Continuum continues to scale its help desk services for MSPs, aligning additional talent with key technologies. In some cases, the long-term help desk plan features higher prices for U.S.-based MSP Help Desk Services but the overall strategy also includes options that hold the line on pricing.
Led by VP Ray Cappola, Continuum has scaled its help desk team from about a dozen employees in 2014 or so to about 230 people today. Along the way, the company has recruited experts in security, virtualization, business continuity and more, Cappola notes. Moreover, the Help Desk is integrated with Continuum's RMM (remote monitoring and management) and BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) services.
Continuum will continue to scale its help desk headcount in 2017 and 2018, especially to address the global reach of MSPs across the United States, Europe and Australia. The company is also developing so-called Bullseye Routing, which directs specific issues to specialized agents -- i.e., a swarm of experts -- within the company, Cappola says.
Still, Continuum also faces the reality of rising help desk labor costs -- especially as SMB customers continue to push beyond traditional PC and server technologies, CEO Michael George notes.
Continuum Help Desk Roadmap
Instead of implementing immediate, mandatory price increases, Continuum is designing a model that largely allows MSPs to potentially hold the line on costs. Here's the roadmap for Continuum's U.S.-based MSPs (international MSPs are unaffected):
Now through March 31, 2017: Pricing remains the same.
From April 1, 2017 through Dec 31, 2017:
- Price remains unchanged for MSPs’ existing sites activated on March 31, 2017 or prior.
- Price rises 20% for any new sites that MSPs add to Continuum Help Desk services. But there's a way to negate that increase starting in 2018 (see below).
Jan. 1, 2018 and thereafter:
- Pricing unchanged for Help Desk sites that were activated on or after price increase on April 1, 2017.
- 20% increase for Help Desk sites that prefer to remain on U.S.-based service desk and had not yet paid the 2017 fee increase.
- MSPs can now opt for a global service desk in the Philippines to avoid the 20% increase.
Continuum is communicating the long-term plan nearly a year in advance so that U.S.-based MSPs can potentially adjust their existing plans with customers. Also, Continuum is communicating nearer-term changes a quarter ahead of the adjustments so that U.S.-based MSPs can adjust their sales proposals for new help desk customer engagements.
In all cases, Continuum continues to offer unlimited support for a predictable monthly fee with no pay-per-incident add-on charges. Those are important points, especially as MSPs attempt to make apples-to-apples comparisons in the market for various help desk services. Many third-party offerings have additional fees that kick in for various service levels.