake in the health of their system and ensures consistent IT service across the organization.
  8. 8. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesPart 3: Choose the Right ToolThe managed services business model is enabled by the technology you use to deliver IT services to your customers.However, there are dozens of solutions. How do you choose the right one for your unique needs?IT systems management solutions come in several flavors based on thesoftware’s architecture.Point ProductsSingle-feature point products—such as an asset management solution, a help desk solution or monitoring software—are a common option for smaller network deployments or for IT professionals with a lot of patience for integrating dis-parate management solutions. They work well for what they are engineered to do but should not be an option for aprovider that is serious about managed services. The initial cost may be tempting, but you have to weigh that againstthe long-term overhead burden from implementing, learning and maintaining multiple tools.AppliancesAppliances are advertised as simple to install, simple to configure and simple to use—essentially a tempting way toshort-cut the complexities of initial IT systems management deployment. But they tend to sacrifice functionality andflexibility for ease of use and cost. Feature sets tend to be more limited than comparable toolsets, which can leave youwith gaps in service when it comes to implementing a complete and proactive IT systems management strategy.Agentless SoftwareAgentless management solutions typically provide a richer feature-set than appliances and don’t require that softwarebe deployed on each system. Instead, management functions and services are provided over the network (or even overthe Internet). However, agentless software is completely dependent on network connections. If the network goesdown so does your management solution. Uncertain reliability could take away the visibility into your network and in-hibit your ability to manage systems just when you need those capabilities the most.
  9. 9. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesAgent-Based SoftwareAgent-based software solutions can provide the kinds of feature sets, reliability and robustness required by just aboutany sized customer from small SMBs to large enterprises. By placing natively written agents on each managed device,MSPs are given the greatest level of control to perform any task necessary. Some of the leading solution providers offerlightweight agents (<2MB) and boast rapid deployments at rates that exceed 99 percent. Agent-based software isprotected from outside influence and can continue to operate when non-agent based software may be effected bynetwork, authentication or configuration issues.Cloud ServicesMany MSPs are now looking to the cloud to deliver IT services to their customers. The ability to package best of breedsolutions in a single branded managed service is a cost effective way to efficiently monitor, maintain, update, secureand back up distributed systems.No architecture is a true magic bullet, but a combination of several architectures can provide powerful functionality,scalability and control while maintaining a high-level of service delivery. The right ITSM solution should be able tomanage through agentless technology at all times (with perhaps limited functionality) and be able to manage throughagents for full functionality (with some services delivered through the cloud). This dual architecture ensures stabilityand consistency throughout your customers’ environments—no matter what gets thrown at you. It’s important to haveboth the context (visibility into all systems) and the ability to take quick, immediate action (control over all systems)when necessary.Relative Cost of MSP Tools IT Management Tool Transaction Cost Total Lifetime Cost Open Source 0 $$ Point Source $ $ Appliance $ $$ SMB On Premise Solution $$ $$ SMB Cloud Solution $ $$$ Enterprise Solution $$$ $$$ Key: low cost ($), high cost ($$$) Source: Kaseya Internal Management Survey, 2012
  10. 10. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesChoosing the Right Tool Feature Benefit Impact Eliminate redundant, tedious Reduce human error; provide better services; Automated administration efficient service delivery; higher margins Remote Provides visibility and control Efficient service delivery; higher margins Nothing falls through the cracks; Complete Standard service delivery across the spectrum seen as a one-stop shop Can manage machines from anywhere Services get done in a timely Accessible with an Internet connection manner; more secure Improved user experience; Fast Resolution Improve uptime more productive employees Can add systems to the management Can grow as the market dictates without Scalable apparatus without degrading existing services worrying about capacity or capabilities Small footprint on managed Light-Weight No performance degradation machine and network
