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Transparency is fundamental between service provider and customer. What’s generally missing is a shared picture of service reality. Both parties require clear evidence of the customer’s situation, providing insight so that the right action can be taken. To enable a service provider to become a strategic partner and trusted advisor to their customers, the solution is to offer a unique value proposition; changing the way the state of a customer’s network is reported and communicated so that it is both meaningful and presented in a format which they understand.

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Reliance on Service Level Agreements (SLA) is typically another step on the road to developing poor MSP to customer relationships. Yes, the SLA sets the boundaries and expectations for what level of service the customer is promised, but it also means that the provider only delivers the minimum to meet this agreement, usually at the lowest cost to themselves.

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It’s no secret. Cloud computing and low-cost competition continue to force the managed services industry into commoditisation. MSPs must innovate and enhance business practices if they wish to retain value and keep pace with competitors. With new providers emerging into the marketplace every day, this creates a “me too” scenario and standing out from the crowd becomes a difficult task unless portfolios and customer service are remarkably unique.

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Implementing new IT systems or infrastructure is costly, time-consuming and can have an adverse impact on normal business activities. It’s a frustrating and mammoth task; starting from scratch and investing in resources for setup and training. Consequently, business owners tend to hold onto legacy systems for a lot longer than they should.

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Being an MSP is like playing piggy-in-the-middle all the time; caught between demanding customers on one side, and third-party suppliers whose offerings you’re trying to stitch together and add value to, on the other.

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Experiencing an outage or service degradation usually results in several disconnected monitoring systems reporting multiple potential causes. Meaningless events drown out the definite root cause of an issue due to lack of visibility and disjointed information, leaving you to only notice something is wrong when your customer logs a support ticket or make a complaint.

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