Once you begin adding solutions that provide MRR, you’ll be able to expand your offerings to include some or all of the following:
Remote Monitoring and Management
A staple of every MSP, Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) takes your current reactive support offering and makes it proactive. Rather than waiting for problems to occur, you use an RMM tool to keep 24/7/365 vigil over your customers’ IT. Monitoring can include servers, desktops, mobile devices, printers, and more. The system can alert you to things such as hard drive failures, low disk space, failing memory, and even low toner. The idea is that problems are found and fixed (using remote tools) often before the customer is aware. Customers pay for the monthly service because it gives them peace of mind that things will work as they should. A benefit to you is that RMM tools can do the work of many people, allowing you to be more efficient and profitable with fewer people. RMM providers have different cost structures, but, generally speaking, expect to pay per device being monitored or per user.
Business Continuity (Backup and Disaster Recover [BDR])
Typically the first service offered outside of RMM, BDR or business continuity solutions ensure that any sensitive or important customer data is backed up. However, BDR isn’t simply about storage of data. A key component of BDR is the ability to restore data as quickly as possible to minimize downtime. Additionally, today’s modern tools include validations to ensure the data is backed up. Today, it’s common to see data backed up to local storage and mirrored to cloud storage as an additional precaution. Some BDR providers also offer appliances that slip into the server rack and provide additional levels of redundancy. Costs will vary by BDR vendor.
One of the most significant IT trends today is centered on the security of customer data. If you operate in heavily regulated verticals such as healthcare, banking, or even retail, you understand the importance of data security. Regardless of the industries in which your customers operate, the proliferation of ransomware means no company is safe. Criminals have learned that every business has valuable data, and many are willing to pay the ransom to decrypt. Today, you can provide security services that include constant monitoring of customer endpoints to protect against such threats.
As businesses look to save money, shifting email from local servers to the cloud is appealing. Offering Hosted Exchange is a great way to get started with recurring revenue.
Today, everything can be offered as a service — infrastructure, solutions, security, hardware, software, communications, and more. Take a solution and sell it for a monthly fee. There are many ways to do this without breaking the bank.
In all of these cases, it’s important that you ease into this model and figure out how to get involved strategically. For example, rather than attempting to establish your own private cloud service, you might be better off reselling someone else’s established white label service. There is a variety of cloud providers that allow you to own the customer relationship and bill the customer under your name. Additionally, rather than build your own NOC (network operations center), you can use the NOC of a master MSP or take advantage of an RMM tool that includes NOC services.
For telecom-focused VARs, it’s possible to sell a cloud solution with an up-front equipment sale (endpoints), plus monthly recurring for the associated network and dial tone. With the right financing arrangment, you can offer your customers a monthly payment plan for endpoints while you get paid up front.
As you pursue adding services, the final bit of advice is to try to marry your core competency to a recurring revenue approach. Most likely everything you offer can be offered as a service today. What makes sense for you and your customers will depend on your capabilities and desires, as well as your customers’ needs.