  11. 11. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesPart 4: Pricing for ProfitA big part of the managed services business model is the ability to charge a single, low price per managed machine.An alternative is to charge a bundled price per IT user or per service offered. These prices promote efficient servicedelivery since the less money you spend maintaining and updating machines the higher your margins will be. It alsogives your customers a consistent and predictable budget item so they can plan appropriately (and it’s typically lessthan they spend doing it themselves, too).But what should that price be? We’ve surveyed our most successful managed services customers for you, and theysuggest MSPs be flexible, yet consistent, with pricing. Here is a look at some pricing options from a variety of serviceproviders in various stages of the MSP development track. As you can see, the more providers advance toward truemanaged services the more profitable—and valuable—they become. KPI/Status Break Fix Reactive Proactive Managed $52 per PC Average Deal Size Varies $100 per hour $200 to $3,000 $167 per server Gross Profit Less than 10% 50% 70% Greater than 75% Utilization Less than 50% per tech 50% per tech 70% per tech 90% per tech Firm Valuation Less than 0.2 0.3 1.25 2.0 Source: Kaseya Worldwide Customer Survey, 2012
  12. 12. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesOk, so how to do I go about pricing IT managed services?The short answer is, “It’s completely up to you.” And whatever the answer, it should be consistent with your MSPbusiness strategy goals, such as “I am a pure play MSP” or “I am a hybrid MSP.” Once you make your growth strategydecision, the most common MSP pricing strategies are:I Per device, such as per desktop, per mobile device or per serverI Per user, such as for CTO or for Network AdministratorI Per location, such as for Corporate Office or for Branch OfficeA few other pricing strategies are:I Per “expected outcome,” such as for a 5 minute response SLA or for Silver Level SLAI Per “use case” or “value-based,” such as for Bundled Security Services for Bundled Business Continuity ServicesRegardless of your pricing strategy, the key to your MSP success is to price your managed services based on value.You must speak with your customers—and prospects—to determine the value they place on having optimizedsystems and protected networks. For example, a retail client who collects $10,000 in online sales per hour valuesserver monitoring services, business continuity services and rapid response SLAs much differently than a branch officewith only a few part time employees that runs quarterly reports that are not strategic to the firm’s corporate office.Using value-based pricing will ensure that you are maximizing profits…but you must know the cost of your servicedelivery efforts first.So, how do I calculate my service delivery cost?The cost of service delivery is the sum of the cost of your billable employees plus the cost of your infrastructure(overhead). These two costs then can be broken down to determine a base hourly cost to give you a full understand-ing of your service delivery cost so that you can pick a pricing strategy that maximizes the profit for your MSP.What constitutes billable employee cost?Billable employee cost includes everything that is reflected on a billable employee’s W2 at the end of the year,including costs above and beyond gross compensation. These costs include compensation, FICA, FUTA, SUTA,disability, worker’s compensation, healthcare, sick leave, PTO, vacation and holiday pay, profit sharing, pensions,401k matching contributions, retirement benefits and any other additional bonuses earned.
  13. 13. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesWhat constitutes overhead cost?Overhead cost includes all of your other business expenses—including all non-billable employee costs. These includecompensation, insurance, tools, company meetings, training and education, phone and Internet services, vehicle costs,utilities, rent, equipment and maintenance, supplies, loan service, bank fees, other payroll and taxes.To determine your full hourly cost, which remains a common cost basis for a lot of IT services work, sum your billableemployee cost and overhead cost, divide that sum by the number of billable staff, and divide that number again by2080 (typical paid work hours per year).In a typical scenario (let’s say you have three billable employees) your billable employee cost is $225,000 per yearand your overhead cost is $300,000 annually. The hourly cost determination for three billable employees is:I Annual cost (employee cost = $225,000) + (overhead cost = $300,000) = $525,000I $525,000 / 3 (billable employees) = $175,000I $175,000 / 2080 (paid work hours/yr) = $84.13In this example, your hourly employee cost is $84.13.But how does utilization rate impact cost?Your billable employee’s utilization rate will impact your true cost of service delivery. In this example, a 100 percentutilization rate assumes no vacations, sick days, holidays, training days, drive time, etc., and the impacts on hourlycost are directly affected by the utilization rate: Utilization Rate @ 50% @ 75% @ 85% @ 100% Hourly employee cost per hour $168.26 $112.17 $98.98 $84.13How do I price managed services for profit?To show how price and cost impacts MSP profitability, consider a typical MSP scenario. Assume you have 15managed services contracts averaging $4,000 each (value-based pricing) for a gross revenue amount of $60,000per month.Next let’s assume you have 3 service desk technicians whose combined full hourly employee cost at 100 percentutilization is $84.13 per hour.
