5 Steps for Adding a New MSP Solution to Your Offering

Because technology is constantly changing, tools and processes need to change, too — including tools for managed service providers. Whether you’re dealing with solutions as complex as RMM or something smaller like controlling 2FA, the final choice will be difficult.

You can either carefully evaluate, trial and test, or you may find yourself in a situation when you need to change the solution after it’s already been implemented in your customer’s environment.

This article lays out the basic steps we recommend taking when choosing the right tool for your offering.

1. Identify the need

First, evaluate your need for a solution. Is it necessary to subscribe to the full-on protection suite, or will simpler and cheaper antivirus alone be enough? Don’t overpay for software that is excessive for your current needs and clients. (On the other hand, implementing a DIY approach for a medium-sized disaster-recovery site with strict RTO/RPO isn’t a wise approach.)

Determine requirements on the basis of your current needs, the vision of your potential clients, and the environments of your existing ones.

2. Create a list of vendors

After you’ve composed a wishlist, it’s time to start looking for a real-world solution that fits. There are several good places to start your search from:

  • Peer-reviewing platforms. G2Crowd, Gartner or Capterra will give you a good overview of the current market and possible solutions. Be attentive, though. Read the vendor page carefully. Mix-ups among categories happen quite often.
  • Social media. Investigate your peer group, and reddit’s r/msp and other MSP communities on the web. Social networks will give you a clearer view of what other IT consultants are using. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice — The community is full of people ready to help.
  • Research potential vendors’ websites for technical documentation on features you need most, and check out pricing. We don’t recommend contacting sales teams or requesting a quote at this point, unless you’re fond of dozens of calls and emails a day about a solution you probably won’t need.

3. Do a demo

At this point, you should have a list with 3-5 solutions which theoretically fit your needs. Then, it’s time for the first encounter.

Request a quote or contact your potential vendor directly and ask for a demo session with someone from the solution architecture team. Try to avoid general sales talk and go right to the Q&A section to home in on the most interesting features and specific implementation questions.

4. Run a trial

After you’ve demoed the products and determined what you don’t want, go straight into hands-on experience. Create a sandbox environment and try out all the scenarios you can think of. Ask the solution architect or sales rep as many questions as you like during the evaluation. Your aim is to choose the perfect fit; therefore, you should be as critical as possible. (One small hint — most vendors will happily increase your trial if you legitimately need more time to make a decision.)

5. Implementation

After you’ve chosen and purchased your solution, you can start adding it to your bundles. If you are exchanging out an existing solution, it’s generally not recommended that you switch your customers over all at once — Doing so will make your life significantly harder if you face any unexpected issues in the implementation stage.

Join Our Webinar

Want to add a more flexible, cost-efficient and powerful backup-as-a-service solution to your bundle? Join us on the 26th of June during our joint webinar with Amazon Web Services to learn how to create a more valuable and efficient BaaS offering!

Alexander Negrash is director of marketing at CloudBerry Lab. Read more CloudBerryLab blogs here.