MSP Trends and Challenges

    Sonian, a pioneer in cloud-based email archiving, surveyed a wide range of managed service providers (MSPs) to gain insight into their current challenges and the strategic approaches they’re using to generate new business and build relationships with partners.

    The population consisted of various types of MSPs that manage enterprise and SMB accounts for a variety of customers. Respondents included professionals in executive business development, sales, marketing and product management roles. The survey targeted MSPs in North America, but also had broad promotional reach online, via email and through social media.

    Despite the diverse population of respondents, the survey unveiled a common and consistent theme: MSPs want to increase revenue and find partners who will provide the support for success. In the survey, MSPs acknowledged the solutions must meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers, provide healthy margins, and reduce the need for additional resources.

    In this slideshow, Greg Arnette, founder and CTO, Sonian, discusses the survey findings in more detail.

    Top Managed Service Provider Trends and Challenges - slide 1

    Click through for findings from a survey focused on managed service provider challenges and strategies, conducted by Sonian, a cloud-based email archiving service provider.

    Top Managed Service Provider Trends and Challenges - slide 2

    New business and strategic partnerships

    Driving new business (77.27 percent) and finding go-to-market partners (59.1 percent) are the two primary areas of focus for MSP professionals. Professionals with varying job roles, degrees of responsibility and decision-making authority see themselves as stakeholders in the growth and success of their businesses. 45.5 percent of respondents also said they’re looking for ways to increase new product attach rates, while 40.9 percent are also focused on overcoming technology capability challenges. Finding the right partners to increase profits is a common theme in the survey responses.

    Top Managed Service Provider Trends and Challenges - slide 3

    Cloud economics

    MSPs and their customers are taking advantage of cloud economics to cut email hassles and costs. Preserving valuable business data is the most common concern (68.2 percent), with protecting IP and other critical information as the second highest concern (54.5 percent). This is no surprise, considering there’s never been more data for businesses to maintain a complete and easy-to-access archive, to comply with government mandates, industry regulations and corporate policies. Customers need to find exactly what they need, whenever they need it. Without access to all relevant email messages and file attachments, businesses can face many issues, including revenue loss, fines, sanctions and other penalties.

    Top Managed Service Provider Trends and Challenges - slide 4

    Successful partnerships

    More than 95 percent of MSPs surveyed said their partners provide adequate resources to help sell and support their products. Smart MSPs know their businesses won’t be successful without the right resources and support from their partners. They find partners with superior support, sales enablement tools and other resources, to ensure they’re making the best margins, acquiring new business on a regular basis and maintaining high customer-retention rates.

    Top Managed Service Provider Trends and Challenges - slide 5

    Third-party offerings

    MSPs are working smarter instead of harder. With low-touch, high-value, high-margin solutions in their product portfolios, MSPs are making more money without having to spend any valuable additional resources. Third-party offerings, such as cloud-based email archiving, generate a line of monthly recurring revenue that complements the products MSPs are already providing and increases their email-based RPU. 94.5 percent of respondents said products in their company’s portfolio generate consistent monthly recurring revenue with high margins.

    Top Managed Service Provider Trends and Challenges - slide 6

    Trusting your MSP

    All respondents said their partners’ product offerings meet the needs and expectations of their customers. 13.6 percent strongly agreed that their partner offerings are likely exceeding customer expectations. To generate additional business from their current accounts and acquire new business, MSPs must find viable solutions and be regarded as trustworthy experts.

    Top Managed Service Provider Trends and Challenges - slide 7

    Evolving with customer needs

    Nearly 100 percent of respondents acknowledged that customers’ needs are always changing. MSPs are also evolving to offer new technologies that help customers overcome challenges. Keeping up with business and technology demands ensures MSPs don’t miss out on additional revenue or lose customers to competitors.

    Top Managed Service Provider Trends and Challenges - slide 8

    Product and service satisfaction

    Over 94 percent of respondents said their customers are satisfied with their product and service offerings. If your customers aren’t happy, you don’t make money. Successful MSPs go above and beyond to offer a range of products and services their customers need and provide the high levels of support and service they demand. By offering low-touch, high-margin products, such as cloud-based email archiving, MSPs are satisfying their customers, making healthy margins and putting more money in their pockets.

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