Jamie Hissit, Technology Consultant at Midlands managed services provider Air IT, highlights the importance of choosing the right technology partners. In Air IT’s case, this includes StorageCraft cloud storage
The MSP market is flourishing and becoming increasingly competitive as new companies enter the market. For an MSP to continue to meet customer expectations and maximise efficiency, its service offering must continually evolve to keep pace with technology and market developments.
In a recent survey1, 80% of MSPs said that their organisation was at risk of losing out on opportunities by not delivering new services or having the right service portfolio.
To safeguard their offering and boost productivity, it is imperative that MSPs frequently analyse their operations and identify possible areas for improvement, including internal systems, brand assets, outward-facing platforms and customer services. Doing so can be the difference between a business falling behind the competition and leading the MSP charge.
We spoke to Jamie Hissit, Technology Consultant at Air IT, to find out more about the issues the company faced and the importance of MSP/vendor relationships in overcoming them.
What areas of technology do you focus on and how does this help your clients?
We aim to cover all of our clients’ technology needs under one roof and have comprehensive expertise across IT, communications and security. Whether a company wishes to outsource in full or simply complement internal resources, we help businesses and internal IT teams to add value and stability to their operations.
What advice would you give other MSPs looking to maintain customer loyalty?
Customer service is key, and a big part of this is about communication. It’s important that customers are kept aware of all that is being done to keep their systems up and running. This is not always obvious if you use remote monitoring and management, so finding a way to cast light on your role – perhaps through monthly or quarterly reports – can help demonstrate ROI. Our monthly KPIs allow us to measure our performance and identify what our clients really need.
Customer loyalty is also engendered by a motivated, well trained and happy workforce. We celebrate and reward good performance and continually invest in learning and development.
I’d also strongly recommend ensuring that the services you provide are market leading and the most technologically upto-date. This way, you can be confident that the service you provide to your customers is the very best.
How important is the MSP/vendor relationship? What are the key ingredients to making it a success?
It is absolutely fundamental to success and business growth. The ability to create and maintain lasting vendor relationships is one of the most effective ways to ensure you continue to offer clients the best solutions that fit their needs and lead to growth. There are a number of factors that are important to us when considering this relationship:
The vendor’s vision and ongoing product investment must complement and support our ambitious growth plans;
It’s imperative that the vendor is continually moving with the market and releasing product updates, so we know our clients have that security. It’s important to us that the vendors we partner with are leading the way and we’re able to work closely with them on product roadmaps and testing. Ultimately, if they win, we win!;
Our team always needs to be in the best possible position to deliver the high quality service customers deserve, and to do this we must feel confident in a vendor’s ability to respond to requests as needed; and
We only partner with vendors that will collaborate with us on marketing assets and events. This means we both benefit from a joint audience and increased exposure.
Can you give us an example of a problem you’ve faced and how you were able to overcome it by working with a vendor?
Over time, we found that we were working with a large number of different vendors and that managing these multiple relationships had become time-consuming and inefficient. We swapped our internal data centre for StorageCraft’s cloud storage facility in Ireland, which has since become home to more than 200 Terabytes of client data with over 400 seats – numbers that are growing by 10-15% each month.
We’ve found that cutting down on the number of vendors we work with and consolidating a number of our services to StorageCraft has been one of the most effective ways to streamline services and ensure we provide our customers with the highest quality service.
Air IT is an award-winning MSP, delivering market-leading services that help clients drive transformation and achieve success through technology. Independently ranked as one of the world’s top 200 MSPs and Number 1 in the Midlands, Air IT is one of just two small enterprise MSPs to have achieved 3-star Service Desk Institute certification. Founded in 2005, it is a trusted strategic technology partner to over 400 clients ranging in size from local SMEs to global enterprises, predominantly in the B2B, education and 3rd sector.