Just How Distributed Can Your MSP Be?

April 7, 2020

Given the realities of a current global crisis, it can be difficult to think about any potential silver linings. If there are any whatsoever,  leading the pack is the world’s climbing tolerance of remote, distributed teams.

Right now before our very screens, we’re seeing teams band together to balance the best practices of social distancing and the principles behind good teamwork. For MSPs, the name of the game seems to be “work remote as much as you possible can, go onsite when you absolutely have to”.

One user on Reddit described his work situation as an evolving one:

“We’re addressing work-from-home strategies during a quick meeting shortly, especially since our governor extended stay-at-home orders into the end of April (was originally expiring next week) and revised the essential businesses list again. We have some clients who are essential businesses (municipalities, insurance agencies, etc) so they still need services performed.”

Other users are showing pride in being early adopters of WFH, sharing their stacks and essential tools. Regardless, MSPs are prepared more than other businesses, as your technicians are often out in the field and used to staying on top of communications.

Today, we’ll be sharing some strategies and suggestions for how your MSP can be as prepared as possible, and stay productive and communicative during our time working from home.

Communication with Customers

MSPs have to remain in all-hands-on-deck-mode and offer additional support as their clients ramp up and hone their work from home capabilities. Some enterprises are more prepared than others utilizing cloud technologies, anti-malware software, and MFA for remote workstations. Other organizations are at the mercy of old technology and hardware, insufficient connectivity, and basic security measures. All organizations no matter how well versed in WFH tactics need MSPs that are providing value and are easily accessible.

MSPs need to send out communications that offer guidance to clients about best practices when working from home, from workspace and dress issues to hardware and VPN intricacies. These seemingly separate parts have to work together to create a safe and secure home-office environment.

Read the Room, Pivot Sales Efforts

Not only are businesses looking for assistance setting up security and remote work situations, they are also going to be more open now than ever before to protection opportunities and added value. Networks will need to be maintained and security needs to stretch beyond MFA and anti-malware. For example, as organizations place an added importance on email and messaging apps for internal communications, there is a ripe opportunity for phishing scams to cause havoc to distributed teams.

Being aware of this and catering your messaging to clients in a proactive way is key. The MSP world has the potential to thrive and be a crucial channel to support the survival and recovery of SMBs, which means more organizations need help with facilitating security and remote work now than ever before. In 2008, the MSP model was still not mature and many were sceptical of how MSPs could support the SMB channel. Today, MSPs who have escaped the break-fix and one-time revenue model have opened the door to MRR models and are in a much better position to thrive.

Stay Nimble

If you are having trouble getting your bearings and maintaining your focus in this new and unpredictable world, just know that flexibility and staying nimble is a key asset to your team being ready and willing to change. Now is a time for over-preparation and additional guardrails, making sure that if a situation like this ever occurs again, that your MSP will be better prepared for a transition.

– Vikash Dass

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