When you meet with your technology partner, what are their goals?
If you have a healthy partner, their goal should be to gain an understanding of what your business is planning to accomplish in the coming months, and what it hopes to accomplish in the coming years.
If you have an unhealthy partner, their goal might be to maximize the amount of hardware and services purchased until the next time they can pin you down for another conversation.
If this sounds like some utopian proposition, it shouldn’t. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) make far more money over the long term by proactively planning for your company’s success. Reactive support is expensive – for instance, it’s far more expensive to deal with downtime due to a badly planned server upgrade than it is to take time and plan the installation correctly ahead of time. And if your company does face downtime, odds are that the MSP is going to eat a lot of the repair costs – that’s how managed service contracts are structured.
So, if it’s true that MSPs would be better off if they spent their time trying to get ahead of your needs instead of trying to sell you new services or new hardware, why don’t they? Here are a few things that can cause an MSP to become unhealthy:
#1) Cash Flow Problems – If your technology partner is focused on staying afloat, or on maximizing short term growth, they might be trying to get all of the money they can, as quickly as possible.
#2) Short Client Tenure – Most of our clients have been with us for years, and this is something we accomplish without requiring long-term contracts. If an MSP tends to lose customers at the first contract expiration date, it may not be cost effective for them to plan for your success beyond this date.
#3) Technology Silo – Some MSPs are in a “Technology Silo” – they understand computers and networks very well, but aren’t as proficient at connecting that technology to actual business results. As a result, their conversations tend to focus more exclusively on hardware specifications, network capabilities and warranty coverage, rather than focusing on your company’s core strategic objectives.
When our clients do set aside time to meet with us, our focus is on gaining the insight we’ll need to provide a network that meets or exceeds their expectations for the coming months. The last thing we want do is to turn all of this valuable time into a hardware sales meeting – that would cost us far more money over the long term than we can ever make upfront.
That doesn’t mean we never sell any hardware, of course. If we feel that your objectives warrant an investment in new hardware, we’re happy to explain how that hardware will lead to better results or reduced risk. The key is that these recommendations aren’t based on a desire to push equipment. They’re based on our belief that you could benefit from that investment, and we’ll take the effort to explain how these investments will help you accomplish your goals.
Want to learn more about how WingSwept helps its clients plan for success? Call us at 919.779.0954 or contact us online!