Why MSPs Need to Diversify Beyond BDR Services


MSPs who sell only basic managed services offerings comprising RMM, help desk and backup and disaster recovery (BDR) are becoming an endangered species. It’s apparent, based on the mergers and acquisitions and product launches that have occurred in the industry in recent years that these solutions now are more frequently part of larger managed service offerings.

Backup remains an effective way for an MSP to broaden a discussion with an SMB prospect about data protection. After all, virtually everyone has lost a file for one reason or another and has had to recover it. Talking about BDR can break the ice with prospects who are new to managed services, and it can be used as a way to build your company’s credibility. BDR will always be at the core of your offerings, and it’s the logical follow-up to remote monitoring and helpdesk services, but it shouldn’t stop there.

Boost BDR Sales With Complementary Solutions and Services

After your BDR services capture a prospect’s attention, consider how these additional managed services could support their business:

  • Network security. After BDR, security should be a core part of any service offering. The 2016 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses report from Ponemon Institute states that 55 percent of SMBs were cyberattack victims and 50 percent experienced data breaches. With the ever-more-complicated threat landscape, SMBs— especially those with limited or no in-house IT resources—should welcome your managed security offering.
  • Mobile device management. An SMB with multiple locations or remote workers may need a better solution for secure, remote access to business applications and data. They may also struggle with managing and securing devices used remotely, which presents you with an opportunity to offer mobile device management (MDM) services.
  • Collaboration: With the increase in remote workers, it is necessary to give them the tools they need to continue to work with other team members. Even if all workers are based in a single office, it may still be difficult for the business to set up video conferences or collaborate with a team member who is on the road. You can provide unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions that connect teams with voice, video, and messaging.
  • Managed email. As an SMB’s email server approaches end of life, there’s no good reason to sell them a new on-premises server; it’s time to move to a cloud option like Office 365. MSPs can earn incremental revenue by providing migration services as well as recurring revenue from managed email subscriptions, including complementary add-ons such as email security (e.g., encryption and spam filters) and archiving services.
  • Cloud computing. Hosting customers’ websites in the cloud and delivering business apps such as financials as-a-service offers several benefits that are particularly appealing to SMBs. Some of the benefits include avoiding the cost and disruption associated with upgrades, paying a predictable monthly fee for software instead of an upfront capital expenditure, and backing up applications and data more easily. According to IDG’s Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey, 2016, less than half of all applications will reside on on-premises systems by 2018.

With so many changes in how people work and how SMBs operate, it’s a mistake to let your customers think you are only a BDR provider.

The Declining Demand for One-Trick MSPs

SMBs that choose to work with an MSP don’t want to work with multiple MSPs — one for BDR, one for security, one for SaaS, etc. MSPs that don’t expand and offer comprehensive services may find it hard to survive. In the increasingly competitive MSP landscape, it’s a smarter strategy to have the capabilities to provide more services to current customers and win over more prospects.

Build out your portfolio to offer not only RMM, helpdesk and BDR services but also the additional solutions and services SMBs in your market need. By offering customers end-to-end solutions that support the way they do business, you can build deeper, stickier relationships with your customers while helping your business thrive.

Brian Babineau

Brian Babineau is general manager, Intronis MSP Solutions, for Barracuda Networks. Read more Intronis MSP Solutions blogs here.