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How to Effectively Talk to Your MSP Clients About Cloud Services

February 21, 2013  By Richard Tubb

It’s my experience that while many Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are embracing the era of cloud services, many more are still unsure whether the cloud is a good thing for their clients or not. As a result, they hesitate to begin the conversation with clients about such offerings.

With that thought in mind, here is a primer to explaining some of the benefits cloud services might bring to your clients.

Understanding the elastic nature of cloud services

Have you ever spoken to a client about a traditional annual Anti-Virus software renewal, only for the client to procrastinate about signing off on the purchase order for said renewal?

In my previous life as an MSP owner, I have – and after doing gentle probing, found out that many clients were reluctant to commit to new licenses because they weren’t sure where their business was headed in the next 12 months; would they need more employees and more licenses, or were they considering a reduced headcount? Where they running the risk of buying additional licenses that would then gather dust?

An advantage of SaaS is that licensing is flexible to a business needs. As the business expands or contracts, new user accounts can be turned on and off, minimizing the risk of wasted investments and large upfront costs. 

Ensure you explain this benefit of SaaS to clients – they’ll get it straight away.

Helping clients make thoughtful choices

Some SMB companies are completely ready to embrace the cloud – in some cases with overenthusiasm charging head-on into this brave new world giving little to no thought on how their various cloud services will fit together, how secure the services are, or how they will deal with moving between cloud providers.

Your job as an MSP is to help your client understand that not all cloud service providers are made equal. You can help them understand the questions to ask of cloud service providers in terms of uptime and service guarantees, security, migration and the all-important question, “What happens when there is an outage?”

It’s likely your client hasn’t given much thought to these questions. You can help them to navigate the cloud, and find the right provider for them.

Conclusion

There is a huge opportunity for IT Solution Providers and Managed Service Providers to position themselves as the expert authority in cloud services – helping educate clients to what the cloud can do for them and the right questions to be asking of themselves and cloud providers.

I’d encourage you to begin the conversation with your clients about the cloud now. In many cases they may not be ready at first, but when they are – it will be you they call, not your competitors.

Richard Tubb
The former owner of on award winning IT MAnaged Service Provider, Richard Tubb now provides expert advice to help IT companies who want to grow.

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