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What "Plans" do Managed Service Providers offer?

Managed Service Providers want to build a large base of recurring revenue and Managed Services seems to be an excellent way to do it.  As long as you keep this in mind when dealing with companies that offer managed services, you should be able to effectively evaluate the company and their services.  You should also be able to evaluate if their managed services are a "get rich scheme" or are they genuinely working to provide their customers the best possible services. 

We believe Managed Services benefit the service company more than the customer by providing them detailed information in a very efficient manner while elevating their technical understanding of the systems they are maintaining.  Managed Service systems make it easier to troubleshoot, maintain the systems, document the systems and quickly and easily "onboard" new customers.  Once customers have their "Ahh Haa" moment of revelation as to the benefit of managed services, they rarely will consider not including them as part of their management solution. 

Managed Service systems are a major, but necessary, recurring expense to the service provider.  They must figure out a way or ways to recoup their initial investment, on-going labor and recurring expense.  Think about it.  The MSP has an expensive tool to provide better, more efficient service, while providing their customers better uptime, longer service life, and saving them money.  However, it costs them a lot of money.  Of course they must use it, but also sell as many services associated with managed services to justify their expense.  This isn't a bad philosophy.  Don't assume all MSP's have this philosophy however.

The companies that sell and maintain Managed Service Systems to companies like ours, charge us to use their system.  We, in turn, must find ways to pass that cost on to you, the customer, because ultimately, you benefit from the service.  Until recently there were more service companies not using a Management System than were using them.  That has changed.  Now there is much more competition on all levels.  That is good for the customer, not so good for us.  More choices, better products and competition.  It's a buyers market (in reality, it always has been).

Since we've gotten the background out of the way, now we will finally get to the plans!

Many service providers structure their plans in tiers, where the

**"Silver" plan might have basic monitoring, 8 X 5, remote access and limited reports. 

**The "Gold" plan will have everything the Silver plan has plus 24 X 7 monitoring, management of critical devices and patch management. 

**The "Platinum" plan may add telephone support, on-site support, desktop spam and anti-virus, workstation backup and more. 


The point is, MSPs try to structure something that any business can afford and use and put it into a "Plan" that is easier to understand and relate to their business.  Are there better "plans"?  Probably.  Since we are an MSP, what are our "Plans"?  Glad you asked.

We've struggled with "Plans". Unlike many MSPs, we see each of our customers as a unique and wonderful opportunity to partner.  No two are alike, even if they are in the same business.  We aren't interested in building a huge business that we can sell some day.  We are interested in providing for our customers and our families and having something that can be passed along.  Because of that, we want to establish relationships with our customers that benefit us all in the best possible manner.  So, as you can imagine, we have identified our costs for all aspects of our Managed Services offering.  Because of the way we look at Managed Services, we can recommend what makes sense for our customers and ourselves, then come up with pricing that meets the need, rather than force our customers into a "Plan".

Copyright © 2012 by Ellegent Systems, Inc.

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