How MSPs Can Profit From Offering Data Protection Services for M365

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 2: The Microsoft logo is illuminated on a wall during a Microsoft launch event to introduce the new Microsoft Surface laptop and Windows 10 S operating system, May 2, 2017 in New York City. The Windows 10 S operating system is geared toward the education market and is Microsoft’s answer to Google’s Chrome OS. (P...

Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) is one of the world’s most popular business software suites. This has made it a prime target for cybercriminals — and while Microsoft offers some basic security protocols, these may be insufficient in today’s AI- and automation-driven cyberthreat landscape.

As companies increasingly rely on M365 to manage their data and communications, the need for robust data protection services has become more critical than ever. In fact, recent studies have shown that 60% of companies that lose data shut down within six months of the incident. This highlights the importance of data protection and the opportunities available for managed service providers (MSPs) to provide data protection services and generate high-margin revenue.

The value of data protection services for M365

MSPs can offer a range of data protection services that cater to the specific needs of their clients, including protecting data and communications via M365 channels.

Backup and recovery services provide peace of mind to clients that their critical files and sensitive data are safeguarded in the event of hardware failure or ransomware attack. Similarly, MSPs may offer malware detection and removal services, which are essential to identifying and neutralizing threats before they cause significant damage.

Service providers can also provide clients with comprehensive data protection packages that incorporate a variety of services such as disaster recovery, business continuity, and cybersecurity. This holistic approach helps clients mitigate risks and minimize downtime in case of a data breach or system failure.

How one MSP set up M365 protection services

Take the example of Netherlands-based MSP PeopleRock, which successfully implemented data protection services for their clients using Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud. PeopleRock had not previously used any backup-oriented software, but knew that they needed to find a solution to safeguard clients’ M365 data. When exploring potential solutions, they considered various options, but ultimately chose Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud for its comprehensive backup capabilities and ease of management.

Implementating Acronis into their existing workflow was relatively quick, taking only one week. Training staff was easy, thanks to the solution’s intuitive panel and user interface. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud effectively addressed their clients' pain points by delivering a comprehensive, user-friendly cyber protection system that extended protection for M365 data and software. This approach empowered clients to take charge of their data security while enjoying a streamlined, efficient experience.

Insights into PeopleRock's journey and success with Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud were shared by Tycho Löke, a technical consultant with the company, during his participation as a panelist in an Acronis virtual event titled "M365: Business boosting protection packages for MSPs."

Creating high-margin services

By offering data protection services for Microsoft 365, MSPs can create high-margin services that generate substantial revenue while providing critical value to their clients.

As a baseline, consider offering data backup and recovery services, malware detection and removal services, and comprehensive data protection packages that encompass disaster recovery, business continuity and cybersecurity. MSPs can also explore tools and technologies like Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud that provide comprehensive solutions for data protection.

MSPs may also turn their focus towards exceptional customer service, prioritizing customer satisfaction and fair pricing structures. Doing so will foster long-term relationships with clients, generate repeat business and benefit from positive word-of-mouth referrals.

By understanding the importance of data protection and taking advantage of the tools and technologies available, MSPs can capitalize on this expanding market and fuel their own growth.

Billing for M365 data protection services

In addition to offering reliable and effective data protection services, MSPs must have a clear billing structure to ensure profitability. Löke shared that PeopleRock’s billing structure involves charging clients per user, per month. The more users a client has, the higher the monthly charge.

This structure, he explained, is flexible enough to allow clients to add or remove users as they see fit. It ensures that clients only pay for the services they use, reducing unnecessary expenses and increasing overall customer satisfaction.

As with any billing structure, transparency and clarity are essential to maintaining a good relationship with clients. MSPs must ensure that clients understand what they are paying for and why. Clear communication and regular updates on billing can help avoid any misunderstandings or confusion down the line.

By implementing a clear and flexible billing structure, MSPs can effectively monetize their M365 data protection services and increase their profitability.

How to market your M365 data protection services

Now that you have a solid understanding of the benefits of offering data protection services for M365 and the challenges you may face, it's time to discuss how to effectively market your services to potential customers:

  • Highlight the importance of M365 data protection. Many businesses may not fully understand the importance of protecting their M365 data. Therefore, it's crucial to emphasize the limitations of Microsoft’s own baked-in security features as well as the potential risks of data loss or corruption, which can result in significant financial and reputational damage. Educate your potential customers on the importance of having a reliable data protection system in place.
  • Emphasize compliance requirements. Many industries have specific compliance requirements that must be met when it comes to data protection. By offering M365 data protection services, you can help businesses meet their compliance requirements while also ensuring the safety and security of their data.
  • Demonstrate your expertise. As an MSP, you have the knowledge and expertise to provide high-quality data protection services. Emphasizing this in your marketing efforts will instill confidence in potential customers. You can also share success stories or case studies from previous clients to showcase your abilities.
  • Offer customizable packages. Not all businesses have the same data protection needs. By offering customizable packages, you can cater to individual client needs and provide them with a personalized solution that meets their specific requirements. This can help differentiate your services from those of other MSPs and attract more customers.
  • Utilize digital marketing channels. Digital marketing channels such as social media, email marketing and search engine optimization can be highly effective in reaching potential customers. Utilize these channels to reach out to potential clients and showcase your services.
  • Accelerate GTM. Leverage pre-canned marketing materials to expedite your go-to-market strategy. For instance, MSPs can find ready-made marketing resources on the Acronis partner portal. These materials can assist in marketing their M365 data protection services, thereby providing a substantial boost to their promotional efforts.

Pricing M365 data protection services

There are several factors for MSPs to consider when determining how to price M365 data protection services. The number of users, the amount of data, the level of protection required, and competitors’ rates are all things that may shape your approach.

Löke found billing based on the number of users to be a simple yet effective approach. This strategy allows customers to pay for exactly what they need and ensures they are not overpaying for services that they don’t require. It also provides an opportunity to increase profits by offering tiered pricing, with bulk discounts for those with large numbers of users.

It is essential to consider the pricing of competitors in your market when setting prices for M365 data protection services. Researching what other MSPs in your area are doing can help you understand the local market and ensure that your prices are competitive.

Think also about how you’ll approach the process of billing. Consider adding flexibility, with options for either monthly or yearly payments. This can make your services more accessible and attractive to potential customers, while allowing them to choose a plan that best supports their needs and budget.


Data protection services for M365 represent a lucrative opportunity for MSPs. By understanding the challenges and leveraging the experience of companies like PeopleRock, providers can create high-margin services that provide clear value to their clients.

Pricing models such as subscription-based billing and customized packages can ensure profitability while meeting the unique needs of each client.

Although there are several options available on the market, the comprehensive cyber protection features and user-friendly interface of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud make it a top choice for data protection services for M365.

This guest blog is courtesy of Acronis. Read more Acronis guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.