How much should MSP's charge for their services? How should you market and sell your offerings? How are you supposed to map out your SLA's to best support their client base? For the past 18 months or so, Quest Software's PacketTrap has been helping MSP's answer those questions through their Business Acceleration Program. Here's the update, including perspectives from PacketTrap Director of MSP's Mike Byrne (pictured).

Quest Software walks MSP's through five major steps over a two-week process: Business Planning, Operational Evaluation, Target Market Analysis, SLA Creation and Ongoing Business Consulting and Support.

"The one-size-fits-all model does not fit in this space," said PacketTrap's Byrne. "You have to know your software costs and labor costs to know how to price your offering." Working with PacketTrap's educational team, MSP's begin to realize they're not taking into account all of the costs associated with managed services delivery. And even if the MSPs are profitable, they often eat a lot of their operational costs and should be a lot more profitable.

For example, many companies eat the cost of a ticketing service. Byrne explains: If you're paying a PSA vendor$400 for a ticketing service, you have to figure that cost into your offering and split that cost evenly among your clients, he notes. Byrne said 99.9 percent of PacketTrap's MSP customers go through at least a portion of the acceleration program to discover such profitability tips.

Some MSPs already come to PacketTrap with business models that don't require complete overhauls; just a tweak here and there can save MSPs a significant amount of money once the figures are tallied, Byrne claims. "What we do is take the pain and complexity out of the transition to a new strategy," said Byrne. "MSP's will get a transparent view of what they're doing compared to what their charging."

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