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MSP Benchmarking Tool Reveals Managed Services Productivity, Automation Gains

Recent research consistently shows MSPs growing top-line revenues and bottom-line profits. Multiple factors are driving that momentum. MSPs are able to add new revenue streams to their services portfolio as customers look to transform their IT infrastructure to cloud services and platforms. Moreover, automation tools increasingly allow MSPs to do more with less. This allows service providers to take on more clients than ever before without the need to hire additional technicians to help with the load.

Skeptical? Consider the latest data from Atera, developer of an IT automation platform that combines Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), Professional Services Automation (PSA). Atera also has a business intelligence tool, called The Benchmark, that allows the company to measure MSP industry progress.

The 2016-2017 data revealed the following seven key findings:

  • MSPs leveraging Atera are becoming more efficient and are able to handle 30% more tickets per IT technician.
  • 74% of the MSPs who use Atera receive a 5-star rating from their customers, up from 66% one year ago.
  • MSPs that leverage Atera are closing 90 percent of their tickets in under one hour. The average SLA commitment in customer contracts includes closing tickets within one hour.
  • On average, MSPs are charging $100 per hour for labor charges.
  • Belgium has clinched first place in customer satisfaction, putting the US in second place and the UK in third.
  • There is a strong movement to Microsoft Office 365, causing a drop of more than 25 percent in alerts and tickets related to Exchange server issues.
  • An 8:00 a.m. start time is best practice because that is when tickets start flowing into the system. By starting at that time, it offers a better satisfaction rating due to the response rate to tickets.

We're not in a position to say if Atera's automation tools drive more profitability than rival platforms. But we can't debate the overall theme of IT automation driving MSP growth. And the overall theme of MSP benchmarking is a growing conversation in the market.

Automation Plus Standardization Equals MSP Success

BI tools, by the way, can also help MSPs to find cost centers that drain profits. In this case, I know from experience how Exchange Server issues can be time-consuming and costly for an MSP to manually address. I specifically remember my former employer praising Office 365 for reducing the amount of time we spent resolving Exchange server problems. My former employer may have even seen way more than the 25 percent drop in tickets from this transformation than the report states.

Another key point to note: While automation software can help MSPs to resolve tickets more quickly, consultants like TruMethods point to a slightly different metric for success. In addition to closing tickets more quickly, MSPs simply need to drive down the number of per-user trouble tickets they receive on a monthly basis. How so? Inspire your customers to standardize on common, consistent hardware and software platforms across their companies, TruMethods consistently recommends. Standardizing on fewer but more reliable IT platforms, coupled with documented processes, often drives down trouble ticket counts.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.