  14. 14. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesNow assume that for the last billable month, your service desk technicians spent 150 hours managing service deskrequests and proactively patching, updating and optimizing your clients’ endpoints. Let’s also assume that theiroverall utilization was 75 percent for that month (so their hourly cost will be $112.17, in this scenario).Using these data points you can determine the cost to support your managed service contracts for the month,including your margins, as follows: Metric Calculation note Result Revenue 15 contracts x $4,000 per contract $60,000 Cost 150 billable hours x $112.17 (@75% utilization) $16,825 Profit Revenue - cost $43,175 Margin (Profit / revenue) x 100 72%A margin of 72%. Managed services are highly profitable in this scenario, aren’t they?But what about the rest of the billable hours in the month?In this scenario, we’ve only accounted for 150 hours out of a potential 480 for that month (40 hours x 4 weeks x 3billable employees), so we have a balance of 330 hours left. Assume we allocate these hours to T&M work andprojects. Again using a factor of 75 percent for utilization, this allows 247 hours to distribute evenly in this example(123 hours to T&M work and 124 hours for project work).Let’s assume a T&M rate at $150/hr and a Project rate at $200/hr. Hence, we are a hybrid MSP, with a mix of pureplay managed services and consulting projects.So let’s take a look at our total blended revenue, costs, profit and margin for the month, which includes thefollowing revenues: Metric Calculation note Result Managed services revenue 15 contracts x $4,000 per contract $60,000 T&M revenue 123 billable hours x $150 per hour $18,450 Project revenue 124 billable hours x $200 per hour $24,800 Total monthly revenue $103,250
  15. 15. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesAnd it also includes blended costs: Metric Calculation note Result Managed services cost 150 billable hours x $112.17 (@75% utilization) $16,825 T&M cost 123 billable hours x $112.17 per hour $13,797 Project cost 124 billable hours x $112.17 per hour $13,909 Total monthly cost $44,531So your blended profit is $58,719 (monthly revenue – monthly cost).And your blended margin is 57% (blended profit / blended revenue).In this example, can you see the impact of non-managed service work and how it impacts the profitability of yourMSP (72% pure play vs 57% blended)?Also, the MSP in this blended revenue scenario manages a mix of 58 percent recurring service contracts.Using these data, they can determine if they should acquire more service contracts or maintain this balance(to support a large hardware rollout with a key customer, for example).In conclusion, this is a very basic analysis for a MSP to determine margins when utilizing the same group of billableemployees to deliver flat-fee, time and materials and project-based services at different billing rates. Using scenariossuch as these, you can calculate a cost and fee structure to analyze the performance of your MSP and make servicesmix changes, as needed, to help you achieve your long term MSP business strategy goals.
  16. 16. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesPart 5: Watch Out for These TrapsThe allure of the managed services business model is strong. Recall our scenario of 72 percent margins?Migrating to a managed services business can be complex, yet it doesn’t have to be. Once you decide to makethe switch, or if you’ve already made the decision, avoid these common pitfalls:Getting Bogged Down by TechnologyAvoid IT systems management solutions that require complex integration and have limited visibility and control.Resist the urge to save capital costs by using freeware or heavily-discounted solutions. They are going to cause moretrouble than they are worth. Solutions that bog down your staff prevent you from focusing on the aspects of buildinga managed services business that truly matter. Instead, focus on formulating a service delivery strategy, improving Most Commoncommunication with customers and settling on set processes. Barriers to MSPGetting Ahead of Yourself SuccessGrowth is good, but make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew. Have the infrastructure in place toscale effectively without degrading services for existing customers. I Inconsistent execution due to lack of centralized oversight and controlGetting Into a Routine I Reactive technical processesConsistency is good but make sure you work on things that make work fun for you and your staff. No one grows up I Labor intensive processesdreaming of patching machines every night. Automate much of the tedious administration typically associated withIT systems management, and challenge your employees to work on projects they care about and initiatives that help Source: ChannelPro Magazine, 2012customers become even more successful.Getting Stuck in OvertimeOvertime is a productivity killer, encouraging disengaged technicians to slow down or slack off. This can sap marginsand cause cost overruns for customers. Automate tasks that have to be done overnight or on the weekends andempower your technicians with remote access tools that enable fast resolution from home or on the road.
  17. 17. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesPart 6: What You Can Hope to Achieve “With Kaseya, one ofWhen Building a Successful MSP our people is equal to 5 to 10 people working manually on the groundThe managed services business model—when set up and executed correctly—gives you... elsewhere.”Better Visibility Across Customer Environments Chris Wiser CEO, TechSquadITAnd...
  18. 18. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesBetter Control Over Managed AssetsWhich leads to...Higher Quality of IT Service for UsersAnd...Lower Cost of OperationsWhich leads to...Additional Revenue for Your BusinessAnd...Higher Profit for Your Managed Services Business
  19. 19. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesPart 7: Safe Systems: The Right Way toBuild a Successful BusinessLong a proponent of extending its reach beyond the Southeast, the management team at Safe Systems set a goal in2005 to grow its customer base by 25 percent per year for the next four years and transform the company into anational player. The company set a lofty growth goal of 15,000 managed devices across the US, which was five timesthe number of current systems that administrators monitored and maintained.In order to meet this aggressive goal, Safe Systems decided to migrate from a traditional break-fix services companyto a more efficient managed services business model, providing basic monitoring and maintenance services for a Safe Systemsfixed price. However, the company was having trouble scaling its managed services delivery model past 3,000managed assets—well short of the ultimate goal. at a Glance: Profile: As a technology partner, and recent“After several months of trying to implement managed services we realized we needed to not just change the way recipient of several prestigious awards, Safewe manage our customers’ systems, we needed to change our whole business model,” said Curt Frierson, executive Systems has worked with over 600 financialvice president of technology and education for Safe Systems. institutions and manages more than 25,000 network devices nationwide.Scalability through a New IT Automation Platform Founded: 1993Hitting reset, Safe Systems created and rolled out a new managed services framework that embraces automation, Headquarters: Alpharetta, Georgiapolicy management and a proactive approach to delivering IT services to its growing customer base. After investigat-ing software from Dell, N-Able and Level Platforms, Safe Systems deployed a managed services solution from Kaseya Website: www.safesystems.comthat gives its administrators complete access and visibility into its customers’ IT environments from a centralWeb-based console—regardless of the location of each system. The automatic and remote solution allowstechnicians to set policies for groups of systems and keep the machines in compliance.Critical to its new strategy, Safe Systems set up a Network Operations Center (NOC) staffed with dedicated technicianswho could roll out standardized managed services seamlessly and quickly across the country. Communications withcustomers improved, and relationships turned into partnerships.
  20. 20. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed Services“We can now scale our services much more easily with Kaseya, helping us migrate customers over to the new servicedelivery model as they come up for contract renewal with minimal interruption to day-to-day operations or customer Five keys toservice,” Frierson said. engaging withAs part of its assessment services for new customers, Safe Systems used to send two engineers on-site—often customersflying them from Atlanta—to evaluate the network and make recommendations based on growth trends, current 1. Have a process in placeinefficiencies and business goals. The engineers would stay on-site on the company’s dime for several days conducting 2. Provide proactive solutionsthe service. Now, this same service can be conducted remotely through the Kaseya solution in several hours, speeding and automate everythingup the deployment process, saving travel costs and further enabling seamless scalability of the company’s services. 3. Constantly review 4. Measure yourself in $$$Fast, Pragmatic Business Growth 5. Earn trustAs a result, Safe Systems was able to meet its aggressive growth goals, surpassing 25,000 managed systems in early Curt Frierson2012. Most importantly, this growth has occurred without the company having to add staff, dramatically increasing executive vice president of technologyprofit margins that enabled further investment into their growth plan. While technology was a major enabler of the and education, Safe Systemsmanaged services business model, it was the realization that the way the company was run needed to be addressedthat made Safe Systems the major IT service provider it is today.
  21. 21. Kaseya | A Starter Guide to IT Managed ServicesThe Conclusion: What We LearnedThe IT landscape is littered with service providers that tried to migrate to the managed services business model andfailed. More times than not, it wasn’t a lack of vision or technology that doomed these dreamers. The problem isthat these companies continued to operate like a break-fix provider, acting like the geek down the hall who tinkerswith computers instead of a business-focused technology partner. The most profitable MSPs focus on growth anddeveloping sales and marketing strategies to drive their business strategy because they realize they can use toolsand processes to manage the routine IT management tasks. The companies that succeed are able to be proactive,engage with users and the management team, and discuss IT in terms of revenue to create communities ofcustomers that share best practices.At the same time, the tools you choose to deliver managed services aren’t interchangeable. Make sure you choosean ITSM solution that gives you complete visibility into and control over your customers’ IT assets from a centralmanagement console. This allows you to deliver efficient IT services to a growing client base, enabling the managedservices business model and putting you on the path to building a successful and profitable business.Go for it. You’ll be glad you did.About KaseyaKaseya is the leading global provider of IT Systems Management software. Kaseya solutions empower virtually everyone –– from individual consumers tolarge corporations and IT service providers –– to proactively monitor,manage and control IT assets remotely, easily and efficiently from one integratedWeb-based platform.For more information, visit www.kaseya.com Contact Kaseya: sales@kaseya.comFor a free 30 day trial visit www.kaseya.com/download©2012 Kaseya. All rights reserved. Kaseya and the Kaseya logo are among the trademarks or registered trademarks owned by or licensed to Kaseya International Limited. All other marks are the property oftheir respective owners.